It’s that time of year when all I want to do is put on my warmest pajamas, snuggle up on the couch with the fuzziest blanket I can find, and preferably never move. While I love the snow, I’m not the biggest fan of consistently cold weather – but there are a few things that make it bearable. One of those things being hot chocolate (see also wine, my cat Randy, and wool socks).
On a cold night there is nothing that will warm your bones better than a steaming cup of hot chocolate. The Test Kitchen figured it would stay warm all night long if we made it in the slow cooker. It’s a great way to make a bulk batch to serve at your holiday party or for a cozy night in with the family.
In a small bowl, combine cocoa, sugar, and salt. Then whisk in one cup of milk until the mixture is blended. In the slow cooker crock, combine the remaining milk, half and half, and vanilla extract. Then add the chocolate mixture from the small bowl and whisk until blended in the crock. Cover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2 ½ to 3 hours or on low for 5 to 5 ½ hours.
Staying in with the family for movie night? Pull out your festive holiday mugs and top them high with whipped cream for a drinkable dessert. Hosting a party? Put together a hot chocolate bar and let people pick their mix-ins and toppings. Marshmallows, chocolate chips, crushed candy canes, you name it. And it wouldn’t be a party without a boozy option, right? Put the bar in hot chocolate bar and have Kahlua, amaretto, and peppermint schnapps available for your guests to mix in too.
No matter what toppings and mix-ins you chose, this slow cooker hot chocolate is sure to warm you from your warmest socks to your whipped cream-covered nose.
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 quarts whole milk, divided
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Mix-ins: marshmallows, chocolate chips, caramel syrup, peppermink sticks, toffee chips
- In a small bowl, combine cocoa, sugar and salt. Whisk in about 1 cup milk until the mixture is blended.
- In a slow cooker crock, combine remaining milk, half and half and vanilla extract. Add chocolate mixture and whisk until blended.
- Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or LOW for 5 to 5 1/2 hours or until desired temperature.
- To serve, pour hot chocolate into mugs and stir in your choice of mix-ins.
- For an adult version, add kahlua, amaretto, irish creme liquor or peppermint schnapps.