Hot Chocolate Bar

A perfect treat to warm you up after a cold day outside.

By Jimmy Kennedy, & Justin Brouillard
Cook Ambassadors

When you hear the words “hot chocolate,” there’s a very good chance that it involves the outdoors. To my family, a steaming mug of hot chocolate has long been a tradition at our house after a long, cold day of ice fishing, a winter hike, sledding or any other cold weather outdoor activity. It’s also a great motivator for getting the kids out of the house on those cold days as a reward for the return.

This recipe is very similar to the one on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa box, but I change the amounts a little and add maple sugar as well. You can substitute honey or maple syrup for the sugar and almond or oat milk for the plain milk if you wish. Play around with the recipe and take notes to dial in your perfect cup of hot chocolate. After that, add minimarshmallows (of course), whipped cream and/or your favorite candies. Don’t be afraid to experiment and enjoy!

(Photo: Justin Broulliard)


  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • Pinch or two of salt (optional)


  1. Combine water, sugars, cocoa and salt ( if using) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Continue to stir while boiling for a minute or two until the mixture is nice and smooth.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the milk and stir well. It’s important the milk does not boil after it is added.
  3. When the mixture is good and hot remove from the heat and add the vanilla (if using). Ladle or pour into mugs and garnish with your favorite toppings.

Garnish Ideas

  • Marshmallows
  • Twizzlers
  • Peanut M&M’s
  • Junior Mints
  • Peppermint sticks
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramels
  • Enjoy and Go Outside!
(Photo: Justin Broulliard)

Yield: 4 big mugs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

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