When I was a kid I could be found eating hot cocoa mix straight out of the packet. In fact it rarely made it to actual hot chocolate. Yaa… wonder how much damage that did?
Every year on Christmas Eve, Logan’s Grandmother makes hot chocolate for everyone. She rocks a huge stock pot on the stove filled with delicious hot chocolate she makes right then and there. It’s something everyone looks forward to, and as Logan would like for me to tell you “it’s the only time of year she makes it. She doesn’t even make it for anybody’s birthday!” He ignored the notion that hot chocolate is kind of a winter/Christmasy thing and not as much of a birthday-y thing.
Anyway… when Logan and I first started dating and I went to the cornfields for my first Christmas with his family, I remember him specifically telling me “wait until you have Grandma Colleen’s hot chocolate. She makes it from scratch and it’s AMAZING!” This being the guy who doesn’t like chocolate! And her hot chocolate tasted every bit of deliciously homemade as he lead me to believe.
So channeling Grandma Colleen I give you my take… Caramel Hot Chocolate.
What I love about this hot chocolate:
It’s perfectly caramely.
It’s easily vegan or dairy free adaptable.
It’s waaay better than store bought.
It’s very simple to make.
There’s ONLY 5 INGREDIENTS!
This hot chocolate really stands out for it’s comforting creaminess. And that’s all thanks to the use of coconut milk. Instead of heavy cream or whole milk, coconut milk makes for the perfect level of creamy goodness without tasting overly rich. It’s perfect for sipping or in my case gulping… because once I start drinking this hot chocolate I can’t stop.
For whatever reason if you are hesitant on your hot cocoa tasting like coconut, don’t you worry your pretty little face. There isn’t any coconutty to this hot chocolate when everything is said and done. Unless you want to top your cup with coconut, and I have NOOO problem with that. You could also garnish your beautiful cocoa with whipped cream, or whipped coconut cream for a vegan option. Sprinkle it with extra shaved chocolate and a good ole drizzle of Creamy Caramel Sauce.
Oh that Creamy Caramel Sauce, I could just drink it. And in order to do so and be socially acceptable, enter the essential sweet flavor combo of chocolate and caramel. Oh myyyy gooooodness.
There is nothing better than a face full of whipped cream and this dreamy hot chocolate. Nothing. Except Christmas morning. Christmas morning IS pretty fantastic! For me, my favorite Christmas memories involve a certain pup.
*Mom I’m sorry this is going to make you tear up or possibly even full fledged cry.*
When I was a kid we had a Golden Retriever… Shammie. The most perfectest Golden there ever was. She was my best friend. For real. I sucked at having friends. But Shammie – she got me.
On Christmas morning she was the most excited out of anyone. She even had her very own stocking that we filled with toys and treats all wrapped up just for her. And every Christmas we would let her open her presents first. At first we figured it would give her something to do while we all sat around and opened gifts. But the funny thing is she would always get distracted by everyone else opening their presents and she’d end up ignoring hers. Her top priority became to HELP YOU open yours.
She always preferred that you would start the unwrapping though, it made it easier for her. But all she needed was a little corner and she’d go to town pulling the wrapping paper off the rest. Once unwrapped she bounced and bounded through the room in excitement and with eyes open for the next person who needed help unwrapping. I had more fun with Sham opening presents than I did with anything I got. I loved that dog to edge of the world and back.
Every year I think of Shammie on Christmas and I smile, and also get teary eyed, because I’m a sap like that. But this year we get to celebrate with our little Chew-mister (Chewy). He’s getting a nice willow ball for Christmas. Yay! I think he’ll be more excited about the cardboard boxes in the living room while everyone opens presents though. My kind of dude – the little things make him happy… like cardboard.
Well, whether it’s cardboard or unwrapping that makes your heart flutter, from all of us here at Noming thru Life have a VERY Merry Christmas!! xoxo
- 1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut or almond milk
- 3 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (vegan chocolate, if desired)
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (vegan chocolate, if desired)
- 3 tablespoons Caramel Sauce
- In a saucepan whisk together canned and regular coconut milk. Over medium heat bring coconut milk mixture to just below a simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate while whisking vigorously, and being sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the saucepan for any runaway chocolate. Once chocolate has been incorporated add caramel sauce and whisk yet again to combine. Return to heat if necessary and serve hot.