Celebrating Hot Chocolate

Kendra Hall

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During this hectic holiday season, it feels like the perfect cup of hot chocolate can make everything better. Hot chocolate warms the soul. I love Nutella hot chocolate, with a cinnamon biscotti on the side. The robust taste of chocolate melts in your mouth. I have found many ways to enjoy hot chocolate over the years. If you have never had dark hot chocolate mixed with two shots of expresso and filled to the brim with butterscotch flavored mini-marshmallows, you are missing out. There are so many great holiday hot chocolate flavors like hazelnut, peppermint, and gingerbread. I even make hot chocolate covered spoons to stir my hot chocolate with. Hot chocolate spoons are delicious. To make hot chocolate spoons you do not need a lot of time or money. This is a no fuss and fast recipe. Using hot chocolate spoons add fun, flavor, and flare to your favorite steamy drinks. It takes about five minutes to prep the hot chocolate spoons. Cooking time is about five to seven minutes, with your total preparation time being about ten to twelve minutes. With preparation time being so short, you will be able to enjoy your hot chocolate spoons in no time.

What you will need:

· Small saucepan

· Spoon

· Coffee mug

· Silicone spoon baking mold (found on amazon.com)

· One bag of vanilla or white chocolate chips (be creative with the chocolate variety)

· Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Fun Toppings:

· Rainbow sprinkles (pick your favorite kind of sprinkles)

· One small bag of mini-marshmallows

· Small bag of mini-chocolate chips

Now that you have all your ingredients, take out your silicone spoon baking mold and set it to the side. Use a small saucepan and on low to medium-low heat, mix all varieties of chocolate chips in the pan. Stir every 15-20 seconds until all chocolate is melted. Once chocolate is melted and blended, turn off stove. Smell the amazing aroma of chocolate. Now you are almost done making your hot chocolate spoons. The next step is to pour the rich chocolate mix into the silicone spoon baking mold. Add your favorite toppings like a small bag of mini-marshmallows, small bag mini-chocolate chips, and rainbow (or your favorite) sprinkles. Cool and harden the mold in the refrigerator. Once your hot chocolate spoons have cooled off, remove from the silicone spoon baking mold. Wrap yourself in your comfy blanket and warm up to a delicious cup of milk (oat milk is my personal favorite) while stirring in your yummy homemade chocolate spoons. Enjoy!

If you are not in the mood to make your own hot chocolate spoons, here are some places online that (I have not personally tried) sell hot chocolate spoons/sticks:

· Stonehill Chocolates on Etsy.com sells solid hot chocolate on a stick. The description of these delectable chocolate sticks is a foodie’s dream. The ingredients listed in Stonehill’s hot chocolate on a stick would satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. From the looks of these chocolates, the kids are going to fall in love with these delicious treats.

· DipityDesignFavor on Etsy.com has hot chocolate spoons for sale. These spoons look like scrumptious and boast of being dipped in vanilla and chocolate almond bark. I can imagine being under the holiday lights and sipping on a dreamy cup of hot chocolate. The very thought of trying DipityDesignFavor’s hot chocolate spoons leaves me feeling pure happiness.

If hot chocolate spoons/sticks are not your thing, there are always more ways to enjoy a delectable selection of specialty hot chocolate. Some places to purchase hot chocolate are:

· Harlemchocolatefactory.com (seen on Oprah’s Favorite Things) has a magical looking hot chocolate that is sure to be a rich and creamy treat.

· Jinjichocolate.com has high quality liquid dark chocolate for sale. This convenient chocolate pouch can be easily added to a hot and frothy drink, making it a perfect grab and go hot chocolate kit.

If you are still unsure about how amazing hot chocolate is, here are some health benefits:

· The flavonoids in hot chocolate improve heart health.

· Hot chocolate lowers risk of a heart attack.

· Hot chocolate reduces cholesterol levels.

· Hot chocolate lowers the risk of strokes.

· Hot chocolate reduces inflammation.

· Hot chocolate has an antioxidant concentration that is twice as strong as red wine, two times stronger than green tea, and four times stronger than black tea.

· Hot chocolate lowers blood pressure.

· Hot chocolate lowers blood sugar.

· Hot chocolate fights anxiety.

· Hot chocolate fights seasonal depression.

· The tannins in hot chocolate strengthen your teeth.

· Hot chocolate is rich in vitamins and minerals.

· Drinking hot chocolate helps to satiate the appetite leading to better weight management.

· There are aphrodisiac benefits to drinking hot chocolate.

When you choose your chocolate, make sure you purchase quality. Here are a few tips:

· Purchase chocolate that is dark and raw, aim for 70% raw cacao.

· Make sure the chocolate you purchase is from an ethical source of free/fair trade.

· Purchase organic chocolate to avoid potentially dangerous pesticides routinely used in conventional farming.

Hot chocolate comes in all different varieties and each one holds its own charm. There are so many unique varieties of hot chocolate flavors and accessories it can be almost overwhelming, in a good way. Sometimes I ask myself if I have tried all the hot chocolate flavors available and realize the flavors are endless. I found out recently people were making strawberry, lemon, and blueberry flavored hot chocolate and I am thrilled. Hot chocolate recipes are getting more and more inventive as the demand for quality hot chocolate is great. Relaxing and having an incredible mug of hot chocolate is the best way to ward off cold weather. During this holiday season, experience the richness of hot chocolate and forget all about the troubles of twenty-twenty (2020). Some of this season’s best hot chocolate varieties are waiting for you stir well and tap in. With such a unique array of flavors and textures, you will never get bored with hot chocolate. If you have not been enjoying a soul satisfying cup and aromatic freshness of hot chocolate this holiday season, now is the time to start. #nbholidaycheer

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My goal is to provide uplifting news and stories; creating relationships amongst people from all walks of life by giving useful advice and, providing insightful solutions to assist and inspire through life's ebbs and flows.

Princeton, NJ
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