Classic Hot Cocoa

Nothing warms the soul like a cup of hot cocoa!
Classic Hot Cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/4-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup half and half
4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped Cream or Mini Marshmallows

Stir together sugar, cocoa and salt in medium saucepan; add half and half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Simmer 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to desired serving temperature. Do Not Boil. Remove cocoa from heat, add vanilla; whisk or beat until frothy. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.

VARIATIONS – use classic recipe above making the following substitutions:

SKINNY COCOA: Eliminate sugar. Combine cocoa, salt and 1/2 cup skim milk; use 4 cups skim milk or reconstituted non-fat dry milk. Proceed as above. When adding vanilla stir in enough sugar substitute with sweetening equivalence to equal 1/2 cup sugar.

BUTTTERSCOTCH COCOA: replace sugar with 1/4 cup packed brown sugar; before adding milk stir in1 cup butterscotch baking chips (goes well Harvest Spice or Peanut Butter Cocoa variations)

CANADIAN COCOA: add 1/2-1 teaspoon maple extract in place of vanilla

COCOA AU LAIT: serve with a scoop softened vanilla ice cream on top of each cup

EGGNOG COCOA: eliminate sugar, substitute milk for the 1/2 cup half and half, substitute 4 cups prepared eggnog for milk; sprinkle with additional nutmeg if desired

HARVEST SPICE COCOA: add 1-3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice to cocoa powder

MEXICAN COCOA: add 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon with cocoa powder

ORANGE COCOA: add 1/2 teaspoon orange extract with vanilla

PEANUTBUTTER COCOA: replace 1/3 cup white sugar with 1/3 cup packed brown sugar. Add 1/4 -1/2 cup creamy peanut butter before adding milk; stir until smooth, then add milk.

PEPPERMINT COCOA: add 1/2 teaspoon mint; add crushed peppermint candies

Butterscotch Chips
Chocolate shavings
Chopped peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans
Cinnamon Candies
Creamy Peanut Butter
Crushed Peppermint candies
Crushed toffee bits
Mini Marshmallows
Mini MM’s
Rainbow Sprinkles
Whipped Cream
Use your imagination for other tasty items

Stirring Sticks:
Mini straws
Candy Cane
Cinnamon Stick
Chocolate coated spoons

Try this fun idea after the sleigh ride or Christmas caroling outing. Place the following ingredients in serving bowls with spoons. Family and guests fill their mugs with classic “Classic Hot Cocoa” then add toppings of their choice to ‘customize’ their cocoa experience.

2 tablespoons sugar
2-3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Dash salt
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together sugar, cocoa and salt in large mug, set aside. In a 2-cup microwave safe measuring cup, microwave milk on high for approximately 1 1/2 minutes or until hot. Gradually add hot milk to cocoa mixture; stir well. Stir in vanilla. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.

4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
16 cups instant nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together until evenly mixed. Store mix in a cool dark place.

To use, place 1/2 cup mix in large mug, add hot water and stir to blend. For a richer cocoa use hot whole milk in place of water or add 1/4 cup cream. Makes about 40 1-cup servings

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