Do cold winter days get you in the mood for warm comfort drinks like hot chocolate? Personally I am a fan of all hot drinks; I haven’t met a tea, apple cider, holiday grog, flavored coffee or hot chocolate I didn’t like. Last year I went to friend’s house for a holiday party where I was introduced to the wonder that is Mexican Hot Chocolate. If you are not familiar with it, well, prepare to fall madly in love…
If you’ve been following along recently you know that I’ve been participating in a lovely Christmas Sensory Series along with 5 other bloggers: Childhood 101, Picklebums, Toddler Approved, Meri Cherry, and Nuturestore. Each week we are exploring one of the five senses, today we are exploring TASTE. I had a lot of ideas in my head about taste related activities until it occurred to me to do something simple with my kids: make hot chocolate. Cooking with kids is an activity I don’t write about even though we do our fair share of cooking together. And the holiday season is one the best times to invite kids into the kitchen and get cooking.
So what the heck is Mexican Hot chocolate anyway? What is so different about it that it deserves to be given a proper name rather than just the ubiquitous “hot chocolate”? I’m just gonna spill it, the secret ingredient is cinnamon. Okay, I’m sure there will be plenty of folks who tell me that there is much more to it than that, but for me the KEY ingredient that distinguishes Mexican hot chocolate from hot chocolate is the flavor of cinnamon.
Given that my daughter is a hot chocolate nut I knew this was going to be a hit in our family. And guess what? It was. So here goes….
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Mexican Hot Chocolate
Note: We used almond milk for our hot chocolate but you may substitute the milk of your choice. We stopped drinking cow’s milk a year ago because my son has an allergy to it. And to be honest I don’t miss it a bit. Almond milk has loads of calcium, is super healthy, and really delicious. I substitute it and coconut milk it in almost all my recipes that call for milk.
Ingredients – makes 2 mugs
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips (Add more or less depending on how thick and chocolatey you want it to be)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Cinnamon stick
- 2 cups almond milk (or cow’s milk)
- Dollop vanilla paste (optional but oh so good) or dash of vanilla extract
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Step One Have your child measure each ingredient out into a large saucepan. Stir to mix.
- Step Two Heat the hot chocolate up over low heat, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on it, you don’t want it to boil over!
- Step Three Pour into mugs and let cool for a few minutes. Add whipped cream if desired. And let me tell you the kids will desire it…..
Do you taste the cinnamon? Isn’t it an unexpected and lovely addition to hot cocoa?
The holidays are THE perfect time to get kids excited about cooking. Some of my fondest memories of the holidays are making sugar cookies and other goodies with my mom. Your kids will not forget the experience of making something tasty together like Mexican Hot Chocolate on a winter’s day. It’s like a cup full of love.
Are you pumped to see what my fellow bloggers created for their post exploring taste? Here they are:
Christmas Sensory Play Series
For more holiday fun exploring sound check out these posts from my fellow series collaborators: