The smell of hot cocoa reminds me of coming in from the cold. My mom used to make the most wonderful hot cocoa when I was a kid. I'd spend hours playing outside and come in to find a hot mug waiting for me on the kitchen table. It was never super sweet and while I have always had a sweet tooth, I never cared for sickly sweet beverages.
My kids are no different than other kids; they love hot cocoa too. My youngest is dairy free so I bought some coconut milk (unsweetened) so that she can partake in this wintery treat. This morning she tried hot cocoa for the first time and (shocker) loved it! When I told my son that I made the hot cocoa with coconut milk, his first reaction was "eeeeeeew!" But when the moment came for him to drink it, my guy devoured it. I mean, nothing was left over. There was not even a smear of cocoa on the edge of his mouth. Here's the secret: I melted part of a candy cane in the mug.
This is what we did (and I made this with my kids):
First, we poured 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk into a saucepan. We put it on the stove on medium high heat.
Next, we combined 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a container (I used one with a pouring spout to make my life easier).
Next we added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and about a tablespoon of hot water and stirred until there were very few lumps and it looked like melted chocolate deliciousness.
The coconut milk began bubbling and I took it off the heat. I then poured the chocolate mixture into the hot coconut milk and stirred. There will be white clumps - that's okay.
I stirred with a whisk and there were still some white clumps of coconut milk skin. When I poured it into mugs, I added a candy cane (somehow we have billions of these in our house) for minty flavor.
The kids didn't even make it out of the kitchen with these. It's rich and thick and cocoa-y. Yum yum.
Here's what you'll need (this made enough for my three kids):
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 candy cane
Wishing you all a festive holiday season and a happy, healthy new year!