Is it okay for me to start by saying Hallelujah? Hallelujah! that I finally found THE recipe that’s everything I’ve been looking for in homemade hot chocolate success. Trust me, I’ve been looking for a long time and haven’t been satisfied with anything to share with you until now. Hot Chocolate In the Slow Cooker is creamy and perfectly chocolatey, smooth and satisfying, big emphasis on the smooth part. Satisfying yet irresistible. I mean it… irresistible. And did I say chocolately?
This perfect hot chocolate starts with milk and half-and-half. You can certainly use milk alone and it tastes “good”, but why not splurge a little here and use the half-and-half. You won’t be sorry. Good quality chocolate chips, semi-sweet or dark both work great, and a tiny dash of salt. That’s it! A couple hours in the Crock Pot to fully melt the chocolate, and it’s ready to serve. That’s the other beauty about this recipe, it’s almost too easy. And because it’s so simple, easily change it up with a little peppermint, or peanut butter (my fav!), or cinnamon and cayenne for a Mexican hot chocolate.
I serve the hot chocolate here with spoons because we try to savor every sip. It’s just thick enough that the mini chocolate chip garnish stays on the surface, and a dollop of your favorite whipped cream is certainly pretty,
but everyone in my house thinks it’s at its best when served with no toppings… but we loved, loved, the peanut butter in the hot chocolate. And even though you could just serve the hot chocolate out of the crockpot after it’s finished cooking, if you want to make it several days ahead of time- keep it covered in your refrigerator for up to a week and reheat to steaming. This post makes me want more right now. Maybe this time I’ll add a little espresso for a mocha flavor, or how about malted milk, or raspberry extract? You get it, there’s no end to combinations. Just don’t pass this by. This hot chocolate is hawt! sorry 🙂
- 4 cups milk, any variety, warmed but not scolded in microwave (warming optional)
- 4 cups half-and-half, you could sub regular milk here but it won't be quite as creamy yummy
- 16 ounces mini chocolate chips, semi-sweet- or regular chips, rough chopped, dark is great too
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- Dash salt
- Whipped cream, mini marshmallows, candy cane sticks, optional for topping and stirring
- For peanut butter hot chocolate:
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- For Mexican hot chocolate:
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
- For peppermint hot chocolate:
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Add the milk and half-and-half to the insert, and then stir in the chocolate chips, and sugar. Add a dash of salt. If making flavored hot chocolate, add the peanut butter, or spices, or mint now also.
- Stir everything together until the peanut butter has somewhat broken up a little
- Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours or on High for about 2 hours. Stir at the half-way point to combine everything and allow to cook completely, until smooth.
- Stir well again at finish and lade into mugs. Top with whipped cream, if you like and additional mini chocolate chips.
- If you'd like a smoother texture, you can strain the finished hot chocolate through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.
- Make ahead: This hot chocolate is fabulous if made in advanced and then placed in refrigerator until needed for serving. Simply heat back up and serve.
- If serving this hot chocolate for a party, be sure to go over and stir it in the slow cooker once in awhile. The chocolate may settle just a little and if your slow cooker is very hot, a slight milk film may form on top. So, giving it a good stir every 30 minutes or so will resolve this issue.
Recipe adapted from 5 Ingredients or Less Slow Cooker Cookbook.