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A Few Thoughts on Homemade Hot Cocoa

December 24th, 2012 Cooking

There's something about the winter atmosphere that can lead to a craving for hot cocoa - and there's more to it than how it counteracts chilly temperatures. The beverage can help us to remember fond childhood memories, which makes it warming for both the body and soul.

For some people, embellishment-free hot chocolate is enough, but others like to add something for a little extra kick. Marshmallows are a venerable standby, as are whipped cream and sprinkles of cocoa powder. StartCooking.com mentions other options for hot cocoa enhancement that may be unexpected. Cinnamon or ginger can be sprinkled into hot cocoa to provide some extra sweet zest, as can nutmeg or vanilla extract. The site recommends mixing in 1/4 teaspoon of any of those.

Anyone who's interested in a special hot cocoa treat should consider picking their favorite flavor of ice cream and adding a scoop on top of their beverage. Another tip - let's say you can't decide whether you're in the mood for hot cocoa or coffee. Is there any reason not to combine the two into a dessert drink resembling mocha? Furthermore, it might sound kooky, but mixing a dab or two of peanut butter into hot cocoa could be a wise decision for peanut butter enthusiasts.

For those who prefer straight-up cocoa, RealMomKitchen.com has a recipe that requires 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 of a cup of cocoa powder, 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt, 1/3 of a cup of half and half and a handful of other ingredients. One thing the recipe emphasizes that's always good to keep in mind when making hot cocoa, is that milk is assuredly a better option than water for a base liquid.