Wicked Wednesday: Favorite Cocoa Recipe

By Julie, winding up the semester in Somerville.

cocoa-1A few years ago (three or four) my friend Amy and I went up to the Peabody Essex Museum. Afterwards we wandered around and went into a small shop, where we ordered Mexican hot chocolate. It was made to order, and I didn’t pay enough attention to what they added to the pot. It was sublime. I went back a few months later, and the shop is gone. I can’t recreate it, though I’ve been trying. So, Wickeds, what is your favorite cocoa recipe? Or hciderrumot drink?

Edith: I go simple with hot chocolate when Miss B or Mr. J comes over. Heat milk in the microwave, add a spoonful of Hershey’s chocolate syrup and tiny marshmallows to match their age plus one. They’ve never complained, mostly because they get neither hot chocolate nor marshmallows at home. But for an adult hot beverage, I like to mull local cider slowly with a cinnamon stick and a few whole cloves, and then add a couple of glugs of locally distilled rum. Mmmm!

Sherry: Years ago I lived in Grand Junction, Colorado. One of my favorite places to go (anytime of year) was Aspen, Colorado. It was only a two hour drive. I don’t ski so while my friends were, I’d wander around the shops or admire the Victorian houses in the various neighborhoods. When I tired of that I’d find a restaurant or bar with a view of the slopes and people watch. That’s where I discovered the delights of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps and a dollop of whipped cream. Yum. So just take your favorite cocoa and add the schnapps and whipped cream and dream about your favorite winter spot.

Edith: I like the sound of that, Sherry! Must acquire some peppermint schnapps ASAP…

Barb: I was in high school when a friend introduced me to frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3 in New York City. It tasted amazing, frozen yet not supersweet–with a real kick like cocoa and lots of whipped cream on top. We thought we were so sophisticated roaming the city on our own. Very World of Henry Orient. Sadly, most of my hot chocolate today comes from a decidedly less glamorous souce–Dunkin Donuts in my Keurig.

Liz: I don’t remember where I first tried it, but butterscotch hot chocolate is absolutely amazing! I drink nut milk instead of regular milk, and it’s delicious with almond milk. I bet it would be even better with cashew milk – I’ll have to try and report back.

Jessie: I feel like such a downer! I absolutely do not like anything milky with chocolate. Not hot cocoa, not chocolate milk, never, ever, chocolate ice cream. As a child I didn’t even eat the chocolate bunnies in my Easter baskets. In fact, I actively disliked chocolate until I was pregnant with my second child. I love eggnog though! And tea and coffee!

Julie: Jessie, one of my holiday favorites are eggnog lattes. YUM. Aside from the elusive Mexican hot chocolate (readers, any ideas?) I like Hershey’s powder, sugar, milk. A dash of vanilla. If I am going the marshmallow route, I go with Fluff.

Readers, any recipes to share? What is your favorite oh-so-cozy hot drink?

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About J.A. Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes

J.A. (Julie) Hennrikus writes the Clock Shop Mystery Series under the name Julianne Holmes. JUST KILLING TIME, the first in the series, was published in Oct 2015 and was nominated for a BEST FIRST NOVEL Agatha award. CLOCK AND DAGGER was released in August 2016. CHIME AND PUNISHMENT will be released in August 2017. Julie's Theater Cop series will debut in the fall of 2017. A CHRISTMAS PERIL is the first in this series about an ex-cop who runs a theater company. wears two hats. Her short stories have been published by Level Best Books: “Tag, You’re Dead” in THIN ICE, “Her Wish” in DEAD CALM, and “The Pendulum Swings, Until It Doesn’t” in BLOOD MOON. Julie is an arts administrator and arts advocate. She tweets her writing life as @JHAuthors, and her other life as @JulieHennrikus. She is an avid theater goer and a member of Red Sox nation. Her website is jahennrikus.com, and she blogs with WickedCozyAuthors.com and KillerCharacters.com.

32 thoughts on “Wicked Wednesday: Favorite Cocoa Recipe

  1. Like Edith, my favourite holiday drink is mulled hot cider. Julie, I have also enjoyed drinking Mexican hot chocolate in a few places. The vanilla is good, but also add some cinnamon, nutmeg and a PINCH of cayenne.

  2. I like at all flavor lattes and mochas they come out with during the season. I buy holiday assortment of flavored coffees from the store too.

  3. I love Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea. It’s so popular it comes in regular, decaf and an herbal version. It is AMAZING. I add a little sugar and a splash of half & half and it’s divine.

    I love chocolate anything, even used to work for The Hershey Company. Sadly, acid reflux has derailed that obsession so I eat or drink it sparingly now.

  4. Hot chocolate with either peppermint or butterscotch schnapps – mmm, mmm!

    Mexican hot chocolate – yes, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne. But just a pinch. It should have a little kick, but not be overwhelming. You’ll probably have to play with it.

    If I’m out and about? Chai tea latte. Hands down indulgent treat.

