Warm up winter with homemade hot chocolate

Homemade hot chocolate with a chocolate spoon for stirring can go a long way to warm a winter night.

Homemade hot chocolate with a chocolate spoon for stirring can go a long way to warm a winter night.

Hot chocolate is a great way to treat yourself on a cold and snowy night, or for a quick pick-me-up during the day. Homemade hot chocolate is heads above the powdered instant kind. Try these hot chocolate recipes, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different “additions,” such as a dollop of peppermint ice cream added to your cup!

Chocolate spoons are a fun addition to give your hot chocolate treat just the right “stirring up.” You can also use them to give a chocolate “kick” to your coffee. Use heavy-duty plastic or metal spoons. A 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips will make about 3 dozen spoons.

Chocolaty Hot Chocolate

7 tsp. sugar

4 tsp. baking cocoa

4 cups milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup miniature marshmallows

Combine all ingredients and heat in saucepan until the marshmallows are melted. Pour into mugs. Place a few marshmallows on top, stir with chocolate-covered spoon. Makes 4 cups.

Very Creamy Hot Chocolate

1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

1/2 cup sugar (or less)

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup boiling water

3 1/2 cups milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup Half-and-Half

Combine cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Blend in the water and bring to a easy boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for about 2 minutes. Stir in the 3 1/2 cups milk and heat until very hot, but DO NOT BOIL.

Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into 4 mugs or cups and add the half-and-half to cool to drinking temperature.

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

4 squares Baker’s

chocolate

2 cups skim milk

3 or 4 drops vanilla

pinch of ground cinnamon and a pinch of cloves

Break up chocolate squares and melt in saucepan. Add milk and vanilla and bring to a boil, being careful not to scorch. Remove from heat and whisk until foamy. Pour into mugs or cups and top with a pinch of the cloves and cinnamon.

Chocolate Dipped Spoons

1 pkg. (6 or 12 oz., depending on the number of spoons planned) semi-sweet chocolate chips

heavy duty plastic spoons or metal spoons

1 tsp. shortening for each cup of chips

Melt chocolate and shortening over low heat. You will want the chocolate to be a little thick to better coat the spoon.

Dip spoons into the chocolate to coat the bowl of the spoon and about 1 inch up the handle. Lay the spoons on wax paper or parchment paper to set. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes before serving with hot chocolate or coffee.

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