It’s just after sunset on a chilly fall evening. You’ve only got about 50 pages left in your latest literary addiction; so you cozy into the corner pillows of the couch, pulling your tattered childhood quilt over your lap. As you flip to the dog-eared page in your book with one hand, you reach the other for the steaming mug sitting on a tray to your left. You sigh as the smooth, chocolatey cream crosses your lips with notes of sweet maple and vanilla. Life is good.
In lieu of my recent “date night ideas” post, I thought I’d share with you my recipe for maple-vanilla hot cocoa. Because, as wonderful as the scenario above is, it is equally as wonderful to share a steaming mug of maple-vanilla hot cocoa with your love. Or better yet, simply share your heart over two mugs of said cocoa… and top them with a few homemade marshmallows while you’re at it.
Maple-Vanilla Hot Cocoa
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup – 100% pure, grade B (may add more/less to preferred sweetness)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Heat milk over low-medium heat in a medium saucepan.
- Add maple syrup and vanilla.
- Place cocoa in a small bowl and add several tablespoons of the warm milk to dissolve the cocoa. (This will help keep the cocoa from forming lumps when added to the rest of the milk.)
- Add cocoa/milk mixture to the rest of the milk. Stir until completely mixed and milk is steaming & beginning to bubble on the sides of the pan.
- Pour into your favorite mug and top with a handful of homemade marshmallows. (I’m a big fan of this recipe). Enjoy!
This recipe is also a great gift (I made it for a dear friend’s birthday this weekend). Simply cool down the cocoa and package it in a glass jar with some fun fabric and a few strands of yarn – just make sure to keep it on ice when you deliver it! You can also add a plastic bag of the homemade marshmallows.
Which, if the idea of making your own marshmallows intimidates you a little (I know it did me)… I took a few photos of the process and am posting them below to aid in your efforts. Feel free to use them as a guide alongside the recipe!