When my boys were little, I would marvel at how long it took me to pull out their winter coats, hats, matching mittens, and extra socks. I would spend more time bundling them up than they would actually spend outside, but, despite the 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 quantities in half, or double them if you need to serve the neighborhood kids. And you can substitute almond milk, soy milk, or even fat–free milk for the whole milk I use.
If you make a full recipe, you can keep it in the fridge – in, for example, an empty milk container – and just reheat a cup or two when you need that chocolate fix. Stir or shake it up before reheating it as the chocolate will settle on the bottom of the container.
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
Add the sugar, cocoa, salt, and 1/2 cup of milk to a saucepan on the stove. 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. Put 1 cup of heavy cream into a small ball jar or empty glass jelly jar and add 1 tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar. 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 is the baker/owner of Baked By Susan in Croton-on-Hudson. Bakedbysusan.com