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7 Stunning Ways To Warm Up With Spiked Hot Chocolate (Recipes)


By Cooking Panda

Gosh, is it winter already?

Well, not quite — the solstice doesn’t happen for approximately two more months, so we still have plenty of fall left. But you’d never know it from the way that retail spots have totally neglected brown and orange motifs and moved straight into the red and green, as if Thanksgiving and pumpkin spice mean NOTHING to these people.

As we plunge headfirst into the uncertainty of November, that blank space in the middle of fall — or as the shops would have it, the void between Halloween and Christmas — keep your gourds and turkey decorations up and make sure you stay warm and stave off the holiday stress for as long as possible.

Since the weather is getting chillier and chillier, why not grab your favorite cozy mug and whip up a nice boozy hot chocolate for yourself? It’s super easy to make, since most recipes really only require a couple minutes of your time to chop, stir and melt, but you’ll end up with a gourmet-tasting treat that’s just as great for a blanket and Netflix as it is for a wild party.

1. Nutella Hot Chocolate​

If you want a super easy, thick hot chocolate, that magical tub of hazelnut spread is the way to go. Simply combine a glob of it with milk and a cinnamon stick and you’ve got yourself an impossibly easy and impossibly tasty indulgence. But it doesn’t stop there! Hit it out of the park with a glug of liquor or liqueur and top the whole thing with toasted marshmallows. Wow!

2. Red Wine Hot Chocolate

If this sounds weird to you, consider how good red wine and dark chocolate taste together, and then (gently, so as not to boil out the booze) heat the whole thing up. If for some reason it doesn’t taste alcoholic enough for you, you’re welcome to add a few drops of brandy for that slightly fruity kick.

3. Hot Peppermint Patty

“Archer” fans might recognize this drink from their hero’s thermos in Season 6, though this thick, minty, boozy treat has been around a bit longer than that. Either way, you’ll lose it over the soft mintiness, which conveniently comes in the form of three different kinds of schnapps and liqueur. Yup.

4. Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate

The sheer richness of buttery white chocolate and spiced pumpkin puree will rock your socks off. Spike it with your choice of booze (the recipe recommends bourbon or Kahlua, although a whipped or caramel-flavored vodka would also be delightful here). Then top with some whipped cream (here’s how to make your own pumpkin whipped cream, if you desire) and caramel (homemade Salted Caramel-Bourbon Sauce? Don’t mind if I do!) and you’ll be cooking.

5. Kahlua Hot Chocolate

Forget about that boxed stuff. This real version of your favorite cocoa mix comes together in just five minutes when you stir it over the stove with cocoa powder, milk, sugar and a little bit of spice. The best part is that you can customize it to your liking and of course, you get to add as much Kahlua as you want. Got a creme brulee torch lying around? Run it over the marshmallow topping to toast them for bonus points.

6. Coconut Cardamom Bourbon Hot Chocolate

This rich, sweet spiced delight just so happens to be dairy free, vegan and gluten free. Although you can of course sub in regular milk or another non-dairy variety like almond or soy milk, the gentle spice of cardamom creates perfect harmony with the deep, rich coconut milk, vanilla-y bourbon, dark chocolate and coconut whipped cream, so you might want to keep it as is.

7. Pumpkin Butterbeer Hot Chocolate 

Whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not, you’re going to love this magical cinnamon, pumpkin, chocolate and butterscotch twist on your favorite hot drink. If you like things a bit sweeter, you can swap out the bourbon for a complementary flavored booze like Fireball (in which case you’ll want to cut out the added cinnamon) or any dessert flavored vodka like whipped cream, caramel or vanilla (in which case, cut down on the vanilla extract).

Featured Image: christopher cornelius/Flickr

Tags: alcoholic hot chocolate recipe, boozy hot chocolate, hot chocolate, Thirsty Thursday, warm winter cocktails
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Check Out Shake Shack’s Latest Shake Flavors!


By Cooking Panda

Winter can be tough on the best of us. Days are cold and short and sometimes it’s just plain gloomy. That’s why it only makes sense for places like Shake Shack to, well, shake it up!

Shake Shack reports that it is launching a trio of new shakes for winter. Starting on Jan. 3, 2017, and going all the way until April 30 (when the weather begins to warm up again), three new seasonal shakes will be available for our indulgence. Each of the flavors are pretty well explained by name only, but it’s just so fun to describe every delicious ingredient, so here we go:

Mint Cookies & Cream — mint-flavored frozen custard blended with chocolate cookie crumbles and finished off with whipped cream.

