5 Super-Rich Hot Chocolate Upgrades to Get You Through Winter

Hot cocoa is the smartest part of this stupid weather.

There's not much to love about icy streets and frozen hands—except for the fact that winter still actually exists?—but these luscious hot cocoa upgrades are making us excited, even, about the cold cold nights ahead.

1.  Slow cooker

Soups and stews are obvious things to make in your slow cooker, but that trusty old appliance can do much more, from cocktails to cocoa. One Good Thing By Jillee whips up a batch of creamy hot cocoa in a slow cooker, using condensed milk, chocolate chips, vanilla, milk and whipping cream. Cook on low for two hours, then keep it warm as long as you want—an excellent option for entertaining friends for hours on chilly nights.

2.  Spiked

Nothing warms you up on a freezing night like a hot drink, and that includes boozy ones. Spiked hot cocoa is always a delicious way to go, and you make it with whatever type of liquor you want. This recipe from Damn Delicious adds Kahlua, blending coffee liqueur with rich homemade cocoa.

3.  Salted

A spin on the sea salt brownie (and sea salt caramel, and other ever-trendy sea salt sweets), this salted hot cocoa by Hey Modest Marce adds a touch of salt to a mix of chocolates (whole milk, dark and milk) plus sugar and vanilla, for an extra-nuanced cup.

4.  Nutella

Adding Nutella to a hot cocoa seems like an obvious trick, so how come we've never thought of it before? This Martha Stewart recipe already has us hooked: Just combine milk and Nutella in a saucepan and whisk until smooth.

5.  Gingerbread

This gingerbread cocoa, via The Hopeless Housewife, is way less intimidating (not to mention tastier) than building a gingerbread house.  Simply add classic gingerbread flavors like allspice, cinnamon and ginger to milk, cocoa powder, brown & white sugar, vanilla and sea salt. This cocoa will be super-sweet, but consider it a once-in-a-while holiday treat, joining nearly all the flavors of Christmas in one piping-hot mug.

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