The leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping, and the snowy season is starting. It’s becoming that time of year where we have to give ourselves motivational pep talks to bear the cold and walk to class – and I don’t know about you, but this is far easier to do knowing a little reward is waiting for me. Hot chocolate (aka warm and decadent goodness in a mug) is a perfect treat to help you unwind after a long day of class, or for a cuddly movie night in. These three recipes offer some change to the typical packaged hot cocoa we hoard during the winter season, and they don’t take much more effort than it does to cut open a premade pouch. Put in a feel-good movie, grab your favorite mug, and get to drinkin’!
What’s better to remind you of the warm summer nights around the fire than everyone’s favorites treat, a s’more? At least for me, eating a warm s’more reminds me of the late nights my friends would spend sitting out by the pool, laughing about anything and everything, and gorging on all the chocolate we can. The toasty exterior of the browned marshmallow is a chewy compliment to the crunch of a graham cracker, and this hot cocoa recipe is able to replicate that combination. The hot cocoa is thin and silky while the marshmallows float on top to make a gooey layer for the chocolate syrup to sit on. And of course, the graham cracker rim adds the glamorous touch that all hot chocolate should have.
You know those fancy shmancy Starbucks drinks? Especially now during the red cup holiday season, the coffee shop drinks are incorporating warmer and notably ‘fall-y’ ingredients. Caramel apple spice, salted caramel, dark chocolate and caramel – all of these are popular combinations for utilizing this sticky-sweet ingredient, including hot chocolate. The hot chocolate is velvet smooth and the whipped cream (don’t skimp, believe me) is an ultimate addition of frothy goodness. And of course, the liberal topping of caramel sauce is a great way to indicate exactly what fills the mug while adding a pretty decorative touch.
Ah, white chocolate. Typically, people wouldn’t associate hot cocoa with seeing a big mug full of white instead of the usual chocolatey brown, but they should. This white chocolate recipe is creamy and has a totally different flavor than what you would expect. The white chocolate is rich yet delicate, a nice change of pace from the usual. Plus, the ingredients used in this recipe are specifically incorporated to make a mug of the thickest hot chocolate you’ve ever seen (that’s the tapioca at work!).