Hot Chocolate: Upgrades For Kids And Adults Alike

Anne Kennedy

With freezing winter storms like Linus bearing down, it's no surprise that people in colder climes are stocking up on hot chocolate and comfort food. While hot cocoa is delicious as-is, there are loads of fun, easy ways to make it even better.

Epicurious recommends several hot chocolate upgrades, beginning with additives ranging from mild cinnamon to hot red or ancho chili powder. The food gurus also recommend big, luxurious toppings such as homemade whipped cream and sticky caramel, and adding a scoop of your favorite ice cream and calling your hot chocolate dessert is another idea Epicurious says is worth a try.

If you happen to have some Nutella on hand, Uloop recommends a simple recipe that calls for the blending of hot milk and chocolate-flavored Nutella to taste. Top your favorite mugs with mini marshmallows or whipped cream and you've got a luxuriously creamy hot chocolate worth working off at the gym later.

— LASULA.CO.UK (@LasulaBoutique) January 23, 2015

For s'mores hot chocolate, just toast some marshmallows over a heating element or under the oven's broiler, then pop them onto whatever cocoa you happen to have on hand. While you can rim your mug in crushed graham crackers before filling it, you can also enjoy the classic campfire favorite by snacking on graham crackers while drinking your marshmallow-topped hot chocolate.

In the event some of these ideas seem too vanilla, consider taking a lead from the cocoa experts who attended the Vancouver Hot Chocolate festival. There's the "Flu Shot," a marvelous, sticky sweet concoction made with white chocolate ganache and Bailey's Irish Cream, delivered to your mouth via a hilariously huge syringe, and then there's the "Don't Bug Me," an adventurous recipe that's made with a cup of plain hot chocolate topped with a towering spiral of whipped cream and a few chocolate coated free-range crickets.

— Vancity Buzz (@VancityBuzz) January 27, 2015

If you'd like something that falls somewhere between the mild and wild end of the hot chocolate spectrum, consider adding your favorite liqueur to your cup along with the rest of the ingredients that your standard cocoa recipe calls for. The Inquisitr has compiled several fantastic hot chocolate recipes just for grown-ups that are certain to take the edge off an unexpected snow day. Among them are the Peppermint Patty and the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.

Hot chocolate is a form of liquid happiness that's best in winter, so drink up and enjoy that warm, cozy feeling.

— Tina Hunter (@rhetoran) December 27, 2013