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5 Fun and Delicious Hot Chocolate Recipes for this Winter

by Pam Silvia

While hot chocolate doesn’t need too many bells and whistles to leave an impression, we implore you to expand your mind to the possibilities. Simple upgrades can dial up the flavor of your cocoa, complementing the chocolatey goodness that is already in your mug. Here are 5 fun and delicious hot chocolate recipes that will make you want to curl up by the fireplace and that are destined to make your taste buds dance.

1. Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

cocoa with marshmallow, chocolate cookies, yellow oak leaves, teddy bear, candle on a knitted blanket

INGREDIENTS:

1/2-cup milk
1/3-cup heavy whipping cream
1/4-cup milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin purée
1/4-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Whipped cream (optional)
1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Whisk milk, heavy whipping cream, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder together in a saucepan over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until the hot chocolate is smooth.

  2. Stir in pumpkin spice purée and pumpkin pie spice until they are fully incorporated. Turn off heat.

  3. Pour hot chocolate into mugs. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Check Out the Original Recipe

2. Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate

snickerdoodle cookies with cinnamon and nuts, hot chocolate on wooden background

INGREDIENTS:

1-cup milk
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into 3 pieces each
1/3-cup of chopped white chocolate (good quality preferred)
1 pinch Kosher salt
Whipped cream (optional)
Mini marshmallows (optional)
1 pinch cinnamon sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat milk in a saucepan over low-medium heat until steaming. Remove from heat.

  2. Stir in cinnamon stick pieces and allow them to steep for at least 5 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick pieces with a fork.

  3. Return pot to medium heat and add chopped white chocolate and a pinch of salt. Stir until the chocolate is melted.

  4. Pour hot chocolate into mugs. Top with whipped cream, marshmallows, and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

Check Out the Original Recipe

3. Peppermint Hot Chocolate

homemade peppermint hot chocolate with whipped cream

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4-cup granulated sugar
1 pinch Kosher salt
3/4-cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
3 drops peppermint oil
Whipped cream (optional)
Chocolate shavings (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine the heavy whipping cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over low-medium heat until steaming.

  2. Stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.

  3. Stir in the peppermint oil until well incorporated.

  4. Pour hot chocolate into mugs. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Check Out the Original Recipe

4. S’mores Hot Chocolate

homemade s’mores hot chocolate served for the holidays

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups milk
1/4-cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pinch Kosher salt
Graham crackers, crushed
Marshmallows

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to low broil. Place marshmallows directly on top rack to bake for 5 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat milk in a saucepan over low-medium heat until steaming.

  3. Vigorously whisk cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, sugar, and salt until well combined.

  4. Prepare your mugs by rubbing melted marshmallows on rims. Then dip your mug rims in graham cracker crumbs so that they stick to the smeared marshmallow. Sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs in mugs for extra flavor.

  5. Pour hot chocolate into mugs. Top with more melted marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Check Out the Original Recipe

5. Orange Zest Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate with spices, orange, and orange zest

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 to 3 strips of orange peel
Orange zest
1 ounce chopped dark chocolate
Whipped cream (optional)
Chocolate shavings (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine milk, sugar, and orange peel in a saucepan over low-medium heat until steaming. Remove from heat. Remove orange peel with a fork.

  2. In a small bowl with chopped chocolate, pour hot milk. Stir until chocolate is melted and well incorporated.

  3. Pour hot chocolate into mugs. Top with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and lemon zest.

Check Out the Original Recipe

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