|Homemade Hot Cocoa|
There are all kinds of cocoa. There are instant, homemade, kid friendly and of course adult versions. So let's start with your favorite version of cocoa or hot chocolate mix, whether that is from a package or a secret family recipe passed down through the generations. If you don’t have a favorite, here is one I think you might enjoy.
- 4 cups Non-Dairy Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
- 8 ounces Chocolate (candy bars, baking chocolate)
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Chop the chocolate very finely. If you’re using dark chocolate you might need to sweeten your drink a bit. However, if you’re using milk chocolate, you might not. Hey, how about making your cocoa with white chocolate!
In a medium saucepan, bring the non-dairy milk and vegan butter (milk, cream, and butter for those of you who prefer the real thing) to a low simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Watch closely because milk has a tendency to scald if it gets lonely.
Add the chocolate and vanilla. Whisk vigorously until all of the chocolate has melted. Reduce the heat and cook for an additional 4 minutes, whisking constantly.
If you use almond, peppermint, or another type of extract you might need to adjust the measurement to taste. Or you could try Moser Roth Mint Dark Chocolate. I find that one or two bars is plenty to give a really minty flavor.
Serves 4 generously
Hot cocoa is a splurge for me. I like to enjoy the fire and friends with cocoa. During the winter, try creating a Cocoa Bar. It’s simple. Have on hand: peppermint liqueur, Irish cream, vanilla vodka, whipped cream, sprinkles of choice, candy canes during the holidays, coffee flavored liqueur, rum, instant coffee granules (mocha baby!).
What do you think of when you hear the words "Hot Cocoa"? Do you think of playing in the snow building snowmen or planning snowball fights? Coming in from a day of sledding and sitting by the fire? Or how about ski vacations and quiet evenings with friends or a special someone?
* If you're more of a traditionalist and enjoy the guilty pleasures of whole milk and cream, you might try using 3 1/2 cups whole milk along with 1/2 cup heavy cream in place of the non-dairy milk. You might also like to switch out the vegan butter for real butter.
**I don't add any sugar to my hot cocoa but if you like it a little sweeter, you could add some sugar, honey, agave syrup or use milk chocolate.
P.S., Please share your family's favorite winter holiday drink.
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