Whether you’re trapped in a polar vortex or just really sick of the cold, one of the best ways to make it through the winter with your sanity intact is by embracing the small pleasures this season has to offer. And what could be more pleasurable than snuggling under a blanket with a steaming hot mug of cocoa on a cold winter’s evening, or keeping your mitts warm with a cup of the good stuff during your morning commute?
If you’re in need of a little pick-me-up in order to remember the joys of winter (or to just survive until spring), look no further than these six delectable hot chocolate recipes.
Blackberry Hot Chocolate
Thanks to antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and blackberries, you could make a case for the healthfulness of this winter treat. The blackberry coulis adds extra dimensions to the flavors of regular hot chocolate; you’ll notice a touch of tartness and a greater depth of flavor—almost like a red wine with chocolatey notes. Garnish with whipped cream, blackberry coulis, and fresh blackberries for an Instagram-worthy presentation.
Decadent Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
Slow and low is the way to go if you want to enjoy this unique chocolate recipe. While it only takes 10 minutes or so to whip up most hot chocolate variations, this recipe will take just over six hours. Thankfully, you’ll only have to work for five minutes or so. The rest of that preparation takes place in a slow cooker, which results in an outrageously creamy, almost frothy texture and a deeply chocolatey flavor. When the timer’s done, serve warm with the toppings of your choice.
Lemongrass-Lavender White Hot Chocolate
If you want to “wow” some guests, then whip up this pretty (and pretty-tasting) Lemongrass-Lavender White Hot Chocolate. You’ll just need 15 minutes and a short list of ingredients, which include whole milk, chopped lemongrass, dried lavender, lime zest, white chocolate, and a makrut lime leaf (which should be available at most Asian grocery stores) for garnish. If you like your hot chocolate a little more full-bodied, then swap in half & half for half of the milk.
Mexican Hot Chocolate with Coconut Whipped Cream
This outrageously rich hot chocolate boasts nutty undertones and a rich earthiness thanks to the addition of Medjool dates, almond butter, raw cacao powder, and a variety of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. The coconut whipped cream complements these flavors with the use of coconut cream, real maple syrup, and vanilla. Feel free to adjust spice levels to suit your own tastes!
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate
Why confine the deliciousness of red velvet to cakes and cupcakes? This recipe from The Spruce lets you enjoy all the delectable flavors of red velvet in beverage form—right down to the cream cheese whipped cream. The cream cheese adds a touch of tartness and a whole lot of richness. The hot chocolate gets further richness from the use of cream, white chocolate, and unsweetened cocoa powder.
Sugar Cookie Hot Chocolate
If you’ve ever dipped a sugar cookie into a mug of hot chocolate, then you know these two treats are a match made in heaven. Blend their flavors into liquid form, and you’ve made yourself a truly decadent treat. To do it, you’ll just need whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, semisweet or dark chocolate, vanilla and almond extracts, and toppings of your choice.