Monday, December 20, 2010

Hot Chocolate

Hello! It's been far too long since I posted. I haven't been sitting around, melancholy since my last post, just busy trying to finish up the last few days of school, and of course, getting ready for the holidays. I still have gifts to buy and to wrap... with less than a week to go! So, this post will be short, then hopefully I will get to add another later today. It's on my to-do list so it will get done, right? :) Saw this on another blog from Katie at the Daily Digi and loved the ideas! Which ones will you try? I thought some of the ingredients with a plain hot cocoa mix would be a nice hostess (or other) holiday gift, too! Enjoy, Dear Reader and Happy Holidays! :)

"This is the time of year when I (Katie) love to drink hot chocolate. My daughter and I often enjoy a cup at breakfast or as a late afternoon pick-me-up. One of our favorite parts of this routine has been to create new flavors by adding various mix-ins or combining more than one type of cocoa mix. Why not have a little fun?!

Here are some of our favorite mix-ins and mashups:

*Add a scoop of ice cream to a cup of steaming hot chocolate. It cools it right off and makes it extra creamy.
*Use sundae toppings to add a little flavor. We like a spoonful of caramel topping added into plain hot chocolate.
*Stir a spoonful of seedless raspberry or strawberry jam into a cup of hot cocoa. Raspberry is especially good with a darker chocolate.
*Squirt whipped cream (from a can) on top of the hot cocoa and add festive sprinkles.
*Add chocolate orange candy sticks (or a chocolate orange candy wedge) to a cup of warm cocoa and stir to melt.
*Cherry cordial Hershey kisses (only available at Christmas and Valentine’s Day) are also good stirred in and melted to either milk or dark hot chocolate.
*Mint chocolate chips are another great add-in.
*If a flavored cocoa mix is too strong, combine it with another flavor – such as Belgian dark chocolate mixed with French vanilla.
*Use flavored coffee creamers to mix in with hot cocoa.
*Cinnamon powder can be added to hot cocoa for a little extra flavor
*Chili powder or a shot of hot sauce can be added for an extra kick!
*Make hot cocoa with milk instead of water for a creamier treat.
*Buy seasonal marshmallow Peeps (we like snowmen) and float one on top of your hot chocolate.
*Use flavored marshmallows like strawberry or toasted coconut ones to add to a cup of cocoa.
*Experiment with a few drops of extracts like almond, orange, or raspberry.
*Add Andes mints or a York peppermint patty to a cup of hot chocolate and stir to melt.
*Stir your hot cocoa with a candy cane or add crushed candy cane pieces.
*Use a chocolate dipped spoon to stir hot chocolate.
*Garnish your hot cocoa with chocolate shavings and whipped cream.
*Buy some Mexican hot chocolate at a Mexican market or specialty grocery store. It’s delicious!
*If you are looking for a great recipe for homemade hot chocolate, Janet posted one last year so be sure to check it out.

Oh, and if you are wondering what the difference is between “hot chocolate” and “hot cocoa”, I found this tweet from Foodimentary – Did you know that “hot Cocoa” is cocoa powder and hot water while “hot Chocolate” has added milk or cream? I had no idea – Both are yummy in my book!"

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