Hacking Hot Chocolate

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Image by Flickr User chatiryworld (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Image by Flickr User chatiryworld (CC BY-ND 2.0)

It’s winter! For most places in the United States, that means cold weather, rosy cheeks, and numb fingers. Hot drinks, such as tea, coffee, and hot chocolate, are consumed on a daily basis, at least in my house. Sometimes a good ol’ mug of Lipton will suffice, but sometimes we want more. We want dessert in a cup.

We can’t all afford to pay multiple dollars for a fancy hot chocolate at Starbucks or other elaborate drink establishment. But you needn’t spend much money or time to enjoy a rich, creamy, chocolatey treat. You can make a few minor changes to basic hot chocolate packets and end up with a high-calorie, high-enjoyment, sweet treat. And you don’t even need a milk frother. Here are some ideas for home or work. Just add boiling water.

Richer and Creamier

Add 1-2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and a splash of cream (or non-dairy creamer, if that’s all you have around). Let sit for a while, stirring occasionally.

Chocolate Salted Caramel

Add 1-2 tablespoons of chocolate chips, several (3-4) unwrapped caramels torn into pieces, and a dash of salt. Leave out the salt for a regular Chocolate Caramel flavor. Let sit for a while, stirring occasionally.

Mint Chocolate

Add 1-2 tablespoons of mint chocolate chips, or use regular chocolate chips and a couple drops of mint extract. Let sit for a while, stirring occasionally.

Fruity Flavors

If you have fruit extracts, such as orange or raspberry, they are also good complex additions as well. Add 1-2 tablespoons of chocolate chips, also, for richness. Let sit for a while, stirring occasionally.

Chocolate Coconut

Add 1-2 tablespoons of chocolate chips along with a healthy dose of coconut milk. Let sit for a while, stirring occasionally.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Add a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper, along with, perhaps, chocolate chips and cream. Let sit for a while, stirring occasionally.

Malted Milk Hot Chocolate

Stir in malted milk powder to taste.

Chai Hot Chocolate

Brew a mug of chai tea and add your hot chocolate packet. Stir well.

If you’re like me and you always have a Costco-sized bag of chocolate chips in the house, it only takes a few additional seconds to spruce up a quick mug of hot chocolate. Simply boil water, put in the packet, and add your extras. Using milk as a base instead of water will also make your drink much creamier, but heating milk is kind of a pain. This list is meant to provide fancy drink ideas without increasing the difficulty.

What are your favorite ingredients to add to hot chocolate or other hot drink? Let us know in the comments below.

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