National Cocoa Day (December 13, 2014)

Though the weather outside is frightful, curling up with a cup of hot cocoa can make your day so more delightful. Especially when today is National Cocoa Day!

The difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate is that hot chocolate is made with melted chocolate and hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder. To make the perfect cup of microwavable hot cocoa, combine a heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder with two heaping teaspoons of sugar and a dash of salt in a mug. Add two teaspoons of cold milk and stir until smooth, then fill the cup with milk and microwave on high for a minute or until hot.

The great thing about hot cocoa is the endless variety of flavor combinations.
You can add any number of stir-ins or toppings. Try setting up a “hot chocolate bar” for your kids at the end of a day spent playing outside or for your next holiday get-together. Simply brew a large batch of hot cocoa and gather options for toppings. Here are some ideas to get you started, but the possibilities are endless!

  • Candy cane stirrers (you could even dip these in chocolate for an extra treat)
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Crushed peppermint
  • Milk and white chocolate chips
  • Flavored syrups and coffee creamers
  • Spoonfuls of peanut butter or Nutella to stir in to the hot chocolate
  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon candies
  • Chopped up candy bars such as Butterfingers, Heath bars, peanut butter cups, and peppermint patties
  • Vanilla, mint, or caramel ice cream
  • Sprinkles