16. Hot Chocolate with Snowmen Marshmallows

During the rush of the holiday season it is important to slow down and take a break!

Sometimes there is nothing better on a cold winter's day then a cup of hot chocolate.  These cute snowmen marshmallows add extra fun to the treat!

Use this time to relax and have fun with friends and family!

Make a cup of your favorite hot chocolate or try one of the recipes below.

For the snowmen visit Day 9 Marshmallow Snowmen from our Countdown to Christmas

This also makes a fun gift!  Place some of the chocolate mix in a small plastic bag with instructions on how to make the hot chocolate.  Add a separate bag with a few of the snowmen marshmallows.  Place everything in a mug.  Add a ribbon and tag and it's ready to go!

Basic Hot Chocolate

3 cups milk
1 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
pinch of salt
6 oz chocolate, chopped (choose your own combination of milk, semi sweet, etc)
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a bowl place 6 oz of chopped chocolate.
Heat the milk, cream, sugar, cocoa and salt to a boil.  Pour over the chocolate.  Allow the chocolate to sit for a few minutes to melt.  Whisk until smooth.  Add vanilla.

Heat the chocolate mixture again until it almost boils.  Add additional cream or milk if desired.

Makes six 1/2 cup servings

Individual Hot Chocolate

3/4 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate wafers
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup cream
salt - small pinch
vanilla - about 1/4 teaspoon

Choose a large mug and fill it 3/4 full of Guittard chocolate wafers (or some other type of chopped chocolate combination)

Heat 2/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup cream.  Pour the hot milk and cream over the chocolate and allow it to melt.  Whisk until smooth.

Add additional milk and cream if desired.

Spicy Hot Chocolate Mix

2 cups unsweetened Cocoa powder, sifted
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a bowl mix all of the ingredients.  Store in an air tight container for up to one year.  (See Spicy Hot Chocolate to Share Recipe)

Spicy Hot Chocolate to Share (4 servings)

2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half
3/4 cup Spicy Hot Chocolate Mix (recipe above)

In a saucepan over medium heat add the milk and the half and half.  Heat until steaming.  Do not boil.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 6 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the hot chocolate mix until smooth.  Pour into four mugs and serve immediately.