Creative Cocoa

Variations on a seasonal favorite to liven up the winter months

WARM+AND+COZY.+Regardless+of+the+temperature+outside%2C+our+love+for+a+cup+of+hot+chocolate+during+the+winter+months+refuses+to+falter%2C+especially+with+the+many+variations+available.+Above%2C+the+green+mug+holds+the+Peanut+Butter+Cup+Hot+Chocolate%2C+the+red+mug+has+the+Chocolate+Hazelnut+Hot+Chocolate%2C+and+the+white+mug+houses+the+Hot+Chocolate+Ice+Cream+Float.+%E2%80%9CHot+chocolate+is+one+of+my+favorite+drinks+during+the+winter+months.+It+keeps+you+warm%2C+tastes+good%2C+and+you+can+just+cozy+up+around+the+fire+and+relax+with+your+friends+and+family+with+it%2C%E2%80%9D+said+Amanda+Renner%2C+10%2C+avid+hot+chocolate+enthusiast.%0A

WARM AND COZY. Regardless of the temperature outside, our love for a cup of hot chocolate during the winter months refuses to falter, especially with the many variations available. Above, the green mug holds the Peanut Butter Cup Hot Chocolate, the red mug has the Chocolate Hazelnut Hot Chocolate, and the white mug houses the Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Float. “Hot chocolate is one of my favorite drinks during the winter months. It keeps you warm, tastes good, and you can just cozy up around the fire and relax with your friends and family with it,” said Amanda Renner, 10, avid hot chocolate enthusiast.

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Winter—cold, snow, the longest quarter of the school year, and oftentimes in Cincinnati, gray skies. Despite the occasional snow day, the winter season tends to drag, placing everyone in a slump. However, nothing breaks the winter monotony like drinking a creamy, warm cup of hot chocolate in order to refresh and re energize. While a cup of Swiss Miss might suit your fancy, branching out to a more adventurous mug of cocoa might provide even a bit more of a pick-me-up. Check out the three recipe ideas below whenever your next hot chocolate craving hits.

 

Peanut Butter Cup Hot Chocolate

 

Just like drinking a warmed peanut butter cup, the iconic combination of chocolate and peanut butter blends together in this recipe for an easy, delectable treat.

Start to finish: 7 minutes (2 minutes active)

Servings: 1 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz hot chocolate of choice
    • Mix used in photo: Williams Sonoma Double Dark Hot Chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter

Toppings:

  • Reese’s peanut butter whipped cream
  • Chocolate sauce
  • 2 peanut butter cups or other peanut butter filled chocolate candy
  1. Make hot chocolate according to package instructions. Pour into a mug.
  2. Add peanut butter to the hot chocolate and mix until combined.
  3. Top with Reese’s peanut butter cup whipped cream, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
  4. Using a knife or your hands, break up the peanut butter cups into small pieces and sprinkle on top of whipped cream.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

 

The addition of the Nutella adds the perfect bite of nuttiness to this cocoa, making it the perfect drink to wake up with on a cold winter morning.

 Start to finish: 7 minutes (2 minutes active)

Servings: 1 

Ingredients:

  • 8oz hot chocolate of choice
    • Mix used in photo: Ghirardelli Double Chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella

Toppings:

  • Whipped cream
  • 1 tablespoon Nutella
  • 1 Chocolate Hazelnut Pirouette Wafer

 

  1. Make hot chocolate according to package instructions. Pour into a mug.
  2. Add Nutella to the hot chocolate and mix until combined.
  3. Top with whipped cream. Then, drizzle Nutella across whipped cream by placing it in a plastic bag and cutting off the tip, or with a spoon.
  4. Place wafer into hot chocolate near the side of the mug.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Float

 

Adapted from Crazy for Crust, this recipe comes in handy for the warmer days of winter, while also giving some creative flare to your favorite hot chocolate.

 Start to finish: 7 minutes (2 minutes active)

Servings: 1 

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces hot chocolate of choice
    • Mix used in photo: Whittard of Chelsea Luxury Hot Chocolate
  • 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream, or ice cream of choice

Toppings:

  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate sauce

Instructions:

  1. Prepare hot chocolate and pour into a large mug.
  2. Scoop the ice cream into the mug.
  3. Top with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!