As the days grow colder, hot drinks are the perfect way to warm cold hands and take the sting out of the chilly air. And what hot drink is more of a family classic than good, old-fashioned hot chocolate? Just holding a mug of that chocolaty goodness topped with a dollop of whipped cream warms your heart.
To make sure that your family never get bored with this timeless favorite, we’ve gathered three yummy ways to spin this classic drink.
Devoted chocolate lovers can easily add variety to their hot chocolate without getting too far away from the original taste. Stick with your basic chocolate recipe but add a simple hint of flavor by stirring your chocolate with a peppermint or cinnamon stick. Drop flavored marshmallows in your mug to add both color and flavor. For all you peanut butter lovers, a small spoonful of peanut butter will add a lovely nutty taste to your cup of cocoa. And for extra creamy hot chocolate, make it with milk instead of water.
For those brave enough to venture away from plain chocolate, a whole new world awaits you! You can find unique and zany flavors ranging from lavender to cayenne and ghost pepper. And you can create your own flavors too, of course. If you love coconut, make your drink with coconut milk for a deliciously coconutty concoction. Do the same with strawberry milk for a fruity twist. If you prefer citrus flavors, heat your pot of stove-top hot chocolate with orange peels. Just think of all the new flavors you could introduce to your hot chocolate—caramel, irish cream, cinnamon, and more. Your next favorite drink could be just one new recipe away.
To bring a smile to the faces of both kids and kids at heart, rest a cute gingerbread man inside your mug. It’s a nice chocolaty spa for him and a tasty pop of flavor for you. Or use a few marshmallows, pretzel sticks, and a bit of icing and candy corn to delight your child with a snowman sleeping in his mug of hot chocolate.
For those with extra creative juices, try creating Hot Cocoa Critters (like the one in this picture from Handmade Charlotte) to rest on the rim of your cup or float atop the chocolate. When you get caught spending far too much time on making hot cocoa, you can try to blame it on wanting to surprise your child and her friends—but we all know your “inner kid” was just having too much fun to stop.
These critters also make adorable gifts. Pair with a pack of instant cocoa mix and a mug, and you could surprise someone with a sweet, simple, and thoughtful treat!
The list of hot chocolate varieties only ends where creativity does. Have you found a delicious new way to mesh hot chocolate with another great flavor? Do let me know, so I can try it too!