Adding a spoonful of something spicy, sweet or nutty to plain hot cocoa barely takes more time than tearing open a packet of powdered hot-cocoa mix and stirring it into warm milk. Yet, such a small effort transforms the drink into a way-more-special-than-usual morning treat, a spectacular midafternoon pick-me-up or an over-the-top way to end dinner.
Here, we offer a standard recipe for homemade hot chocolate that you can take in 10 different directions. It's easily doubled, tripled or even quadrupled.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Mix-in (see suggestions, next page)
Whisk together milk, cocoa powder, vanilla and sugar in a small pot on the stove.
Gently warm mixture but do not boil, and then whisk in the mix-in of your choice (see options, next page), stirring to thin out any clumps.
Pour into a mug and serve with whipped cream and the corresponding topping.
Next: 10 ideas to take your hot chocolate to the next level