Nothing says love better than a cup of hot chocolate. Piping hot, sprinkled with cinnamon or nutmeg, topped with marshmallows or whipped cream—does it get any better than that? It's so incredibly easy to whip up a cup (or two) of hot chocolate from scratch. While some good mixes are out there, you can't beat going back to the old-fashioned way of making cocoa.
Always start with the basics: cocoa, granulated sugar and milk. The great thing about making cocoa is you can heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove. If you're making one serving, use the microwave. For two or more servings, use a cooking pot.
Heat two cups of milk over medium heat. Do not use high heat and do not allow the milk to boil. When the milk is warm, add the cocoa and sugar. Stir until all ingredients are blended. Serve immediately in coffee mugs. Makes two servings.
What makes for an even smoother cup of hot chocolate is to add one teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of sea salt.
You can also try other extracts such as almond and peppermint. If you add these, leave out the vanilla. Top off peppermint cocoa with a sprinkle of cinnamon, or drop in a cinnamon stick.
Spoon a dollop of whipped cream on your cocoa and top with a cherry. The classic hot chocolate topping for children is marshmallows. Have you tried toasting one before dropping it into your cocoa? On top of the roasted marshmallow, grate tiny pieces of quality chocolate.
Make Mexican hot chocolate by adding 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Serve biscotti dipped in melted dark chocolate on the side. Small chocolate bars offer chocoholics an overdose of sweetness, too! Shortbread and sand tart-type cookies also pair well with your cocoa.