When I was a kid, I remember the spark in the air the night before a snowfall. We would be jumping out of our skin, listening to the radio and hoping for a snow day, with enough of the white stuff that my dad would have to create tall mounds of it as he plowed the parking lot. For those of you who didn’t grow up in the north, high snowbanks are perfect for sledding and digging forts.
Now that I’m an adult, snow has lost its allure. In fact, I hate the stuff. One of the biggest advantages of moving to southern Virginia from Pennsylvania was the slightly warmer climate and lack of snow.
This past weekend, though, I felt like a kid again. They predicted anywhere from 6-15 inches of snow for Norfolk, and while that would normally make me groan, I realized… my fiance and I didn’t have anywhere we needed to be from Friday to the following Wednesday. Our house was stocked with supplies, our sidewalk was salted, and our Netflix was filled with movies we had been meaning to see. Being snowed in wouldn’t be so bad, I thought… in fact, it might be downright cozy, like a little stay-cation!
And what is a snowed-in holiday without a big mug of hot chocolate?
This hot chocolate is rich without being too thick, and sweet without being cloying. It uses two kinds of chocolate and is perfect with a dollop of homemade whipped cream on top, and then of doused in chocolate sprinkles and mini marshmallows.
You can also customize this hot chocolate to be more/less rich based on how much water you add. For the kids, water it down and pour huge piping mugs to warm them up after an afternoon of building snowmen. For the adults, add only a little water a pour smaller mugs to enjoy by the fire with a good book.
If you don’t have the ambition to make homemade whipped cream, you can use the store-bought stuff… but once you made it yourself, you’ll never go back! It is super easy to make and so much better than the whipped cream that comes in a can. Plus, you can adjust the sweetness level.
Ready to pour yourself a serving of hot chocolate? Here’s the printable recipe:
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 14 - 28 oz water
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1-2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- miniature marshmallows
- chocolate sprinkles
- crushed pieces of cookie
- drizzle of chocolate/caramel syrup
- crushes pieces of peppermint
- Pour sweetened condensed milk into a medium-sized saucepan. Add water (I use the milk can to measure). 14 ounces (1 can) will create a very rich hot chocolate, while 28 ounces will create a less rich version. You can add more water if desired.
- Add the chocolate chips, cocoa, and cornstarch to the saucepan and heat slowly, whisking as the mixture comes to a boil.
- When the mixture comes to a rolling boil, remove from heat and whisk for an additional minute. Allow to cool slightly, then whisk again before serving.
- While the hot chocolate is cooling, make the whipped cream by adding the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla to a small mixing bowl. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.
- Add the hot chocolate to mugs and dollop whipped cream over top. Top with marshmallows, sprinkles, or other toppings.
Need some more treats for a chilly winter day? Here are a few others I recommend if hot chocolate doesn’t fit the bill…