This collection of three cocoa recipes ranges from a classic kid-friendly cocoa mix to a more indulgent, night-in cocoa to a this-is-drinkable-dessert cocoa in the traditional Venetian style. Each comes with suggestions for cookie pairings and grown-up add-ins to sweeten the cocoa pot.
Easy Hot Cocoa Mix
Quick to make and a great idea to keep on hand, this delicious cocoa mix will keep everyone happy. Toss in a handful of mini marshmallows if you like a little joy with your cocoa.
Makes about 10 servings
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
- 2-1/2 cups powdered milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to blend. Fill a mug half-full with the mixture and top off with very hot (not boiling) water or milk. Stir well and enjoy.
Adults-only add-in: 2 ounces Grand Marnier or Bailey’s Irish Cream
Pair with: Chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, doughnuts
Decadent Hot Chocolate
Luscious dark hot chocolate for special occasions -- like chilly days or Wednesdays.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 split vanilla bean
- 5 ounces best quality dark milk chocolate, chopped small
- Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
- Chocolate shavings (optional)
Combine milk, half-and-half, and scraped vanilla bean in medium saucepan; bring just to the scalding point, stirring occasionally. Let steep 10 minutes. Remove vanilla bean and return milk-and-cream mixture to the scalding point. Turn off heat, add chocolate, and let stand 5 minutes, till melted. Whisk until chocolate is incorporated and milk mixture froths.
Divide hot chocolate between two mugs and top with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired.
Adults-only add-in: 2 ounces Kahlua coffee liqueur plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pair with: Butter cookies, biscotti
Guilty Pleasure Hot Chocolate
You may want a spoon for this; it’s hot chocolate silk in a mug. Just try keeping your eyes open as you sip this swoon-worthy nectar of the gods.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 (3.5-ounce) bar good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine milk and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring just to the scalding point. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let stand 1 minute. Return the pot to the heat, stir in the cornstarch mixture, and let simmer on low for 3 to 5 minutes, whisking the whole time. When cocoa is thick and steaming, remove from heat, whisk in vanilla extract, and serve.
Adults-only add-in: 2 ounces Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
Pair with: Madeleines or shortbread cookies
All photos are courtesy of the author.