I LOVE hot chocolate. It’s probably one of the most nostalgic food memories I have because growing up we almost always had a box of swiss miss in the cabinet. This version is a bit different but still has the classic flavors combined with BOTH marshmallows and whipped cream, because why the heck not?
First things first. Here is my hot chocolate PSA: If you’re making your hot chocolate with water instead of milk, please just stop. You’re doing it all wrong. I’ll admit that back in the day I made it with water and a good ol’ packet of the good stuff but slowly my hot chocolate tastes grew and changed. It all started when I would add a splash of my mom’s french vanilla international delight creamer to my swiss miss concoction and then before you knew it I was making it with milk instead of water which later snowballed into the concoction in the photo above.
Later as a freshman in highschool, I got my first real job working at a coffee shop where the most important hot chocolate recipe secret was revealed to me, VANILLA. Where there is chocolate, there must be vanilla, it’s like the salt & pepper of the sweet side of the universe, where there is one, there must be the other for balance and to round out the flavors.
The coffee shop was called Brownstones and their recipe for hot chocolate was a 3:1 ration of mocha chocolate syrup and vanilla syrup (Starbucks has the same recipe/ratio for their hot cocoa as well.) To get the vanilla & chocolate ratio right here, I use one packet of Land O’ Lakes French Vanilla Hot Cocoa mix, 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips and a mixture of vanilla almond milk and whole milk for a creamy texture! Mixing equal parts of vanilla almond milk with whole milk also cuts down on the calories of this hot cocoa. Which isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever had since we are topping it with both marshmallows & whipped cream.
This is the greatest whipped cream of all time and a go-to of mine, but if you wanna be SUPER fancy, you could make your own. That being said, who’s got time to be making homemade whipped cream the week before christmas, NOT ME. If you do, you’re a queen and can you please inbox me a list of your secrets. Thanks in advanced.
P.S.If you wanted to put a splash of rumchata or bailey’s in this, I wouldn’t blame you. (I would actual celebrate you and ask you for a splash in mine too. Don’t you dare hold out on me!)
My Favorite Cinnamon Vanilla Hot Chocolate
- 1.5 cups whole milk
- 1.5 cups vanilla almond milk (I use Califa Farms)
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 packet of Land O'Lakes french vanilla hot cocoa mix
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- marshmallows for topping
- whipped cream for topping
- more chopped chocolate or chocolate shavings for topping
- Combine all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Cook on low heat until the chocolate is melted and the milk mixture is simmering.
- Pour into mugs, top with marshmallows, whipped cream, more marshmallows $ chocolate shavings.