  5. Wow, this was really cool! Hot chocolate is my favorite drink, but due to medical issues, I can’t have much sugar (including in milk)…and most marshmallows are not vegetarian. My solution? I use 2 tablespoons of half and half (or, like Liz, I use a nondairy milk–unsweetened), Stevia, and cocoa powder. I have some unsweetened butterscotch flavoring, so maybe I’ll try Liz’s idea! And Julie’s fluff is a neat, vegetarian marshmallow alternative for my kids. Thanks, all of you!

  6. You guys are about to send me to the kitchen, although not many good hot drink choices there. We are have a few chilly to cold days here on the gulf coast so I need to pick up spiced chai tea or ingredients for a good hot chocolate. Nestle powder will have to work for now. Sigh. Julie, try powder sugar for part of the sugar in your hot chocolate.

  7. If I make hot chocolate, it’s thanks to Swiss Miss. But I can’t remember the last time I made any for myself.

    My sister-in-law makes a peppermint hot chocolate that is fabulous! And my mom’s recipe for spiced cider is wonderful as well.

  8. It all sounds good to me. I make a salted caramel hot chocolate which took over as my favorite from mint hot chocolate.
    I used 1/2 half n half and 1/2 milk along with melted chocolate and vanilla. I drizzle caramel into the cup and sprinkle some sea salt on top of that then fill with the cocoa. It is really good!

  9. Mexican style hot choc has cinnamon in it. And a really strong chocolate presence. Cacao powder. We are hot choc addicts here. A cup every morning. Even summer. Awhile back a gal posted home made cocoa mix. Most of your store bought mixes have chocolate flavoring. And very little actual chocolate. I had experimented quite a bit. When I saw this ladies mix. I had to try. It is great. I did tweak it a bit to give it a stronger chocolate presence and bought only natural ingredients. Bit more expensive but well worth it Since there isn’t much difference between white table sugar and other natural sugars including coconut, honey, maple syrup, molasses and sorghum. Take your pick. But I buy organic cane sugar and mix it with coconut sugar. Read your labels. Some are quite tricky with their ingredients. Sadly the FDA regulations allow for listing as natural if it is even made from coal tar. Whether healthy or not. Her choc recipe (my tweaks in parenthesis.) 5 cups sugar (organic sugar with 2 cups coconut sugar mixed in); 2-1/2 cups cocoa powder (organic cacao); 1 Tablespoon sea salt; 3 Tablespoons cornstarch (2 Tablespoons Arrowroot powder, it’s natural) 12 oz milk chocolate chips (organic), 12 oz dark chocolate chips (60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips) Mix thoroughly the 4 powders in a large bowl. Put half into bowl of food processor, add one bag of chips and pulse until a fine powder. (Be sure to put the chips on TOP of the powder or you will have the dickens of a time getting it to the top for processing) Once the mix is a fine powder put into another bowl. Add powder from the large bowl to the processor, add the remaining bag of chips pulse til a fine powder. Store in air tight containers. Makes nearly 90 servings of hot cocoa. I use 2 Tablespoons of the mix to a cup of hot milk. My daughter prefers it stronger, she uses 3 Tablespoons. It makes a nice gift. Place some in a decorative container with a note, tag, or custom label, to use 2 or 3 Tablespoons per cup of milk, according to taste. (You don’t have to use the arrowroot or cornstarch if you don’t want to. But it helps prevent clumping. And thickens just a little. If you prefer your drink thicker, creamier, add an extra tablespoon of either one). I add an extra 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon to the powder mix before I add the hot milk for a more Mexican flavor. My daughter likes to add 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla, my son 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint flavoring.

  10. I’m a Dunkin’ Donuts french vanilla with just cream, no sugar girl, for the most part. But I do love flavored teas and hot spiced cider. I rarely drink hot chocolate, mostly because I don’t care too much for the kinds that come in a packet (they’re generally too sweet and artificial-tasting for me). Now I want some 🙂 My grandma used to make homemade hot chocolate, and although she never gave me a formal recipe, I watched her do it. So don’t look for exact measurements from me! For two generous mugs (most of my coffee mugs are oversize), pour 3 cups of milk (skim, 1% or 2% works fine, but of course for a really rich cocoa use whole milk like my grandma did–hers came from her own cows) into a saucepan. Heat to a simmer, and whisk in 3 T. of good quality cocoa powder and sugar to taste (start with a couple of tablespoons.). Keep whisking gently while the milk simmers (don’t bring to a boil), until the milk thickens and the cocoa is dissolved. Remove from heat and add a couple of teaspoons of real vanilla extract, stirring gently. Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows or whipped cream and a drizzle of Hershey’s syrup. For a variation, I’ll second the peppermint schnapps idea. Amaretto is also delicious.

  11. My go-to hot drink is hot chocolate. My husband and I typically start our weekend mornings with it. We don’t have whipped cream with it too often, so it’s a nice treat when we do.

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