Tried and True Easy Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hot cocoa is a winter-time must-have for families--young and old!  There is always something special about finishing a winter hike or an afternoon of snowman building with steaming cups of marshmallow loaded hot chocolate!  While I do sometimes give in to the packaged hot cocoa mixes--when we have guests or need several servings of hot chocolate--I break out my go-to recipe.  I have made this hot chocolate recipe for at least 20 years--and I love it because I can double or triple the servings with perfect results. What is my tried and true homemade hot chocolate recipe?

Homemade hot chocolate in a blue mug loaded with mini marshmallows
Photo:  METhompson2019 
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Ingredients for my Tried and True Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe
1/4 c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 c. Granulated Sugar
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/3 cup Hot Water
2 c. Half and Half or Heavy Cream (Can Substitute for 2 c. Plant-Based or Regular Milk if desired)
2 c. Milk (dairy or plant-based)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Garnish with a Cinnamon Stick and Miniature Marshmallows

Instructions for my tried and true homemade hot chocolate recipe
Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium saucepan; stir in water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil and stir 2 minutes.

Add milk; stir and heat until hot. Do Not Boil. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat with a whisk until foamy. Pour into individual serving mugs.

Add a cinnamon stick and a handful of mini marshmallows into serving cups if desired.

Pinnable image for a homemade hot chocolate for your family or a large group!

Cook's Notes:

I have used almond milk and soy milk in this recipe over the years and the results still turn out great.   If you opt for unsweetened plant-based milk, you may need to add a little Stevia or Sugar to taste. 
While this recipe makes 4 servings--this recipe is super EASY to adapt for a large group.  Simply double, triple, quadruple, etc. as needed to serve your group!  The flavors do not diminish as you modify the recipe.   Long ago--back when high schools still offered home economics classes--we once modified this recipe to serve the entire student council and a large group of volunteer holiday carolers after an event!

If marshmallows aren't your thing--add some whipped cream instead.  I have used both dairy whipped cream and coconut milk whipped cream for smiles and great results! 

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