Making Hot Chocolate Special

February 8th, 2007 by Jeff in Snacks and Sweets

The week comes to an end at the house.  For the last 5 days, the kids have gotten up at 7:30 a.m. and off to school by 8:15.  Returning home around 4 p.m., there is yet another two hours of homework to do (assigned by the school, and then by me).  Next it is off to their room to get it cleaned up.  Beds made, clothes put away, etc..  Dinner comes next followed immediately by a shower then an hour of T.V. or other such entertainment.  Finally it is bed time only to start it over again in a few hours.

Even for the young this can be a busy week when all is said and done.  Fortunately we give some relief by giving kids the weekends off.  This time of year, that means unless it is seriously below zero, we wrap them in coats and sweaters and push them out the door.  “Go play” has another meaning around here, it means, please get out of the house and do something.

You can’t help but feel for the little guys when you see them out there with their cheeks getting red after a couple hours.  This is the time when one of the simplest past times can really heal the drudgery of the week.  Hot chocolate.

I remember when I was a kid there was nothing like coming in from the bitter cold after playing all day and having a hot mug of it waiting for you.

Of course, in our busy days, making hot chocolate by hand most of the time really isn’t practicle but there are a few things you can do to spice up that mug of love and make it a bit more special.

Regardless of what brand of instant coco you get try adding some of the following:

Have a bag of those mini marshmallows handy at all times in the winter.  Those dehydrated fuzzy mushrooms that come in the packets are just a tease.   Pack the top of the mug with the real deal right before your going to serve it.

Another topping that will completely change it from a normal mug of rehydrated coco to something to remember is dark chocolate.  Keep a bar of it in your refridgerator and when your ready to use break off a small piece of the bar and using a peeler (for carrots, potatoes, etc.) peel little slices on top of the marshmallows.  Not only does it make the mug look awesome and delicous, it makes the chocolate that much more present in the drink.

A little cinnamon sprinkled over the marshmallows or just in the drink itself is always a hit.  Cinnamon is actually very spicey and gives the drink a little kick.  I have even heard of people using sweet paprika, but for me, it is too peppery.

Instead of marshmallows, add some whip cream with sprinkles or the shaved chocolate.

There are really a million different things you can do, but in the end, that little extra effort will provide a lifetime of memories for your childrens pallete.

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