What’s better than a chilly winter night, with the excitement of the holidays in the air, than snuggling up with a cup of cocoa by the fire? Know what would make it even more special? Special recipe hot cocoa. That’s the kind of thing that would get your family (or that special someone) excited every time you light the fire. Try one of these:
The basic go-to. Use this recipe and add as you please.
· Combine 1/3 c. unsweetened baking powder and 1/3 c. sugar to a medium saucepan.
· Stir in 1/3 c. boiling water and a dash of salt.
· Bring from a slow boil to simmer for 2 minutes.
· Add 3 ½ c. of milk and heat (but do not boil)
· Remove from heat and add ¾ tsp vanilla extract.
· Divide between 4 mugs, and fill the rest of the mug space with half and half.
· *Note: this recipe can be altered in many different ways. The easiest would be adding your favorite candy piece to the bottom of your mug to add flavor.
When you want a little kick to your cocoa.
· Slowly whisk ¼ c. masa harina into 2 c. of warm water until combined.
· Add 2 c. whole milk, 3.25 oz. chopped Mexican chocolate, ½ c. packed brown sugar, a pinch of ground anise seeds.
· In a medium saucepan, heat the mixture until just boiling then simmer for about 10 minutes, whisking as needed. Make sure all chocolate is melted.
· Serve immediately.
For when you get an unexpected heat wave, which isn’t unheard of with a Georgia winter.
· Place your cups or glasses in the freezer until ready to serve.
· Combine 3 ½ c. ice, 2 c. milk, 4 packs of hot cocoa mix, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, and 2 T chocolate syrup in a blender and blend until well mixed and ice is crushed.
· Add the mixture to the cups or glasses from the freezer.
· Top with whipped cream and don’t forget a straw!
What says Christmas more than peppermint?
· Combine 2 ½ c. whole milk, 2 T unsweetened baking powder, and ¼ c. sugar to blender and blend (low to high) for 3 minutes or until smooth.
· Add 6 oz semisweet chocolate and 3 crushed candy canes and blend again for 3 minutes or until smooth.
· Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and leftover candy cane pieces.
1. Dress It Up
Cocoa can be fancied up in many different ways, and everyone wants to do it their own way. How about setting up a bar with marshmallows, whipped cream, cookie or candy pieces, and cherries?
2. Make a Tradition
Something as fun as Cocoa Night needs to be repeated. Holidays are a great time to set it in stone. Make sure everyone has their own dedicated mug. It’s a must, and can’t be forgotten.
Now that you know how to celebrate the holiday season with the perfect hot chocolate, take a look around. Do you have the right back yard for a fire pit on those chilly December nights? If not, do you have a dream fireplace in your cozy living room? If you don’t, it might be time to finally purchase that special plot of Georgia land for sale from Hurdle to create your own little farmstead.