December 17, 2014

Polar Express Hot Chocolate

We are a family of believers. We treasure imagination and belief in things you can't exactly prove, childlike wonder and fantastical mysteries. My boys will believe in Santa Claus for years and years, just like I did. As you can imagine, the story of The Polar Express is a family favorite. We have the book and the movie and went on a Polar Express train ride in Utah. Today's recipe, a brand new family favorite is inspired by that classic Christmas Eve adventure!

How many of you love hot chocolate? Hot cocoa? Show of hands! Okay, then how many of you think those terms are interchangeable? Have you ever had hot chocolate that didn't come from a powdered mix? I hadn't. In fact, I rarely drink hot cocoa, I usually stick to hot apple cider (also from a powdered mix). But the other day I was craving a really great cup of hot chocolate, and the powdered stuff just wasn't cutting it. Now, you have to understand, The Geologist is a hot chocolate fanatic. We always have at least 5 different types on hand, often more. So I figured he had the good stuff, right? Wrong. At least for that particular craving moment, it was incredibly disappointing. Later we watched The Polar Express movie and I remembered the line from the book: "We drank hot cocoa as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars..." and decided I had to make real, full-on, melted chocolate bar hot chocolate. So I browsed pinterest, made my own adjustments (upping the chocolate ratio, duh) and created the most insanely delicious hot chocolate (emphasis on the chocolateEVER. It is now a Christmas staple in this house. I hope you like it!

Polar Express Hot Chocolate
Printable Recipe

6 cups milk
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
generous pinch of salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 heaped cups chocolate chips (or 14 oz of your favorite chocolate, I used Dove milk and dark chocolate)

Combine all ingredients in a slow-cooker set on low heat. Stir often as the mixture warms up and the chocolate starts to melt. When the chocolate starts melting, switch to whisking often until the chocolate is completely melted. You can serve it at this point, but if you leave it in the slow-cooker for another hour (or more), whisking occasionally, it gets even better! **Note: This stuff is RICH. If you're not serving a crowd, I recommend halving this recipe. Or you can keep leftovers in the fridge and warm it up in the microwave.**
 When I dream about hot chocolate, this is what I imagine. Melted chocolate bars? Absolutely!! If you feel like splurging I really recommend skipping the chocolate chips and getting really good chocolate. I used Dove because it's the creamiest chocolate I can think of, and I'm so glad I did!!
 In fact, you can use your chocolate choice to personalize your batch of hot chocolate. Dark, semi-sweet, milk chocolate, a mix, throw some white chocolate in there, whatever you like!
We always have fun creamers in our hot cocoa, but this stuff doesn't need it. Just a handful of marshmallows and a sprinkle of cinnamon for me! Hot, creamy, decadent, rich melted chocolate goodness. You need this! Trust me!


  1. Ooooh! This looks so easy and DELICIOUS!!! MUST MAKE.

    1. Go!! Make!! *shooing motions* Although unless you're making it for your dozen siblings, I'd halve it if I were you :)


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