Today I’ve got something very special for you. The weather’s turning cold, and it’s getting to the point where folks want to spend their evenings inside, curled up on the couch in front of the fireplace or a good movie. And what’s the perfect drink for nights like this? I’ll tell you what: hot chocolate.
A big, steamy cup of chocolatey goodness is the ultimate comfort. There are billions of kinds of hot cocoa out there, from cheaper grocery store brands to expensive chichi varieties that will cost you almost as much as a bottle of wine. But what about the lost art of making cocoa yourself, over the stove, like our grandparents did before you could pick up a box at the grocery store?
Well, today I’m reviving the art of making hot chocolate recipes from scratch.
Today’s recipe is one I’m totally in love with. My favorite flavor combination in the whole world is chocolate and peanut butter. When my grandma would take me to the ice cream shop when I was a kid, I always asked for the same thing: chocolate peanut butter. Whenever my mom would make cookies, I would have the same request: chocolate peanut butter. When my dad would take us to store and let me and my brother pick a single candy bar from row after row of colorful wrappers, what did I grab? Chocolate peanut butter. This sweet, salty and creamy melding of tastes and textures still transports me back to the happy moments of my childhood.
So, today I’m going to give you a little glimpse into my chocolatey, peanut buttery dream-world.
This recipe makes a very thick, very rich drink. So rich, in fact, a full 8 ounce cup may be way too much for one person. I like to serve this cocoa in small, espresso-type cups, because they’re the perfect size to sip from and you can have more than one if you want.
As far as the peanut butter goes, you can use whatever kind you have in your cupboard, as long as it’s creamy. I personally prefer to use a non-salted variety so that I can adjust the saltiness myself, but if you’ve got a bottle of Jif or Skippy hiding somewhere, go ahead and use that. I don’t recommend using chunky peanut butter, which makes for a bizarre texture that doesn’t lend itself to slow sipping.
This recipe was adapted from a drink I used to enjoy at the Bittersweet Cafe, but they’ve discontinued their peanut butter cocoa. Sheer madness, I tell you. If I could marry this hot cocoa recipe, I probably would (sorry, honey).
Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa
My chocolate peanut butter dream drink!
Makes half a gallon of cocoa, which will easily
- 4 cups 2% milk
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2/3 cup of creamy peanut butter
- Salt to taste
- Whipped cream (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, heat milk and half and half to 165°F, or until you see foamy bubbles begin to form around the edges. Do not bring it to a full, rolling boil.
- Pour in chocolate chips and stir constantly until all of the chocolate is melted.
- Add peanut butter and brown sugar, again stirring until completely melted and combined.
- If your cocoa is not smooth or has chunks of peanut butter floating around that simply will not melt, run the cocoa through the blender and reheat again before serving.
- Salt to taste and serve with an optional dollop on whipped cream.
Other hot cocoa recipes you might enjoy: