Rich, creamy homemade hot chocolate flavored with a hint of peppermint! You'll only need five ingredients to make this delicious holiday drink.
Ahh, December — the month of hot chocolate. Or if you're anything like me, the month of peppermint hot chocolate.
Because is there anything better than cozying up by the Christmas tree with a snuggly blanket, a good book, and a steaming mug of hot chocolate? (In case you couldn't tell, that was a rhetorical question.)
I seriously cannot get enough peppermint this time of year, and hot chocolate is no exception. I've been sipping on this homemade version for weeks now, and I decided that I just had to share the recipe with all of you. It's too good to keep to myself!
What You'll Need
Here's a quick overview of some of the ingredients and tools needed to make this hot chocolate. The full recipe can be found at the bottom of the post!
- Whole milk - I prefer to use whole milk, but you can use whatever milk you'd like for this recipe.
- Cocoa powder - Be sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Granulated sugar - I like to add just a teaspoon of granulated sugar to sweeten up this recipe, but feel free to adjust the amount as needed!
- Semisweet chocolate - I typically opt for semisweet chocolate chips when making this recipe, but you can use chocolate chunks or shavings instead.
- Peppermint extract - You can use whatever peppermint syrup you'd like, but my personal favorite is the Torani peppermint syrup.
- Medium saucepan - To make this recipe, you'll cook all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. The milk might start to bubble up towards the end, so you want to use a saucepan with higher sides.
- Whisk - As the hot chocolate starts to cook, you'll want to whisk the mixture constantly to make sure the chocolate doesn't burn on the bottom. This balloon whisk is a good option!
How to Make This Recipe
You only need 5 ingredients to make this recipe, and it comes together in just a few minutes. Here's a quick overview of how to make it:
1. Combine all the ingredients except the peppermint syrup. In a medium saucepan, combine the whole milk, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and semisweet chocolate. (Image 1)
2. Start cooking the mixture. Place the mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. (Image 2)
3. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat. Whisk in the peppermint syrup, then let it cool to your desired temperature and serve. (Image 3 and Image 4)
Tips to Make Perfect Hot Chocolate
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making this recipe:
- Stir the mixture constantly while it cooks. Chocolate has a tendency to burn, so you'll want to continuously stir the mixture as it cooks. I typically like to do this using a whisk.
- Add in the peppermint syrup at the end. When testing this recipe, I've found that the peppermint flavor comes through the strongest if you add in the peppermint syrup at the end. If you add it in with all the other ingredients, the flavor tends to get lost.
- Let the hot chocolate cool slightly before serving. I definitely burned my tongue a few times when testing this recipe, so learn from my mistakes! Let the hot chocolate cool for just a few minutes before taking that first sip.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Toppings
If you're asking me, the best part about hot chocolate is layering on all the toppings! And in my house, the more toppings, the better. Here are a few ideas to give you some inspiration:
- Whipped cream
- Mini marshmallows
- Chocolate shavings
- Crushed peppermint
- Cinnamon sticks
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Mini cookies
- Chopped nuts
- Crushed graham crackers
Common Questions About This Recipe
These are some questions I frequently hear about this recipe. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to leave it in the comments.
Hot chocolate does contain small amounts of caffeine because chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which naturally have caffeine. However, the amount of caffeine in hot chocolate is much less than the amount found in coffee and tea.
In my opinion, whole milk is the best for hot chocolate because it's the creamiest. However, it's your hot chocolate — feel free to use any milk you'd like!
Definitely! Swap the whole milk for plant-based milk and use dark chocolate instead of semisweet chocolate for a delicious vegan version of this recipe.
How to Store This Recipe
Store any leftover hot chocolate in a jar with a lid or an airtight food storage container in the fridge for up to one week. To reheat the hot chocolate, either heat it in a saucepan or the microwave until you reach the desired temperature.
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