I don’t about where you are, but here it’s been raining non-stop and freezing. And all I want to do is chill out on my couch, burrito up in cable-knit throw blankets, wear my fuzzy socks, and watch Netflix. And the one thing that really separates vegging out on the couch in winter from the rest of the year is having a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
And not just any old hot chocolate. I’m talking made from scratch, with actual chocolate hot chocolate. It’s thick, creamy, and absolutely delicious! And while you’re probably thinking to yourself “wow, that sounds hard!”, I promise it’s much easier than you think!
Best-Ever Hot Chocolate Recipe:
Just as a side note – this recipe can be done either in a regular sauce pan or in a slow-cooker. This is also for a single batch (which will serve ~6) but because I went the slow-cooker route I did a big double batch. Which definitely resulted in having waaaaay more than I could drink by myself, so thank goodness for roommates!
Here’s everything you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 cups milk (I used 1%)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
If you’re going the slow-cooker route like me, simply dump everything in, set on high and stir every 10-15 minutes until the chocolate is completely melted and hot chocolate is hot (around 1 hour). If you want to go the saucepan route, add everything into your pan over medium-low heat. Stir every minute or two to prevent the chocolate at the bottom from burning. Continue to stir until chocolate is melted and the liquid is nice and hot (around 10-15 minutes). Don’t worry if the cinnamon doesn’t mix in right away – it tends to keep to itself until things warm up. Once everything is nice and hot chocolatey, ladle into your favorite mug, and enjoy! Simple, easy, and delicious!
Hot Chocolate Bar Setup
Now to the fun part – setting up the hot chocolate bar! I always have a drink station for all my parties or get-togethers – you might even remember my lemonade one I did over the summer! But I love to do a hot chocolate themed one during the holidays. I decided to set it up at our usual coffee area rather than on the counter mostly so we could have one big hot beverage station rather than multiple all over the house. It also makes it easy for anyone who wants to put all the fun hot cocoa stuff in their coffee or mix their hot cocoa with their coffee. And I was also too lazy to move the coffee maker, so….there’s that too!
Thankfully you don’t need much other than the hot chocolate itself, but here are a few extra fun things to include:
- Mini marshmallows
- Peppermint sticks / candy canes
- Pirouette sticks
- Nutella or cookie butter
- Peanut butter morsels
- Chocolate and caramel sauce
- Whipped cream
- Cinnamon sticks
- Ground cinnamon or pumpkin spice
- Orange slices or zest
- Mint chocolate chips
- Baileys or Buffalo Trace’s Bourbon Cream (for adults obviously!)
I highly suggest getting disposable paper cups for easy cleanup, and I personally love loading mine up with whipped cream, marshmallows, a candy cane, and just a drizzle of caramel (and a splash of bourbon cream from time to time!).
And there you have it! Not so hard after all is it? Plus, you’re hot chocolate station will be the talk of the party! But I definitely won’t be judging if you decide to save it all for a fun quiet night at home.
What are your favorite hot chocolate fixings? Have any holiday parties planned?
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!