This year, it hit 90 on Christmas day. I was in Disney World, and I spent my day in the pool surrounded by palm trees and other people who had hoped to escape the cold. Yet, there was no cold to escape at home. People were in light clothing, crocuses were blooming and I was a little smug about it. I went to Florida to escape the cold, not to just be a little warmer.

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The strange thing about it being warm at home during Christmas, is that it doesn’t entirely feel like Christmas. As a West Virginian, I expect snow on Christmas. There is no other Christmas besides a white one. So, when Jonas finally landed in the Mid-Ohio Valley, I wanted to get a little bit of the Christmas Spirit back (yes, about a month late). Homemade hot chocolate is one of my favorite Christmas and winter┬átraditions. It’s warm and delicious, and it brings family together to share stories, play board games and enjoy something made with love.

So, if you’re still snowed in today, try this recipe with your family and friends – it goes best served in a warm mug while curled up under warm blankets.

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Hot Chocolate

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • whipped cream
  • ground cinnamon (optional)
Pour milk and heavy cream into a saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat. Do not allow to boil or scald, mix in chips.
In a large bowl, mix: cocoa and sugar. Add this dry mix to the milk/cream mixture in saucepan. Whisk to combine. Reduce heat to medium.
Pour in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Stir well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Carefully pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and ground cinnamon.

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