Why do we associate hot cocoa with cold weather? Isn’t hot cocoa just as satisfying no matter if it is hot or cold outside? Coffee enthusiasts don’t skip a beat no matter how hot or how cold it is outside. And don’t get me started on ice cream or yogurt lovers. If the craving is there, we feel the urge to satisfy it.
So why not look at hot cocoa as a staple item anytime of the year, day or night? Hot cocoa brings out the kid in all of us and you don’t even have to be a kid to enjoy it.
Cocoas come in many different varieties and finding the perfect blend can be quite the adventure. Some cocoas can be made with water while others need to be made with milk. Some cocoas may have a truffle finish that is smooth and creamy while others may exude a darker, intense cocoa flavor. Then there’s the chocolate, chocolate type that chocoholics crave and of course you can’t forget my favorite Mexican Spiced Cocoa that has spice and cinnamon to kick it up a notch. Now don’t forget the sugar-free option that is becoming more readily available as consumers want the healthier option without having to give up a favorite beverage.
Another fun treat that is popular with Europeans is sipping chocolate. These are made much smaller typically 4-6oz. Sipping chocolate is the dessert beverage with stronger taste profiles with pure chocolate flavor.
Hot cocoa is also synonymous with marshmallows. Just like peanut butter & jelly or bread & butter, hot cocoa & marshmallows just go great together to complete the whole taste experience. Instead of buying little marshmallows from the store, why not get a little creative by making your own. Martha Stewart gives a great idea for making your own marshmallow shapes and the best part is you can change the shape for any occasion you just need a few cookie cutters.
If marshmallows are not your thing, The Creative Mama has a great idea “frozen whipped cream dollops”. These are perfect for hot cocoa or coffee. They are simple to make and add a creaminess to your favorite hot beverage.
So whatever the flavor or the season, enjoy a hot cup of cocoa today!
Martha Stewart, “Make Marshmallow Snowflakes”, Dec. 2003
The Creative Mama, “Frozen Whipped Cream Dollops”, Jan. 18, 2012