Who doesn’t love hot chocolate? I know I do. Living in New England, hot cocoa, hot apple cider, fabulous coffee, all necessities of life.
I see first hand how many people love good hot chocolate. I have owned a coffee shop for almost 19 years and hot and frozen cocoa have been one of our most popular drinks since we opened. We add three different types of chocolate, hand steam the milk (if hot) with our espresso machine and stir it by hand. Our cocoa is so much better than the cheap kind you get out of a machine with hot chocolatey water.
Introduce my kids with food allergies and hot cocoa is no longer so simple. Chocolate is mostly off limits for my family. Our allergist told us to avoid chocolate since most of it is made on the same equipment as tree nuts.
I always feel bad that my children can’t join other children at the skating rink to gather for hot cocoa. Same thing after sledding or at the movies or wherever hot cocoa is generally served. I give them something special when we get home, of course, but I know it’s not the same.
A few years ago, I started making my own nut safe hot cocoa and it is DELICIOUS! So good, I had to share.
Whether you can have nuts or not, this recipe is a much higher quality cocoa then just opening a packet and boiling water. It is cheaper to make too. If allergies are not an issue, you can purchase any type of cocoa powder, as long as it is decent chocolate.
I usually cook by eye, but I did measure yesterday while making hot cocoa for the kids. I have been snowed in for a few days/weeks/months, who knows at this point!
You will need:
(To serve four people)
4 cups of milk (whatever kind you like)
1.5 cups of really good cocoa powder, can vary to taste (I use Vermont Nut Free cocoa powder)
1 cup of yummy chocolate chips,chunks, chocolate bars-whatever you like. (I recommend Enjoy Life because it is yummy and nut safe)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract ( I use Neilsen-Massey)
2 tablespoons of sugar (more or less to taste) (I recommend Sugar in the Raw pictured, it is nut safe)
Whipped cream and marshmallows are optional (kind of 😉 )
Cant get any simpler.
Put all ingredients together in a sauce pan or pot and heat up. I like to use a whisk to stir because the powder can get a little clumpy.
I usually keep the flame on simmer because I like the milk to heat up slowly to let the actual chocolate melt and the cocoa powder dissolve.
The results are thick, creamy, perfectly chocolatey hot cocoa, better than what you find in the packet!
These cups have hidden marshmallows under the whipped cream, but the kids wouldn’t let me get a better picture because they needed to get their icy cold hands on them after building snow forts for the past few hours!