Whether we find ourselves curling up by the fire on a cold night, snuggled up in bed during the holidays, or simply craving a chocolaty treat on a weeknight; nothing is quite as satisfying as a cup of hot cocoa. This delicious cup of joy has been a delight to families for centuries, with parents passing down recipes of these chocolate drinks to their children to keep the tasty tradition alive.
While some recipes have stayed the same for years, others have been infused with culinary creativity; becoming tweaked and changed up from the classic hot chocolate to offer up optimal goodness. Here is our list of spectacular ways to spice up your hot chocolate:
A classic twist with cinnamon and vanilla
For those of us who don’t want to stray too far from classic hot chocolate but still crave a tasty twist, adding a little cinnamon and vanilla is the spice factor we’re looking for!
Earthy and aromatic cinnamon offers up a sweet and savory taste at the same time, adding a little complexity to the chocolate drink. Not to mention, cinnamon offers up a few bonus health benefits like increased metabolism as well as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Vanilla’s sweet scent and delightful taste add some extra body to the hot chocolate. When combined with the cinnamon, it gives off a spicy Mexican-inspired flavor sensation.
Feeling a little more adventurous? Try these delicious additions such as a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to give each mouthful a bit of bite or some marshmallows, crackers, and dark chocolate that will leave us wanting S’more!
The crunchy creation of coffee and pretzels
It’s no secret that rich coffee and creamy chocolate are a match made in heaven, giving a caffeinated boost to our favorite hot cocoa beverages. Wanting to enjoy this treat closer to bedtime and not looking to stay up too late? Opt-in for a decaf coffee brand instead. Top this off with a little whipped cream and sprinkle crushed salted pretzels on top for a savory break in the sweetness. Delicious!
Oh so alluring almond and caramel
The nuttiness of almond perfectly pairs with a hot cup of cocoa to give the palate a pinch of earthy goodness. If you are wanting to take the nuttiness to the next level, top it off with some chopped up healthy hazelnuts or almonds.
For the sweet tooths out there; melting in creme caramels or drizzling a few drops of caramel sauce will result in flavor explosion worthy of any dessert menu. End it off with a crack from the Himalayan salt grinder and you are good to go.
Some sensual sweetness with strawberries and white chocolate
Swap out the rich brown cocoa for a white chocolate base, where the slightly higher sugar content will leave you salivating for more. Blend in some smashed strawberries and top it off with raspberries and blueberries to get the most of these antioxidant and vitamin C packed berries. Or, if easier, use strawberry syrup to transform your cup to a perfectly pink masterpiece. If you are in the mood for ultimate decadence, add a swirl of whipped cream for that deliciously rich strawberry and cream flavor.
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There was no way we could complete this list of ideas without mentioning some of these mouthwatering masterpieces — pump up the feelings of fall with a pumpkin-spiced hot chocolate, adding pumpkin puree and some pumpkin pie spice to a white chocolate base – yum! Continuing with a seasonal selection, there is nothing like a peppermint tea and candy cane hot cocoa to really taste the Christmas cheer. Create a chai inspired hot chocolate by adding a little ginger and cardamom spice to a hot cocoa base. Infuse white hot chocolate with vanilla bean and lavender oil for a fantastically fragrant flavor combination to beat the winter blues.
There are so many delicious ways to deck out your hot chocolate, all you need is a little time and creative freedom to explore the possibilities that this delightful drink has to offer. We hope you enjoyed these ideas as much as we did; now please excuse us, we’re off to put the kettle on!