One of the great joys in life—according to I See Me staff at least—is the moment just before taking that first creamy sip of a mug of steaming hot chocolate. You’ve been playing outside, and your fingers are still cold as they wrap around the mug. You breath in the warm aroma rising from under the dollop of slowly melting marshmallows, then take your first sip. Ah, perfection!
If we’ve got a complaint about hot chocolate (and trust us, we don’t), it’s that traditional hot chocolate toppings seem limited. Melted marshmallows are a classic, sure, and whipped cream toppings are always tasty, but what if you wanted something a little different? Here’s a few hot chocolate toppings that add some variety to your winter drinks.
Whipped Coconut Milk
This alternative to whipped cream goes well with crushed peppermint candies sprinkled on top. You’ll need to refrigerate a can of coconut milk for at least eight hours.
Chill a metal bowl and your electric mixer beaters. Open the can without shaking it, and pour it into the bowl. Beat with the electric mixer at medium first, then high until peaks form.
Whipped cream and whipped coconut milk are thick enough to support a variety of hot chocolate toppings. While chocolate shavings are always good, why not try some different sprinkles, such as:
- Crushed Oreos
- Caramel bits
- Toffee bits
- Salted caramel syrup
- Toasted coconut
- Milk chocolate chips
- White chocolate chips
- Butterscotch chips
- Crushed Kit-Kat bars
- Fresh berries
- Sliced fruit
- Maple sugar
- Maraschino cherries.
Why use a spoon when you can stir your hot chocolate with something delicious? Candy canes are ideal for stirring hot chocolate during the holidays. Cinnamon sticks may appeal to older children, while younger kids might enjoy stirring their hot chocolate with a pretzel stick, wafer cookie, or pirouline. Many grocery stores sell Pocky, a chocolate-covered biscuit treat from Japan that makes an excellent hot chocolate stirrer.
Remember, when it comes to hot chocolate, atmosphere is as important as toppings. Hot chocolate tastes best gathered around the kitchen table playing games or coloring, or curled up together in a comfy chair with a favorite book. Although really, when isn’t a good time for hot chocolate?