Luscious Creamy Hot Chocolate

Considering the very frigid cold snap that has most of the US in a state of shivering, tonight I thought I would re-post this hot chocolate recipe because it would be a good night to give this recipe a try!!

I have never liked those packets of hot cocoa that you just add water!  YUK! For me, my choice was always just simply Hershey’s Coco powder, sugar and milk.  I have stepped it up a bit!

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It’s thick, rich, creamy, just completely sinful!

For two servings you will need:

2 squares of bittersweet chocolate or semi-sweet if that’s what you have

1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk

1 T cocoa powder

1 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp vanilla

2 cups of milk

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In a small bowl, add the 2 squares of chocolate, the cocoa powder and the sweetened condensed milk.  Place in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  Stir to make sure the chocolate has melted and blended together, if you need to put it back in the microwave, only do so for about 5-8 seconds.  You don’t want to over heat this mixture.

Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium low heat.  Do not let the milk over heat or boil.  When the milk is warm, add the chocolate mixture and the sugar , stir for about a minute to blend together, I used a small whisk~that works wonderfully!  Immediately turn off the heat and move the pan from the hot burner.  Add the vanilla, give it a quick stir and serve immediately.

You can top with whipped cream or marshmallows and a drizzle of chocolate sauce!

You will want to cuddle up with whomever you share this with, its just that romantically good!!

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Spiced Apple Cider Float

If  you love a good root beer float, you might want to try a spiced apple cider float!  I posted this last Christmas season but thought I would share it again since its the best time to buy apple cider!!  Oh, and I am pretty sure if you wanted to make an “adult” float, eliminate the pumpkin pie spice and use cinnamon whiskey instead.  Enjoy!

I bought some root beer and a pork roast to make pulled pork sandwiches along with a root beer barbeque sauce; the root beer had me dreaming of a root beer float.   But I was sipping a cup of hot spiced cider, so my thoughts went down a different path, I don’t know about you but my mind is like a computer with about 100 tabs open…. Anyway,  I made an apple cider float instead.  And boy oh boy was that yummy!

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It’s not all that difficult to make, the amount of ice cream and cider you use depends mostly on the size of mug you use, you really don’t need a recipe but here is what I did.

Of course I pulled out the BIGGEST mug I had and filled it with vanilla ice cream.  I’m sort of ashamed but yet a little proud that I used about 1-1/2 cups of ice cream…well, it was actually frozen yogurt but anyway… I heated 3/4 cup of apple cider with a dash of pumpkin pie spice, it’s not just for pumpkin pie…its combination of all the spices I love so why not!!  Heating the cider is not necessary but I love that it melted the ice cream and made it so much more creamier and the heat also helps to blend the spice into the cider instead of it just floating on top.

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Then I poured the hot spiced cider over the ice cream, put on a big dollop of whipped cream and drizzled it with caramel sauce, instant heaven!  I curled myself up with a blankie on the sofa and watched a Christmas movie while enjoying my new treat!

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Salted Caramel Smoothie

Salted Caramel ice cream and coffee’s seem to be a popular flavor these days.  Funny, but I can remember from my childhood that my Mom’s favorite ice cream was caramel, when it wasn’t popular.  Or salted!

There was a little dairy store in a neighboring country town that made their own ice cream, and even though I was always a chocolate kind of girl, that caramel ice cream was fantastic and I would often sneak a few spoonful’s of my Mom’s!  And, she usually had those little Kraft caramel candies in our pantry too so I totally understand the caramel addiction!

I’ve always loved caramel its just that chocolate took first place but now I seemed to have outgrown that chocolate phase (well….not entirely), I seem to choose caramel over chocolate these days.  Is that a sign of old age, or just big girl maturity?

So, when I go out, and I see salted caramel milkshakes, latte’s, etc, I will definitely choose that over chocolate.  Although I can do without the salted part.

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One evening I was craving something caramel and made this caramel smoothie.  Another new addiction!

I prefer to use plain greek yogurt for this recipe, you can use vanilla but I find that depending on the brand, the vanilla can overpower the taste I am going for, you use whatever you want.

Also, I am one to make just about everything from scratch however, when it comes to some things (like caramel topping) I will buy the jarred or bottled caramel sauce.  I don’t use that much so it’s really just a time saver thing for me, again, use what you want or what is easy for you.  But, homemade caramel sauce is the best!

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Here’s the recipe:

Into a small blender or smoothie maker add:

1/4 cup milk (almond or coconut works well too)

1 T sugar

1 cup plain yogurt (I always use greek)

1/4 tsp vanilla

Blend well.  Add 2 T caramel sauce and 2 dashes of salt and blend again.  Taste, adjust the caramel and salt to your liking, I added another tablespoon of caramel (total of 3 T for me!!)

Pour into your glass, top with whipped topping and a drizzle of caramel sauce and enjoy!

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