For many of us, Christmas is a blend of past and present experiences. The sights, sounds, smells and memories of the season often trigger an avalanche of emotions that take you back to the Christmases of yesteryear.
For some it’s the aroma of those special cookies baking, you know the recipe I mean, the one that’s been part of your holiday since childhood! For others, it may be the smell of freshly cut cedar or the careful unwrapping of that special ornament that has been in your family for generations.
We recall decorating that “beautiful” tree, whispered holiday secrets, and hanging the stockings by the chimney with care…or when I was little, clothespinning the stockings to the kitchen drawer handles with care!
There is no doubt that tradition has played a huge role in my family’s holiday celebration. One of my favourite traditions began on Christmas Eve when our kids were just tiny. This tradition is so special, that even though my kids are no longer little, we still continue it to this day!
Every Christmas Eve, just before bedtime, we gather around the tree with steaming mugs of delicious homemade hot chocolate and recite from memory, (okay…I recite and they listen and occasionally join in…lol) Clement Clark Moore’s, The Night Before Christmas.
For me, snuggled with my family, sipping homemade hot chocolate while reciting this epic story, is by far, the best gift ever given or received. For me this is Christmas!
Be sure to check out this super cute Christmas video from Dairy Farmers of Canada!
I am including my old-fashioned recipe for homemade hot chocolate. It’s really easy to whip up! What makes it so unbelievably good is lots and lots of fresh Canadian Quality Milk which is delicious and refreshing, and a delectable part of the holiday season.
I love how this recipe for hot chocolate contains only wholesome ingredients — delicious and nutritious!
We all know Canadians love the taste of milk—whether it’s to start their day, for lunch, to enjoy with their evening meal or with some cookies as they wait for Santa to arrive, milk is a versatile drink that deserves to play a leading role over the holidays.
- HOT CHOCOLATE
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- ⅓ cup boiling water
- 3½ cups whole milk
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup coffee cream (18% Milk Fat)
- WHIPPED CREAM
- ½ cup of whipping (heavy) cream (35% Milk Fat)
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- GARNISH (optional)
- shaved semisweet chocolate
- HOT CHOCOLATE
- Combine the cocoa, sugar, and pinch of salt in a saucepan.
- Stir in the boiling water and continue stirring to thoroughly combine.
- Bring this mixture to a light boil while you stir.
- Simmer and stir continually for about 2 minutes. (Chocolate burns easily, so adjust the heat and watch that it doesn’t scorch)
- Stir in the 3½ cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil!
- Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs.
- Add the coffee cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it and top with a dollop of real whipped cream.
- WHIPPED CREAM
- Place mixer bowl and whisk in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to chill.
- Pour heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla into the cold bowl and whisk on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form — about 1 minute. (You can also do this with a hand mixer or a hand whisk...it may just take a couple minutes instead of one minute)
- Top whipped cream with a sprinkle of shaved semisweet chocolate
PIN IT — This homemade hot chocolate is nutritious and delicious!
While I was writing this post, I was thinking a lot about family traditions. What I realized was, although customs may vary from one family to another, milk is often a central part of the Christmas season. From leaving a glass of cold milk for Santa to using milk as a staple ingredient in holiday baking, Canadian quality milk plays a meaningful role for many Canadians throughout the holiday season!
Be sure to visit the Dairy Farmers of Canada YouTube page to learn more about their commitment to making milk so delicious and refreshing, and for new ideas on how to incorporate milk throughout the holidays.
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored in partnership with Dairy Farmers of Canada. As always, all opinions are our own.