What’s better than a cup of steaming spiced hot cocoa? One that’s ready and waiting for you after a long afternoon of sledding or skiing. We slow-cooked a batch of subtly sweet cocoa sweetened with both powdered sugar (because it melts evenly) and molasses (for a rich base note). Traditional gingerbread spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves make it smell like you’ve been baking all day when you’ve actually been out playing in the snow. If you have cheesecloth, bundle the spices inside of a square and secure it with kitchen twine. That way you won’t have to strain. Here’s an idea: use any leftover hot cocoa as a milk substitute in your morning coffee.
Mini marshmallows, whipped cream and/or ground cinnamon for serving
How to Make It
Place cinnamon sticks, ginger, and cloves in a 3- to 4-quart slow cooker.
Whisk together cocoa and ½ cup of the milk in a small bowl until smooth. In the slow cooker, whisk together cocoa mixture, half-and-half, powdered sugar, molasses, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, and remaining 3&frac 1/2 cups milk. Cover and cook on LOW 2½ to 3 hours; strain. Serve hot chocolate with marshmallows, whipped cream, and cinnamon.
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