How to make hot cocoa an art form

Every food blog will be posting this weekend on creative ways to repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers. I stand by my turkey jerky post, though I should mention that making turkey stock with the leftover bones comes in handy all year long.

But I digress. I'm looking past Thanksgiving and into the holiday season, where hot chocolate is usually a pack of powder, mixed with water and microwaved. I'm a firm believer that if you are going to allow yourself a guilty pleasure, make it worth it!

hot cocoa powder


For starters, you can always make the drink more rich by avoiding water altogether. Use milk, whether whole milk, or a plant-based option like oat milk. Second, you can buy a chocolate powder that's more decadent than Swiss Miss. Ladles and Linens is carrying a Mexican hot chcolate with a hint of vanilla that comes with its own whisk. Lastly, try cooking the hot cocoa on the stove, where instead of zapping it, you can stir (and sample!) your custom creation over natural heat. 

The possibilities are endless. Here are some fun combinations:

marshmallows in the microwave

The Hot Mess

After you make hot cocoa on the stove, pour into a mug and place a giant marshmallow on top. Microwave until it expands to a ridicuous size, then place it on the counter. While the marshmallow is still hot and inflated, sprinkle on some Lucky Charms-style marshmallows.

Cocoa Loco

Mexican hot chocolate calls for hints of vanilla and cinnamon. Ladles has a delicious option, but you can go homemade by mixing in a drop of vanilla extract. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle cinnamon on top. 

hot cocoa toppings


Add some mint leaves into a tea ball infuser, and dip into your hot cocoa as it simmers on the stove. Or just use mint tea. Remove after about a minute, then stir the mix with a candy cane, which you can hook into the mug before serving. It makes a great presentation. But before you do, smash the end of the candy cane to get crunchy little bits. Fill the top of the mug with whipped cream, then sprinkle the candy cane bits on top.

These flavor combinations are just the tip of the iceberg, and will likely be the gateway drug to other delicious experiments. Happy holidays!




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