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Hot cocoa warms hands and hearts as we cozy up with our favorite mug. And with Hershey staples you have at home, you can make café-worthy hot chocolate eight different ways. Try these hot cocoa hacks on your next snow day.

8 Ways to make Holiday Hot Cocoa.

There’s nothing more soothing than a mug of hot cocoa on a chilly day. Rich and smooth, it’s chocolate enjoyed in its finest state. And the beauty of hot chocolate is that it pairs nicely with a variety of other flavors. With a DIY Hot Chocolate Bar, or just a few pantry staples, you can whip up your own spiced cocoa, maple cocoa and more.

We’ve gathered some of our favorite hot cocoa recipes here:

 

1. The Classic “Perfectly Chocolate” Hot Cocoa

We’ve perfected our hot chocolate for just the right amount of sweetness, richness and creaminess. The result is a recipe that has become a tradition from generation to generation. Once you've mastered this cocoa, it can serve as the base for our many variations below! Tip: If you’re making it for just yourself, try our smaller-batch recipe, Hot Cocoa for One!

2. Hot Cocoa Mocha

Here's a pick-me-up for when you don’t have time to swing by your favorite café. It might just replace your regular order! Substitute half the water in the classic recipe above with hot coffee. Then top with HERSHEY’S Chocolate Syrup and chocolate shavings.

3. Spiced Cocoa

Though we think of it as a sweet drink, hot cocoa originates from Mayan and Aztec cultures where it was enjoyed with spice. To give your hot cocoa a kick and depth of flavor, add 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon chipotle or chili powder. Garnish with a cinnamon stick to top it all off!

4. Mint Cocoa

Snuggle up with something mint chocolate for the holidays. There are three ways to make mint cocoa: add 1/2 teaspoon mint extract OR 3 tablespoons crushed hard peppermint candy OR 2 to 3 tablespoons white creme de menthe. Serve with a peppermint candy stick (those are the ones that look like a straw).

5. Citrus Cocoa

One reason we associate oranges with Christmas is that they were considered a luxury before cold transport existed. Thus, they became a sweet stocking stuffer. To enjoy the nostalgic taste of chocolate orange, add 1/2 teaspoon orange extract OR 2 to 3 tablespoons orange liqueur to your cocoa.

6. Swiss Mocha

You’ll never wait in a drive-thru again once you try this homemade swiss mocha. For a quick hot chocolate pick-me-up, make our classic cocoa and add 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee. To get the best results, add your dry ingredients to a mug first (cocoa powder and instant coffee) and pour warm milk over until it forms a smooth paste. Then stir in the rest of your milk.

7. Cocoa Au Lait

Like a warm brownie, your cup of cocoa is just begging for a scoop of cold ice cream! Make a classic hot cocoa, but hold the marshmallows and whipped cream. Replace them with 2 tablespoons softened vanilla ice cream on top of each cup of cocoa at serving time.

8. Maple Cocoa

This cocoa is the epitome of cozy — because it has a guest appearance from maple, the flavor you know from breakfast and all things fall! The trick to this drink is you don’t want to use maple syrup. You want 1/2 teaspoon maple extract — the kind you use in cookies — for a pure taste that doesn’t affect the consistency of your cocoa.

Bake something special with Hershey

Baking is a way to show you care and turn even ordinary days into a celebration. These chocolate Valentine desserts take that message to heart. Maybe you’re looking for a Valentine’s-themed activity to do with the kids. Or maybe you’re planning a day full of surprises ending in the best gift of all: Dessert! Whether you’re baking for friends, family or a Valentine, make it special with Hershey.

For more heartwarming ideas, explore our complete collection of recipes.