Tonight is tree decorating and hot chocolate in the Larson household but after having cup after cup of diluted, bland only semi-chocolatey drinks in hand - we're kicking up the packets of powder with a little bit of wow. If you're hand in the kitchen, all of these add-ins taste better with real, homemade hot chocolate but if you're lazy like us and just want to whip up a cup or two, they will make the instant taste like the forever. Photo by Ruth Eileen.
Add a scoop of ice cream to your instant hot coco mix, then nuke up for another 30 seconds to a minute. It will add a rich, creamy factor that you hardly imagined possible.
Espresso, when diluted into hot cocoa, isn't as strong as the real deal but it does the trick with a bit more sweetness and holiday cheer.
Think of it as a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in a Cup. Just stir in a spoonful or two of CREAMY peanut butter and you'll be happy, cup after perfect cup.
Hot Sauce or Cayene Pepper (with cinnamon).
I prefer a dash of cayene to the hot sauce but to each is own. It adds a subtle little kick that makes you want to simultaneously savor it and sip it. Try throwing in a little bit of cinnamon too for a Mexican Hot Chocolate vibe.
Ginger or Pumpkin Pie Spice.
In fact, as long as you are adding one of these Fall inspired spices, throw in a cinnamon stick and a little dash of maple syrup for a total all out treat.
Sounds crazy. But we SWEAR it's delish. It's one of those things that you actually have to try to believe though if we're being totally honest, it really tastes the best when mixed into homemade hot chocolate using the darkest variety of chips you can find. YUM.
Melting a handful of white chocolate chips then stirring them into your instant hot cocoa might seem like you are just adding apples to apples. But the almost salty tones of the white chocolate bring about a flavor that feels rich and oh-so-very-right to an otherwise pretty simple taste.
Bourbon, Baileys or Cognac.
I mean, do we really have to elaborate on this one? Booze makes it better. End of story.
You could crush up peppermint and add it to the top, or pop a candy cane in and stir it around for a similar effect, but we found that the peppermint extract really gets into the bones of the hot chocolate and infuses a much more cohesive and robust flavor that we went nuts for.
And speaking of nuts. Add some nutella! Because has ever really gone wrong in adding nutella to anything? It's nutty but it sure is good!