Salted Vanilla Toffee — salted vanilla-flavored frozen custard blended with toffee (duh!) and, of course, finished with whipped cream.

Mud Pie — marshmallow-flavored frozen custard blended with fudge and coffee (by far the most exciting flavor, in my opinion!), topped with whipped cream and more chocolate, this time of the sprinkle variety.

As much as I love my chocolate, the salted vanilla toffee shake does sound pretty tantalizing. I have to admit these can definitely serve the purpose of brightening up anyone’s dreary winter. Then again, if you’re more into warm treats in cold weather (because, you know, maybe you live in the northeast?), don’t forget that the Shack’s Brownie Batter Hot Chocolate is made right there in the restaurant with a bittersweet dark chocolate blend, fudge sauce, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles on top! It’s available until the end of March.

Shake Shack says it’s going to be switching flavors up every few months to make room for seasonal treats. This first lineup for winter is a great introduction to the program, not to mention it brings high hopes for future flavors. What will be in store for spring and summer?

The shakes are $5.79 each and are available in all U.S. locations, excluding stadiums and JFK Airport. The specially made Brownie Batter Hot Chocolate is $3.89 for those who are looking for the hot drink of the season. Happy winter!

Sources: Shake Shack (2) / Photo Credit: Shake Shack

Tags: hot chocolate, milkshakes, seasonal dessert, Shake Shack, winter
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This Blossoming Hot Chocolate Is Your Next Obsession (Videos)


By Cooking Panda

We all know Dominique Ansel as being the mastermind behind one of the most popular viral food hybrids — the cronut.

Now, the famous French pastry chef has introduced a new delicious-looking dessert that seems to have sprung straight out of our sweet, sweet dreams: Blossoming Hot Chocolate, y’all! 

Essentially, the drink is what happens when you take a delicate marshmallow, shape it so that it looks like it has petals, and then scrunch it up like a beautiful flower bud inside a white chocolate cup.

The magic happens when you place the edible “flower” into a warm and creamy mug of hot cocoa. The white chocolate encasing the marshmallow flower melts into an indulgent component of the drink, thus allowing the marshmallow to expand and bloom, or, as Dominique Ansel puts it, “blossom” into a marshmallow flower.

#BlossomingHotChocolate now blooming in #Tokyo, #NewYork, and #London!

A video posted by dominiqueansel (@dominiqueansel) on

The treat also comes with a cute and yummy chocolate truffle in the middle to complete the illusion and enhance the already super-rich and luxuriant flavor profile of the beverage.

If you’re in New York City, Tokyo or London, you’re in luck! The Blossoming Hot Chocolate is available at Dominique Ansel bakeries there.

Check out some more hot chocolates come into full bloom (below):

#bloominghotchocolate #marshmello #flower #tokyo

A video posted by evajoyross (@evajoyross) on

Source: Dominique Ansel/Instagram / Photo credit: Dominique Ansel/Instagram

Tags: blooming hot chocolate, Dominique Ansel, hot chocolate, New York, trend
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IHOP’s Holiday Menu Looks Incredibly Delicious


By Cooking Panda

From dark chocolate peppermint pancakes to roasted turkey and bacon mashed potatoes, IHOP’s new holiday menu is guaranteed to be satisfying even to the pickiest eater!

According to FSR magazine, the new holiday menu runs from Nov. 14 until the end of the holiday season. This Holiday Celebrations menu covers all the basic staples and more. First, start your day with IHOP’s new dark chocolate peppermint pancakes. Actually, end your day with them as well. They’d be great for dessert.

These rich chocolate pancakes are drizzled with decadent dark chocolate, covered in peppermint and white chocolate chips and topped off with whipped cream — the perfect finishing touch.

If you’re not feeling chocolate, the eggnog pancakes might be calling your name instead. These include a swirl of eggnog cream, nutmeg and cinnamon layered between fluffy buttermilk pancakes, which are topped off with butter rum sauce, cinnamon sugar and … you guessed it, whipped cream.

Then again, if you’re still craving your pumpkin spice fix, you can go for the pumpkin spice pancakes that are still available for the rest of the season.

We Got Food Covered reports that for dinner, IHOP is introducing a turkey dinner with all the fixin’s. That means carved turkey, topped with turkey gravy on a bed of stuffing, accompanied by a side of iHop’s new bacon mashed potatoes, broccoli and cranberry sauce.

Finally, when you’re looking for a sweet treat in drink form, you can try one (or both) of IHOP’s new seasonal hot chocolate creations. There’s the frosted mint and the toasted marshmallow, both festive in their own way!

