The Perfect Hot Chocolate

It’s tradition for Todd and I to take this hot chocolate with us when we go to Candy Cane Lane just before Christmas every year. For those not in Milwaukee, Candy Cane Lane is a neighborhood that all decorates their houses and people drive through to look at the lights. This hot chocolate has gone through many phases – it started as doctored Swiss Miss (don’t judge me). The only way that this could get better is by increasing the fat content in the milk – think whole milk, or substitute half of the milk called for with half-and-half, or even cream. If you’re making this for kids, just omit the liquor – no other change is necessary.

Makes two large travel mugs.

The Perfect Hot Chocolate
3 1/2 cups 1% milk 20140105-142353.jpg
1/4 c high fat dutch process cocoa powder (I get mine from Penzey’s)
1/4 c sugar
2 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate (I use 60% Ghirardelli – it’s half a bar)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 c Frangelico (hazelnut liquor) (optional)

In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the milk and heat until it begins to steam. Reduce the heat to low so it doesn’t boil. Whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Once combined, whisk in the chocolate until completely melted. Turn off the heat, stir in the Frangelico, and serve.

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