Homemade Hot Chocolate

With the weather being what it is across much of the nation I thought the appropriate drink to share with everyone is homemade hot chocolate. Nothing warms you up on a cold winter night better than a nice cup of good ol’ homemade hot chocolate.  These are my 2 favorite recipes…1 is from HERSHEY’S and the other is from Alton Brown from the Food Network.

HERSHEY’S Hot Chocolate

  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  3. Dash salt
  4. 1/3 cup hot water
  5. 4 cups (1 qt.) milk
  6. 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. Miniature marshmallows or sweetened whipped cream (optional)

1. Stir together sugar, cocoa and salt in medium saucepan; stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature. Do Not Boil.

2. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat with rotary beater or whisk until foamy. Serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. Five 8-oz. servings.

VARIATIONS: Add one of the following with the vanilla extract:

SPICED COCOA: 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Serve with cinnamon stick, if desired.

MINT COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon mint extract OR 3 tablespoons crushed hard peppermint candy OR 2 to 3 tablespoons white creme de menthe. Serve with peppermint candy stick, if desired.

CITRUS COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon orange extract OR 2 to 3 tablespoons orange liqueur.

SWISS MOCHA: 2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee.

COCOA AU LAIT: Omit marshmallows or whipped cream. Spoon 2 tablespoons softened vanilla ice cream on top of each cup of cocoa at serving time.

SLIM-TRIM COCOA: Omit sugar. Combine cocoa, salt and water; substitute nonfat milk. Proceed as above. With vanilla, stir in sugar substitute with sweetening equivalence of 1/2 cup sugar.

CANADIAN COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon maple extract.

MICROWAVE SINGLE SERVING: Combine 1 heaping teaspoon HERSHEY’S Cocoa, 2 heaping teaspoons sugar and dash salt in microwave-safe cup or mug. Add 2 teaspoons cold milk; stir until smooth. Fill cup with milk. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until hot. Stir to blend; serve.


Alton Brown’s Hot Chocolate:


2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Hot water** I usually use milk instead of water.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl & incorporate evenly.

In a small pot, heat 4 – 6 cups water.

Fill mug 1/2 full with the mix & pour in hot water. Stir to combine.

Seal the rest in a airtight container, this keeps indefinitely in the pantry.

This also works great with warm milk.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

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