The official first day of winter may be not be until next week, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t already felt plenty frosty outside. If the season’s chill has you cozying up under a blanket (or two) already, it’s probably high time to brew your first batch of hot cocoa. As you’re snuggling on the couch, reach for one of these six flavorful renditions of comforting cocoa to warm up from the inside out.
Not just for too-cute cookies, the seasonal flavor of gingerbread, featuring plenty of fragrant ground ginger, ground cinnamon and grated nutmeg, shines when paired with chocolate. This Gingerbread Hot Chocolate recipe gets two boosts of chocolate: one from cocoa powder and another from chopped milk chocolate.
Flavors: Vanilla and White Chocolate
Creamy, rich and — bonus — quick to prepare, Ina Garten’s white chocolate-based Holiday Hot Chocolate gets transformed with a double dose of vanilla: both a splash of extract and some oh-so-flavorful vanilla bean seeds. Ina also includes a few glugs of orange-flavored liqueur to round out the smooth sipper.
Most of the minty flavor in Geoffrey Zakarian’s whipped cream-topped Peppermint Hot Cocoa comes from the addition of peppermint Schnapps. But GZ also finishes the drink with crushed peppermint candies for welcome crunch and seasonal flair.
Raspberries and chocolate are a famed flavor combo in things like cake and bread pudding, so it’s no surprise that the pairing is successful in this Raspberry Hot Chocolate. Here, raspberry liqueur lends a subtle fruity flavor, while the use of both milk and cream promises especially indulgent results.
This Spiked Hot Chocolate balances the bitterness of dark chocolate with the sweetness of both brown sugar and honey, while a splash of dark rum marries the flavors.
All it takes is a pinch of cayenne pepper to lend a barely-there layer of heat to Sandra Lee’s cinnamon-laced Mexican Hot Chocolate. This recipe is big enough to satisfy a crowd and can be made right in a slow cooker, so preparing this for a party will be stress-free.