One of my favorite places in the world is Chicago. When I was in my twenties, I was SURE I would move there and work for Oprah. I pictured myself living like Carrie Bradshaw in the Midwest. Obviously things didn’t go quite as planned, but I still have so much love for the city. I don’t think I could handle living in a huge city, but visits are always fun! I have quite a few memories of chilly winter days in downtown Chicago, shopping on Michigan Ave. The final reward for suffering through the cold day was a stop at Ghirardelli for hot chocolate. It was rich and amazing–it instantly warmed me up.
I’ve tried a few stove-top recipes for hot chocolate and I have found them either too sweet or too bitter. After doing some mad-kitchen scientist experimentation in the kitchen, I’ve come up with the perfect recipe. AND it’s in the slow-cooker! This hot chocolate can be made on a Sunday afternoon and reheated all week, if you want! I love to make my own mochas with coffee, a splash of hot chocolate and whatever flavored syrup I have on hand. Let’s just pretend this recipe is good for you–I mean, there is MILK in it. Dairy = healthy?
Don’t expect your average packet of powdered cocoa mix, folks. This is super rich, not-too-sweet, warm your soul kinda cocoa. If you aren’t a fan of hazelnut, add another extract flavor or vanilla! Maple would be fantastic. Instead of extract, sub a flavored coffee syrup, too! The hazelnut flavor is very subtle, don’t worry! I can picture myself making this for Christmas Eve as an after-dinner dessert…especially if we go caroling. Parents, feel free to add some Baileys or whipped cream vodka. If you make this ahead of time, you can either heat it up in the slow-cooker or just pour into mason jars and reheat by the mug.
If you’ve never made your own whipped cream using heavy whipping cream, have fun with it! I like to add vanilla extract or a dash of honey to mix it up. You can either whip by hand (get those muscles ready) or use a beater…I highly recommend the beater route.
Slow-Cooker Hazelnut Hot Cocoa
- 1 bag 8 oz milk chocolate chips
- 6 cups 2% milk
- 14 oz condensed milk chocolate flavor
- 7 oz marshmallow cream
- 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat slow-cooker to LOW setting.
Put chocolate chips, condensed milk, marshmallow cream and hazelnut extract in slow-cooker. Stir.
Slowly pour milk.
Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
To make whipped cream: over low speed, beat whipping cream until fluffy.
Top hot chocolate with whipped cream. Enjoy!
Hot chocolate will be fine on warm slow-cooker setting, as long as you stir occasionally.
What’s your favorite city? Do you have any foodie memories that take you back there?
This post is sponsored by Milk Means More. As I mentioned before, I have a new partnership with the United Dairy of Michigan and their Milk Means More program. I am so excited to share some tasty dairy filled recipes with you all. As always, all opinions are my own.