Rewind (a few) years to childhood, and think about the most ENTICING treat; hot chocolate. I remember sweet bribes starting with “If you clean up your toys” and ending with “you can have a hot chocolate”…It worked every.single.time. Now here we are, 20(something) years later and that same bribe still works. Seriously the other day we had a photoshoot and my team told me that I couldn’t drink the hot chocolate until we finished the shoot in the office. Let me tell you how fast that office was photographed.
Needless to say, hot chocolate season.. um I mean winter, is my favourite time of year. Unfortunately I can’t have coffee after 11am or else I’ll be up all night. I’ve replaced my two pm coffee with a two pm hot chocolate and it really feels like a decadent little treat and is always a nice way to break-up my afternoon. There’s something so comforting about coming inside after a day in the snow (which is hopefully coming soon) and having a hot chocolate by the fireside. It takes me back to the simpler days when I was a kid, playing outside in the snow, making snowmen and snow angels and running inside to watch Christmas movies and enjoy some hot chocolate that my mom made us all. Some of those young luxuries never die [cue Christmas music].
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a simple hot cocoa, but when it comes to hot chocolate I usually go all out. My go-to is either a peppermint twist or salted with caramel. I also love to include coconut milk as a dairy alternative. And I just found some coconut whipped cream at Thrifty’s, which I can tell you I was SO excited about!! It’s the little things, you know! Especially when you’re allergic to diary!
We’ve put together 3 of my favourite and unique hot chocolate drinks for you that we worked on with Starbucks that are so easy to make at home this winter!!!
Toffee [COCONUT MILK] Hot Cocoa
Steamed coconut milk with mocha sauce and toffee nut syrup, finished with whipped cream and caramel brulée topping. If you’re ordering at Starbucks, you can make it dairy-free when ordered without whipped cream. Tip: I ask for extra caramel brulée topping on the drink without the whipped cream.
Peppermint Hot Cocoa
A classic holiday hot cocoa made with mocha sauce, peppermint syrup and steamed milk topped with sweetened whipped cream and dark chocolate curls. If I’m ordering in store, I ask for an extra pump of peppermint, because of course I like it extra minty.
Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa
Last but definitely not least, I ALWAYS have the ingredients for this one at home. Steamed [coconut] milk and mocha sauce are combined with toffee nut and vanilla syrups then topped with [coconut] whipped cream, caramel sauce and a blend of turbinado sugar and sea salt. Tip: If you’re ordering this at starbucks, ask for extra turbinado sugar, it’s delicious!
Ironically enough, as I write this, I have a hot cocoa in hand and am cozied up by the fire. These are the little luxuries that make winter feel special. Whether it’s hot cocoa, christmas music, your favourite ornaments hanging on the tree or the taste of grandma’s sugar cookies, I hope you all feel extra special this holiday season.
Love to you and yours,