When I need a warm drink on a cool night, hot chocolate is my best friend. That first sip makes me giddy and reminds me of when I was younger. Those times when my mom poured me a mug and would add extra marshmallows because they’re my favorite part. Our Aprons team provided tips for making the perfect hot chocolate concoction. Let’s stir up some delicious chocolaty goodness and make the best drink to enjoy this time of year!

Tips and Tricks

I’ve always wondered what the difference is between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. In general, hot cocoa is the prepackaged powder you buy. On the other hand, hot chocolate is typically referred to when melting chopped up chocolate and milk over heat. Since hot chocolate uses pieces of chocolate instead of cocoa powder, it’s usually richer in flavor than hot cocoa. No matter which style you prefer, our Aprons team recommends using milk rather than water to give a classic, creamy taste. Here are some of their top tips and tricks:

  • While heating milk on the stove, don’t bring it to a boil or it will curdle.
  • Boost the flavor by adding a pinch of sea salt, a splash of Baileys Irish Cream or a teaspoon of ground instant coffee.
  • Grate your favorite chocolate and whisk into the hot milk once heated to add richness and smoothness to the drink.
  • Hazelnut spread, red wine, caramel, marshmallows, crushed mints, ale and condensed milk pair well with the drink and can be mixed into the recipe to add more flavor.
  • Be a little different and add a dash of chili powder to bring some zing to hot chocolate. It will and bring out the chocolate flavor even more.

Wish List

This year, I plan on making these adorable hot cocoa snowmen for friends and co-workers. As a bonus, they’re fun and easy to make!

Hot Chocolate Snowman Supplies

Put it all together:

  • Add your ingredients to the jars. In the bottom jar, add peppermints or peppermint candies. In the middle jar, add hot cocoa mix. In the top jar, add marshmallows.
  • Tie ribbon to the outside of the middle jar to create a scarf.
  • Draw dots on the top jar with a black marker create a face and use an orange marker to create a carrot nose.
  • Stack the jars and use a dab of hot glue to make them stick together.

Hot Chocolate Snoman Gift


I‘ve always loved snacking on peppermint candy while drinking a mug full of hot chocolate. What’s your favorite treat to eat while drinking a cup? Share it with us in the comments below!


Jackie J.

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Jackie J. became a Publix associate in 2017 after deciding to take her love of food to the next level. She began working with the Social Media team at that time and she immediately fell in love with life at Publix. In her spare time, she bakes to relax and creates yummy morsels for friends and family to munch on. When she isn’t working, you can probably find her playing with her cat and dog (Nila and Oreo), at a theme park or watching a Harry Potter Movie Marathon.

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