Winter’s Coming: Real Homemade Hot Cocoa

On a miserable cold day or evening, few things are as satisfying, flavorful, and aromatic as a cup of hot cocoa. In this day of instant gratification and artificial things like spiced cider powder, it is good to know some things still are best the old fashioned, homemade way. Hot cocoa can be prepared as easily and almost as quickly as ripping open an envelope, pouring out powder, adding water and then nuking in the microwave.

You can use any brand of powdered cocoa – from common to rare, inexpensive to extravagant. I use plain old Hershey’s Cocoa (I am not paid for any endorsement of this product). You can use any milk: whole, skim, half and half, evaporated milk (for a retro take on this classic) milk made from nuts or soy. Sweeteners and how much is up to you: granulated sugar, brown, natural, honey, stevia, agave, honey, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners. If you have never made hot cocoa, taste as you go as to amount of cocoa and sweetner you like.  Additions of some cinnamon or peppermint extract, schnapps, or crème de menthe, crème de cacao, or a bit of rum adds an adventurous adult twist.

This recipe multiplies easily. One cup is as easy as four. Add a dollop or squirt of whipped cream or a marshmallow to the finished deliciousness for a bit of added decadence. Pour into your special mug, kick back, relax, sip, and let the harsh cold outside world drift away in a cloud of fragrant, gentle, chocolate steam.

Hot Cocoa
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) or other sweetener
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk or any combination of milk, half-and-half, or cream or non-dairy “milk”
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot. Stir in the vanilla and serve. If you like it frothy, blend it in the blender.

public domain vintage clip art


27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gpcox
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 10:07:08

    You should make sure to reblog this for the Carolers at Christmas time.


  2. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 10:12:02

    Haven’t had nor thought about hot chocolate since cold skating days long ago. I like your addition ideas, “…schnapps, or crème de menthe, crème de cacao, or a bit of rum adds an adventurous adult twist.” Hard not to give this some s.e.r.i.o.u.s. thought. ^^’


    • kanzensakura
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 10:28:42

      yeppers. Hot grown up cocoa….good for you! As a rare party treat, I’ve made about two quarts at a time and put into a couple of my crockery teapots to serve friends who drop by during the holidays. I don’t fix it too strong though and limit to one mug full. Between the cookies and this, I’m a popular stop.

      Sent from Windows Mail


  3. joannesisco
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 10:33:28

    hmmm – I’ve never made my own hot chocolate, but this does sound very easy and delicious …. especially with a generous slug of Bailey’s 😉
    Thanks for sharing!


  4. M-R
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 17:53:51

    J’aime cette affiche !
    Just as well that our seasons contradict each other, Kanzen – or I would be sorely tempted to try adding vanilla to cocoa. And then where would my regimen go ?


    • kanzensakura
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 18:01:52

      I think there is maybe 1 calorie in vanilla and I have a feeling you are good b about using no or low fat milk or soy milk and not a lot of sweetening. I make this trimmed down w?skim and part sugar, part non-Catholic sweetener. It is a treat for me and not a daily thing. A little sometimes treat doesn’t hurt and much as I want to, no schnapps in mine! It’s Ben hard to learn not t o be so self indulgent since I am a huge hedonist….but I feel better for working on it. You are better than I probably am.

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO


  5. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.
    Nov 08, 2014 @ 01:03:33

    I’ve looked and looked for something to make me think I’m having a marshmallow with my hot choc but haven’t found a sugar free replacement. Any ideas?


  6. cynt5525
    Nov 10, 2014 @ 12:36:34

    I love cocoa this time of year! Never put vanilla in of before will try it!!:-) Thank You for liking my las test art piece!! 🙂 Cynthia


  7. Bernice
    Nov 10, 2014 @ 21:18:49

    This is the time of year when a hot cocoa is much appreciated!


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