National Cocoa Day 2014: 5 recipes, from classic to cocktail

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By: Danielle Waldron
dwaldron@flavor574.com

Slice of Chic/Flickr

Fridays and treats go together hand in glove, and this Friday, Dec. 12 has a hot treat to satisfy your sweet tooth: today is National Cocoa Day

Cozy up to these five recipes — from classic to boozy — to stave off the cold. It’s easy to swap out dairy milk for non-dairy, or whole milk for skim, so it’s okay to experiment with the recipe if you’re brewing with special diet considerations. 

CLASSIC HOT CHOCOLATE
From Joy the Baker. Makes 1 large or 2 small servings. 

No syrups, no whipped cream, just hot chocolate — maybe a few marshmallows if you want them. 

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups milk 
  • 3 tbsp. bittersweet chocolate chops 
  • 2 tbsp. white chocolate chips 

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk over low. Whisk often to avoid scalding. 
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with about two inches of water and hold a heat-proof bowl over it to create a double boiler. Be careful not to let the bowl touch the water. Bring the water to a boil. Add chocolate to the bowl and mix until melted all the way. 
  3. Add the melted chocolate to the hot milk and whisk until blended. 
  4. Pour into one large or two small mugs, if you want to share. 

MINT HOT CHOCOLATE
From Martha Stewart. Makes 4 servings. 

It’s no secret that chocolate and mint are a victorious partnership, and hot chocolate is no exception. This recipe uses fresh mint to add a cool pop of flavor to the rich chocolate.  

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk 
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint 
  • 10 oz. semisweet or milk chocolate, cut into small pieces 

Directions

  1. Combine milk and mint in a saucepan. Scald milk over medium-low heat. 
  2. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain to remove mint sprigs. 
  3. Return milk to saucepan and place over heat. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted. 

SALTED CARAMEL HOT CHOCOLATE
From Chef in Training. Makes 2 servings. 

A little sweet, a little salty – this hot chocolate should kick any chocolate craving. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1½ cups half and half 
  • 6 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • ½ cup sugar 
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients into a large saucepan and stir until smooth and hot. 
  2. Pour into two mugs. Can garnish with whipped cream, caramel sauce and sea salt. 

CARAMEL WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE
From Passion for Savings. Makes about 4 servings. 

This recipe asks you to bust out the slow cooker, so toss in your ingredients and go enjoy your Friday — your hot chocolate will be ready for you when you’re ready to wind down. 

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. white chocolate (a baking bar would work best) 
  • 4 cups milk 
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract 
  • 2 tbsp. caramel 
  • Marshmallows

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a Crockpot and stir well. 
  2. Cook on low for about 4 hours or until chocolate is melted and warm. 
  3. Top with marshmallows, if you’d like. 

KAHLUA HOT CHOCOLATE
From Living Better Together. Makes 2 servings. 

For the 21-and-over crowd – because you’re never too old for chocolate. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk 
  • ½ cup chocolate sauce 
  • 4 oz. Kahlua 
  • Whipped cream 

Directions

  1. Combine milk, chocolate sauce, and Kahlua in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until it begins to simmer. 
  2. Transfer to a mug and top with more hot chocolate sauce and, if you want, whipped cream. 

If you want something extra with the hot cocoa, check out these three local cookie recipes. For even more recipes to make your holiday bright – including three fresh takes on eggnog – download the winter issue of Flavor 574.  

Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter at @DanielleWaldron

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