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Cozy up this Christmas with stovetop hot chocolate

Cathy Deal reminisces about the delicious warm mugs of homemade hot chocolate her Mama always made. Here she shares her own stovetop recipe with you in hopes you will enjoy it yourself this Christmas. Don't forget the sprinkles!
Photo | Whitney Lavoie

What’s that one delicious treat that is just a must for you at Christmas? I mean the one that you can absolutely not pass up; the one that beckons you to have more than one serving! Some might say the Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes, while others beg to differ with their grandma’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate peppermint bark, CrockPot candies, or freshly-made fudge.

For me, it’s the homemade hot chocolate that warms me to the core, carries me back to my Mama’s kitchen, and brings back cherished memories.

Oh, Mama’s beloved stovetop hot chocolate! For Christmas, sick season, a tough day, or just a chilly night... You know, it always seemed to hit the spot and provide the perfect dose of comfort. Mama would whip up unmeasured amounts of milk, cocoa powder, and sugar (and who knows what else) on the stove and somehow make it to perfection every single time. The right taste with always the right amount of liquid sweetness to fill a mug to the rim. (You see, being blind never stopped her from being amazing!)

After many attempts at her mastery, I have come up with a yummy hot chocolate recipe of my own. I’ve even had the great honor of passing this delicious tradition and love of hot chocolate down to my, now grown, children. Of course, I hope the ripple effect continues for generations to come and I hope you welcome this simple tradition into your home this season.


Christmas Hot Chocolate

  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 ½ cup half and half
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup Nestle's Quik powder
  • Whipped cream
  • Grated chocolate candy bar for garnish
  • Sprinkles
  1. In a pot on the stove, incorporate all milks and cocoa powder & Quik powder.
  2. Whisk and increase the heat to medium as the cocoa powder dissolves. You may need to increase heat slightly. You never want to heat on high because your milk will curdle. Once hot, pour into your favorite mug and top with whipped cream, grated candy bar, sprinkles, and don’t forget -- a few marshmallows.
  3. Make sure to add enough whipped cream that when you drink it, it touches your nose!

If you are lucky enough to have any left over. You can refrigerate and heat a cup in the microwave. Just heat in small increments and stir.

Dear friends, bring out those Christmas mugs, turn on the Christmas lights & your favorite Christmas movie, and enjoy a cup or two of hot chocolate. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the toppings—whipped cream, chocolate shavings or whatever your heart desires. 

May this Christmas season remind you of your favorite holiday traditions and memories that will forever warm your heart. Cheers!

From my kitchen to yours, Merry Christmas!