Rumor has it we are about to enter the long, cold months of winter. When my boys were little, I would marvel at how long it would take me to pull out their winter coats, hats, matching mittens, and extra socks. I would fight to get their tiny feet into boots that were one size too small trying desperately to get one more season out of the boots from last year before sending the boys into the back yard to play. I would spend more time bundling them up than they would actually spend outside. Although it is a lot of effort, it is still a great way to kill some time on a cold winter day. Once the kids came back inside, my favorite way to warm them up was to give them some serious homemade hot chocolate. This recipe makes four big cups of hot chocolate. Feel free to cut the recipe in half or double it if you need to serve the neighborhood kids! Go ahead and substitute almond milk, soy milk, or even fat-free milk for the whole milk I use in the recipe below. Make a full recipe and keep it in the fridge so you can reheat just a cup or two when you need that chocolate fix. Pour it into an empty milk container, and pop it in the fridge. Stir or shake it up before reheating it as the chocolate will settle on the bottom of the container. The only real way to make hot chocolate is on the stove. This super simple recipe is so worth every tiny bit of effort.
Best Ever Homemade Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup of sugar (you can use brown sugar for a more robust flavor)
1/3 cup of cocoa (you can use less if you’d like, but I like my hot chocolate super chocolaty!)
1/4 teaspoon salt (don’t leave the salt out. It actually brings out the sweetness in the chocolate)
4 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a saucepan on the stove, add the sugar, cocoa, salt, and 1/2 cup of milk. Stir on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the remaining milk and stir until it is warm. Add the vanilla once you take the pot off the stove. Do not bring it to a boil as it will be way too hot to drink!
Homemade Whipped Cream is the only way to go. Take a small ball jar or empty glass jelly jar and put 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 Tablespoon of confectioners sugar in the jar. Put the lid on the jar and screw it on tightly. Now have your kids take turns shaking the jar. By the time the hot chocolate is done, you will have homemade whipped cream to go along with it. I promise, once you try these two recipes, you will never drink hot chocolate from a packet again!
Susan O’Keefe has been baking since she was a little girl. With a passion for baking and a background in marketing and sales, she opened Baked by Susan right in the heart of the little river town of Croton-on-Hudson where she lives with her husband and three growing boys. Visit Baked by Susan at 163 Grand Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY or at Bakedbysusan.com. Like us on Facebook and Instagram!
Baked by Susan Inc., Voted 2015 Winner Best Bakery and Best Cupcakes by Westchester Magazine!
163 Grand Street Croton on Hudson, NY 10520 914-862-0874 bakery 914-525-9639 cellular