Thick Spiced Italian Hot Chocolate

What you’ll need:

  • 3 T cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 T sugar
  • 3/4 T cornstarch (optional)
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • Tiny pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • Whipped cream to garnish

Place first five ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk together. Add 1/4 c milk and the vanilla to pan, whisk to til smooth. Add remaining milk, whick in well. Place the saucepan on medium heat and whisk constantly for about 3-4 minutes or until mixture starts to boil and thicken. Remove from heat and pour into two mugs. Top with whipped cream.


Hot Buttered Apple Cider

8 servings


For Spiced Butter:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

To make:

  • Half-gallon (64 ounces) all natural apple cider
  • Spiced Butter
  • cinnamon sticks (optional)


1. Make spiced butter by combining butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a small bowl. Use a plastic spatula to transfer butter mixture to the middle of a 12″ x 12″ piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic wrap over butter mixture and shape into a log, twisting ends to seal closed. *Or put into a Container and scoop with spoon when soft. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Bring apple cider to a simmer over medium heat in a large pot, then turn heat to low. Remove spiced butter from plastic wrap and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add to hot cider and stir continuously until all butter is melted.

3. Ladle buttered cider into mug, garnish with cinnamon stick if desired. Serve hot.

*Sometimes, I will just put some onto a spoon and give it to them to stir into their drink for themselves!