Annabelle Breakey
©Greg DuPree 2017

Treat yourself this winter season

Ellen Fort  – December 19, 2019 | Updated December 30, 2019

Temperatures are dropping throughout the West, which means it’s time to heat things up inside with a rich cup of hot chocolate. The classic recipe is always a great choice, combining ground chocolate or cocoa powder—we recommend always using the highest quality available. Try these tasty variations:

Totally Decadent Hot Chocolate

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Hot chocolate becomes even more of an indulgent treat when a big dollop of caramel is stirred into it. Orange peel and vanilla bean bring the flavor in this rich recipe.

Brandied Hot Chocolate

©Greg DuPree 2017

Adding French brandy to hot chocolate is like teleporting to the Alps, sans drooling Saint Bernard.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Photo by Annabelle Breakey
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Mexican chocolate is both spicy and sweet, the ideal combination for a cold winter’s night. Cinnamon, dried chilis, orange peel, and vanilla bean are the perfect complement to semi-bitter chocolate.

Boozy Frozen Hot Chocolate

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If you’re cozy inside by the fire, why not break out the rum for a frozen version of this holiday treat?

Champurrado (Thick Mexican Chocolate Drink) Recipe

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A traditional Mexican beverage that combines hot chocolate with masa (corn flour) for a nourishing, warming beverage.

And… Don’t Forget the Homemade Marshmallows

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Punch up any hot chocolate — homemade or made from a mix — with your own marshmallows. They’re fluffy and pillowy, a far cry from the rigid, stale kind in the grocery store.

Add in a drop of food dye for fun hues, or experiment with flavors by mixing in peppermint oil, vanilla, matcha powder, or cocoa powder.

If you’re looking for a great gift, seek out mixes from Western chocolate makers: Dandelion Chocolate’s Single Origin Hot Chocolate Mix, Guittard’s Grand Cacao Drinking Chocolate, or Recchiutti’s Dark Hot Chocolate.