The frosted mint hot chocolate is exactly what you’d think — rich chocolate flavored with mint syrup and finished with a dollop of whipped cream (that never gets old!). The toasted marshmallow hot chocolate is flavored with marshmallow syrup and also topped with whipped cream.

“The holidays are the perfect time to sit down and enjoy the fun of friends and families, sharing moments together over special foods and treats,” says Kirk Thompson, senior vice president of marketing for IHOP. I couldn’t agree more!

Sources: FSR magazine, We Got Food Covered / Photo Credit: We Got Food Covered

Tags: holiday menu, hot chocolate, IHOP, pancakes
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Keep The Winter Blues Away With Red Wine Hot Chocolate


By Cooking Panda

Every so often, a new drink is introduced that has the power to heal a nation.

America, let the new red wine hot chocolate be that drink for you.

The nights are getting colder; the days shorter and less bright. While pumpkin-spice mania has swept the nation and propelled us all headlong into an autumnal mindset, why not take the edge off with what is quickly being billed as the new, superior fall drink?

As it happens, we have food blogger Kylie (who runs to thank for the discovery that red wine combined with hot chocolate makes a not-so-sinfully delicious and luxurious drink that is sure to delight pretty much anyone with taste buds (and a 21+ ID).

Essentially, Imma Eat That’s recipe suggests that you combine 1 1/2 cups of milk (the website recommends 2-percent) with 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium heat.

Once you’ve succeeded in creating an indulgent, thick and chocolatey pot of deliciousness, you add in 1 cup of your preferred brand of red wine and continue to let it heat until it’s at a warm, drinkable temperature.

Voila! All you have to do then is pour your brilliant concoction into two mugs and top that thing with whipped cream.

As of Oct. 24, there are more than 100 positive responses on Imma Eat That’s blog alone, but the post has been a viral sensation, with many people indulging and delighting in the rich and creamy combination.

We just can’t help but wonder why we never thought to do this before!

Source: Imma Eat That / Photo credit: Imma Eat That

Tags: autumn drink, food blogger, hot chocolate, imma eat that, red wine
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Warm Yourself Up With 14 Delicious Hot Chocolate Gifs


By Cooking Panda

Here’s a little something special for you, to get you through the chilly, crisp fall days:

That’s right, let us pour you a mug full of warm, rich hot chocolate.

Grab your mug and kick your feet up by a nice warm fire with us.

Because what is better than basically a mug of melted chocolate bars?

It’s just so warming and comforting and delicious….

So go ahead and pour yourself a cup.

Don’t forget the whipped cream.

Or the mini marshmallows, if that’s your thing.

Make sure you pile on a ton of them.

Add on some cute heart-shaped ones if you’re feeling extra fancy.

We just love when they melt and get all creamy and frothy on top.

Sooo goood…..

If you’re really feeling special, you can just go ahead and dump a bunch of hot chocolate over ice cream — we certainly won’t stop you!

Drink up!

Featured Photo Credit: Kakolait Chocolate & Coffee/Instagram

Tags: food gifs, foodporn, hot chocolate, hot chocolate gifs, Hump Day
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10 Indulgent Hot Chocolate Recipes For A Cold Day


By Cooking Panda

These chocolate treats are perfect to share with someone when the weather gets chilly. Or, serve them up at the next holiday party. Whether it’s infused with Bourbon or topped with whipped mascarpone cream, this indulgent drink will warm you up and hit the spot.

1. Dark Hot Chocolate with Whipped Mascarpone Cream (Recipe)


2. Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate (Recipe)


3. Pisco-Spiked Dulce de Leche Hot Chocolate (Recipe)


4. Extra-Thick Sweet Potato Hot Chocolate (Recipe)


5. Black Cherry Bourbon Hot Chocolate (Recipe)


6. Mexican Hot Chocolate (Recipe)


7. S’mores Hot Chocolate (Recipe)


8. Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate (Recipe)


9. Oaxacan Chocolate con Leche (Recipe)


10. Happy Hormones Hot Chocolate (Recipe)

Tags: drinks, hot chocolate, recipe, winter
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10 Great Ways To Spice Up Your Hot Chocolate This Winter


By Cooking Panda

For many people, winter is all about the hot chocolate. Classic hot chocolate is always great, but wouldn’t it be nice to spice it up every once in a while? Patricia Conte from SheKnows illustrated 10 incredibly simple and delicious recipes for some unique variations of everyone’s favorite winter drink. Check out the list and try out your favorites!

Tags: drinks, hot chocolate, nutella, peppermint, winter
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