As most of the country is experiencing a cold snap, everyone is thinking about how to warm themselves. February is also a popular month for chocolate consumption with Valentine’s day. We love a warm creamy cup of hot chocolate. Kids often love the add-ins as much as they do the hot chocolate itself. Here are a few new ways to experience hot chocolate on cold days! 

Shop Local

Most of us have had hot chocolate from the instant drinks at the grocery store. Some of us have also gone to national chain coffee shops and had theirs. While each of these may be delicious, find someone who specializes in local hot chocolate like Made in Oregon. You can still experience the quick cup of instant hot chocolate, but buying local supports small businesses.

Homemade Marshmallows

A good cup of hot chocolate often has a few marshmallows floating on top. Did you know that it isn’t that hard to make them? There are dozens of recipes online. This one by Jamie Oliver is quite popular, but there are other great ones too. For instance, Martha Stewart has a recipe with only a few ingredients and five steps! Have fun making your marshmallows.

Minty Fresh

A popular flavor this time of year is peppermint. The spicy cool flavor can make any hot chocolate taste even better. This recipe is sure to be rich and delicious. Use some crushed candy canes (if you have any left) or starlight mints and your homemade marshmallows to top your drink. 

Fine French Filled Cups

French hot chocolate is as decadent as you might imagine. The kids might not enjoy this one as much since it isn’t as sweet, but the rich dark chocolate flavor is sure to please any connoisseur. This recipe from The Sweetest Occasion only takes a few minutes and contains 12 ounces of dark chocolate for four cups. 

Malted Hot Chocolate

This throwback recipe is for an instant mix you can create instead of going to the grocery store for packets. Store in an airtight container to preserve freshness. You may have enjoyed a chocolate malted milkshake, and now the Cookie Rookie brings you a hot chocolate recipe with similar flavors.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate really hits the spot on a cold day. The ingredients are a little unusual, but Spoon University offers some suggested substitutes, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to locate them. The warm drink is a little thicker than the typical drink. 

Dutch Hot Chocolate

Dutch chocolate is legendary. It’s no wonder that they are expert hot chocolate makers. The Netherlands gets more than its share of cold weather, and residents need to warm up. The Spruce Eats even offers some suggestions for adult add-ins if you choose. The whole family can enjoy this cup without the rum or brandy.

Spanish Hot Chocolate

Spanish hot chocolate is much thicker than Americans may be used to, but it is rich and decadent. There are very few ingredients, but the quality matters more than the quantity. This recipe only calls for three ingredients. 

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Drinking it is even better than eating it! Nutmeg Nanny has a creamy recipe that is sure to please any chocolate-peanut butter lover. The toping is even better than you can imagine. 

Low Carb Hot Chocolate

If you are watching your waistline and minimizing carb intake, you might be afraid that hot chocolate is off-limits. Nothing could be further from the truth. This recipe from Savory Tooth is a delicious alternative. The cinnamon and vanilla boost the flavors nicely. 

Vegan Hot Chocolate

Like low carbers, vegans often feel that hot chocolate must be off-limits. However, with the right ingredients, this warm drink is better than many traditional cups. Though almond milk is sometimes a little thin, this canned coconut milk add-in will take care of that. 

Creamy Hot Chocolate

This simple recipe uses water, milk, and half and half for the best liquid to chocolate ratio. All Recipes is one of the best websites for hot chocolate recipes, so if you do not like this one, there are hundreds more, but we think you will fall in love with this one! 

Nutella Hot Chocolate

Nutella is one of the most popular sweet spreads on the market. Many copycats have followed. This chocolate-hazelnut hot chocolate is sure to please any Nutella lover. Celebrating Sweets celebrates this combination nicely. 

Cheesecake Hot Chocolate

Cheesecake is a creamy, delicious treat as it is. Add it to hot chocolate, and delicious does not even come close to describing this recipe from Chocolate MooseyThe recipe even calls for white chocolate instead of milk chocolate. You can even substitute the type of chocolate if you want. 

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Salted caramel hot chocolate is one of the most amazing drinks ever invented. It’s like liquified Rollos with a little extra flavor. Le Crème De La Crumb has a fantastic recipe that makes that Seattle-based coffee shop look like amateurs. Don’t forget the toppings. 

Top It Off

No matter which of these recipes you choose, the right toppings can make all the difference. Choose your flavors and toppings wisely. On the peanut butter hot chocolate, you might choose to top it with peanut butter cups or Reece’s Pieces. Likewise, you can use the homemade marshmallows from above or buy some of your own. They now come in different sizes, shapes, and flavors. Candy pieces are great for peppermint hot chocolate but don’t forget chocolate mints. Not only do they add a little extra mint flavor, but they also provide extra chocolate flavor. Additionally, chocolate whipped cream, and dark chocolate drizzle can give you a wonderful triple chocolate flavor. 

Bottom Line

No matter what you do to your hot chocolate, make it yours. Use these recipes for bases to new flavors. Add nutmeg and cinnamon or peanut butter with caramel. Salted peanut butter might be a perfect sweet/ savory combination. If you involve the kids, let them help crush candy, chop sweets, or count marshmallows. Cheers to a fantastic cup! 

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