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Hot Chocolate 2.0: Revamped Winter Favorites

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brandeis chapter.

Is the cold weather getting you down? Are you searching for ways to warm yourself up after walking around campus in the cold New England weather? The cold and true favorite from everyone’s childhood is hot chocolate. Now that we are older and have the ability to get a little more creative from the basic hot chocolate packs, here are some fresh, toasty and comforting ideas to revamp a childhood favorite.

1) Peppermint Hot Chocolate – get in the holiday spirit with this delicious peppermint flavored hot chocolate!  This hot chocolate is sure to please as it gets colder and the holiday season approaches. Check out the recipe below:

Yields 3-4 servings

2 cups whole milk 

1/2 cup half & half (or heavy cream) 

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 

4 tablespoons crushed candy canes (about 4 large candy canes), or 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract 

Whipped cream, garnish 

Crushed candy canes, garnish

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring whole milk and half & half to a boil. Remove from heat immediately and stir in chocolate and crushed candy canes (or peppermint extract) until silky smooth. If necessary, place hot chocolate back on low heat and stir until chocolate is completely melted and candy canes are dissolved.

Pour into mugs, top with whipped cream, and garnish with crushed candy canes and shaved chocolate.


2) Red Velvet Hot Cocoa with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream – get two of your favorite things: red velvet and hot cocoa in one delicious drink! This delicious cocoa will give you a taste of a favorite flavor in a perfect winter drink.

Yields: 4 servings

4 cups whole milk

1 dash water

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. red food coloring

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 – 4 tbsn. whipped cream cheese, room temperature

In a stand mixer, combine the heavy cream and sugar. Whip on medium speed with the whisk attachment for 2 – 3 minutes. Just before peaks form, add the cream cheese and whisk for another 2 minutes. Taste and add more cream cheese to taste. Be careful not to over whip though, or else you’ll have butter! In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat. Add a splash of water and the chocolate chips, constantly stirring gently. When almost melted, add the red food coloring and stir. When the chocolate chips are thoroughly melted, pour the hot chocolate into mugs and top with the whipped cream.



3) Mexican Hot Chocolate – spice up an old favorite with this HOT addition! Warm up a cold winter night with this creative version of cocoa.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

3 cups milk 
1 (3-inch)

cinnamon stick

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 (3.5-oz.) chili chocolate bar, chopped

1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

Garnishes: whipped cream, shaved chocolate



4) Dark Hot Chocolate – for those who might not love milk chocolate, here is a recipe for a dark hot cocoa recipe! Enjoy this rich treat on a cold night.

1 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

cocoa powder for garnish

Warm milk and cream in a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat. 

Add chocolate. Whisk until melted and combined. Add sugar, and whisk until dissolved. Continue to warm mixture until thick, about 5 minutes.


Check out one of these delicious variations on the next chilly night that you are craving chocolate and need some warming up. 

I am a Junior at Brandeis University who is passionate about writing and who loves surfing the web for useful articles and having fun doing what I like. 
Andrea is a sociology major with minors in journalism and women's and gender studies. She is currently finishing her senior year at Brandeis University. She was born and reared in Los Angeles, CA, which does mean that she is a die-hard Laker fan… Sorry Bostonians. When Andrea is not routing on her favorite basketball team, she dedicates her time to her many passions. They include reading and writing about fashion, traveling, exploring new restaurants, spending time with friends, watching reality television (she has a weak spot for Bravo), shopping, and working out.