Monthly Archives: November 2011

Hot Chocolate Change-Up

By Stefanie Dulak

I don’t know about you, but my roommates and I are the type of college students who refuse to turn on the heat until the first snowfall to save money. Because really MG&E? Do we need to pay $ArmAndLeg every month to have our house just warm enough that we can barely feel our toes?

If you’re anything like us, you need to get creative with ways to stay warm. Although pulling a Joey Tribbiani and wearing everything in my closet for insulation sounds tempting, I prefer an easier and tastier method that involves drinking tons of hot chocolate. But lately, the standard equation of boiling water + 3 or 4 (… or 5) scoops of cocoa mix just hasn’t been doing it for me. I need something new, something fun with my hot chocolate, and these variations are exactly what I’ve been looking for:

#1 Fluffy Hot Chocolate


  • 8 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a saucepan, combine the first four ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until the marshmallows are melted, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Ladle into mugs.

#2 Candy Cane Cocoa


  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 peppermint candy canes, crushed
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 4 small peppermint candy canes for garnish


  1. In a saucepan, heat milk until hot, but not boiling. Whisk in the chocolate and the crushed peppermint candies until melted and smooth. Pour hot cocoa into four mugs, and garnish with whipped cream. Serve each with a candy cane stirring stick.
  2. TIP: replace the crushed candy canes with 6-8 ounces of peppermint schnapps for another tasty version of minty chocolate cocoa.

#3 Mexican Hot Chocolate


  • 3 tablespoons instant hot chocolate mix
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup boiling water


  1. In a large mug, mix the hot chocolate mix, chocolate syrup, cinnamon, and chili powder. Pour in the milk. Add the boiling water and stir.

#4 Mocha Hot Chocolate (great for late night studying!)


  • 1 1/4 cups instant coffee granules
  • 7 cups dry milk powder
  • 5 3/4 cups powdered chocolate drink mix
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered non-dairy creamer


  1. In a large bowl, mix together instant coffee, milk powder, chocolate drink mix, confectioners’ sugar and powdered creamer. Store in an airtight container.
  2. To serve, place 4 tablespoons of mixture into a coffee mug. Stir in 1 cup boiling water.
  3. NOTE: this makes a huge batch for storing. Cut the recipe down for a smaller batch.

Recipes from

Whether you’re like me and you rely on hot chocolate as a major heat source, or you’re just craving a sweet and steamy cup of cocoa, your taste buds will thank you for trying out these fun twists on an old classic.

Have any recipes that keep you warm and cozy? Send them to Follow @thedishmadison on Twitter.