Peanut Butter or Nutella Hot Chocolate

Empty hot chocolate cup 1024x682 Peanut Butter or Nutella Hot Chocolate

When I was 15, my family went to Europe. Belgium, mostly – which is where my Dad was born and lived until he was about as old as W is now. I was smitten with it – mostly the white sand Belgian beaches and Italian boys – and the warm buns and hot chocolate that was typical for breakfast totally trumped the Muffets we got back home. While the grown-ups sipped coffee and tea, we kids got mugs of warm, drinkable chocolate unlike anything I had experienced in Canada.

Because at some point someone decreed it was simpler to stir a packet of mix into boiling water to make a brownish beverage that tasted somewhat of chocolate, with or without dehydrated marshmallow bits, and that became the North American standard. I realize I’ve already gone on a rant about the stuff, listed the nasty ingredient list and how to make your own real hot cocoa mix. I’ve shared the recipe for salted peanut butter hot chocolate we chugged in a chilly park in NYC a little over a year ago. But it never hurts to get a midwinter reminder, right?

This past weekend we had the opportunity to stay in Lake Louise – and ski, even – and on Sunday morning, because six year olds neither appreciate the concept of the weekend in terms of extra sleeping hours nor do they tend to linger in bed AT ALL when their little eyes open and they realize they are in a hotel room, I found myself lying in bed watching Ina Garten. She took us on a tour of Paris, and made hot chocolate.

Really – if you’re going to drink hot chocolate, it may as well be the good stuff. And while you’re at it, stir in a spoonful of creamy peanut butter or Nutella. For reals. You’re welcome.

Real Hot Chocolate (With or Without Peanut Butter or Nutella)

Adapted from Ina Garten via Food Network

4-5 cups whole milk – Ina uses half milk, half half & half
8 oz. chocolate, chopped – Ina uses half semi-sweet, half milk chocolate
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. instant espresso or coffee powder (optional – it intensifies the chocolate, but won’t make it taste like coffee)
a few drops of vanilla (optional)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter or Nutella (or more, to taste)

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and cream until it’s steaming (don’t bring it to a boil); remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let it sit a minute, then whisk until it’s smooth. Whisk in everything else, stirring to melt the peanut butter or Nutella if you’re using it.

Serve warm. Serves 4.

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February 08 2012 08:58 pm | beverages

9 Responses to “Peanut Butter or Nutella Hot Chocolate”

  1. Carol S-B on 08 Feb 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    Oh, I tried the peanut butter hot chocolate and thought I’d gone to heaven. (As I recall, I had it for dinner one day: it seemed to me that it must be a balanced diet… and, if Carnation instant Breakfast is fair game, surely Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate would be, too.)
    Now Nutella?
    Oh, my.
    And, having just gotten home from volunteering at an ESL class, I am struck by (and laughing at) the phrase, “Half milk, half half & half”. Perfectly intelligible and appropriate, but- oh boy, what a challenge this crazy language is!

  2. emmycooks on 08 Feb 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Nutella OR peanut butter? What a choice! I wish I had read this earlier so I could have had one for dinner (as the previous clever commenter suggested) and the other for dessert. I guess I will have to settle for one today and the other tomorrow.

  3. Nurse Jenn on 09 Feb 2012 at 5:43 am #

    Yum! I wish I had checked this out last night. Will be consuming in large quantities tonight! I also have both peanut butter and nutella … choices, so many choices!

    Thanks!

  4. Angie on 09 Feb 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Can’t wait to try this! I wanted to comment though, on the fact your Dad was born in Belgium-mine was too and moved here to Canada as a small boy too! I have never been to Belgium before though. Anyway, just wanted to share that because I thought it was neat :)

  5. Jan @ Family Bites on 10 Feb 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Yes, please! You know, when I lived in France the kids drank hot chocolate like this EVERY morning and no one thought anything of it. In fact, the mothers believed it was good for them. So interesting….

  6. Andrea on 11 Feb 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Just checked out the recipe for salted hot chocolate! Yum! Can I use semi-sweet chocolate chips in that recipe and this one as well? That’s all I have and my daughter is dairy allergic.

  7. Misty on 15 Feb 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Wow! I must try the Peanut Butter and the Salted Peanut Butter versions!

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