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"Special Ingredient" Hot Chocolate

Since the holidays are such a special time of year, making this "Special Ingredient" Hot Chocolate is a must. What makes this homemade hot chocolate recipe better than others is that one special ingredient is included - cinnamon sticks! The cinnamon adds a touch of flavor that takes this hot chocolate to the next level. Make a big batch of this hot chocolate recipe for your holiday party, or just to warm you up on a cold winter night. It's an absolutely delicious Christmas drink recipe that you'll want to enjoy all year!

Ingredients
  • 2 quarts (1/2 gallon) fat-free milk
  • 3 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 20 ounces bittersweet chocolate (your favorite), broken into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Combine the milk and cinnamon sticks in a 3 3/4 quart saucepan. Heat over medium heat; stir constantly until steamy and just beginning to bubble around the edges. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the cinnamon flavor into the milk.
     
  2. Stir in the chocolate chunks. When chocolate is melted, remove cinnamon sticks and stir in vanilla extract. Using an immersion blender, blend on Low about 1 minute using a gentle up-and-down motion. Continue blending on Low until the mixture is creamy and frothy.
     
  3. Spoon into cups or mugs and top with a dollop of freshly whipped cream if desired.
     
Notes

For Hot Cinnamon Mocha, add 3 to 4 tablespoons instant espresso powder to the milk when steeping with the cinnamon sticks.

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I had never thought about infusing cinnamon sticks in the milk for hot chocolate before. I've done it many times for hot apple cider, but this was a brand new idea for me. With cooler days and nights approaching, I'm definitely going to give this a try. I also like the fact it uses dark chocolate, which is my preference.

This is such a great recipe. My son loves hot chocolate so much that we run out of it often. Luckily, I usually have these ingredients on hand, especially during the holiday baking season. I just whip him up a batch of this, and he is a happy camper. He actually prefers this over store bought hot chocolate.

I love my hot chocolate flavored

YUM! The cinnamon makes it taste like Mexican Hot Chocolate.

Love the addition of vanilla.

Love cinnamon sticks in hot chocolate!

Looks great for Winter snow days with my babies!

How timely - having hot chocolate is our Advent activity tonight. Sounds delicious!

Will try this tonight!!

Can't wait to try putting cinnamon sticks in my hot chocolate!

I like my hot chocolate plain with miniature marshmallows on top.

I've never put cinnamon in my hot chocolate before, but I am going to try it tonight!

This looks good!

I love hot chocolate with whipped cream and I think the cinnamon will make it extra tasty.

I used 2% milk since that is what I have in the fridge, but It came out delicious =)

cinnamon makes everything better

Cinnamon anc chocolate together who could ask for anything more

Sounds yummy, my family loves cinnamon!

I like my hot chocolate plain

Sounds delicious,going to make it for my kids while we decorate for Christmas!But we need marshmallows on top!

I think this woul.d be more delicious with a splash of Bailey's.

This think this might be more delicious with a splash of Bailey's.

cayenne and cinnamon

We don't care for cinnamon in it, so I leave that out. But after having fun in the snow, nothing warms us up better than a hot cup of cocoa. Add a cracklin' fire and you're set!

I am a huge cinnamon fan, cant wait to try this!

growing up hot chocolate and sled riding went together, we couldn't do one without the other...this would be a good recipe to try on our grandkids, after a day in the snow

This sounds amazing! I'm sure the cinnamon sticks are going to add a smell to the house that can't be beat!

the hot chocolate is really good

The "Special Ingredient" Hot Chocolate sounds delicious. It would be great for the holidays.

I am a huge cinnamon fan and this was one of the best hot chocolates ever!

Love the addition of a mocha variation using espresso powder. Mmm!

MY ALL TIME FAVORITE IS DARK DARK CHOCOLATE WITH A COUPLE OF SQUIRTS OF REAL WHIPPED CREME.

I have only had plain hot chocolate but this should be a wonderful change.

I'm looking forward to a chilly evening to try this

I like this with peppermint and marshmallow

Yummy, want to make some right now.

Yum! I do love hot chocolate, and this is a great way to try somethin a bit different. Quality chocolate is a must for this.

CANNOT wait to make this....sounds like a hot chocolate that I had on vacation in CANCUN...it was the BEST EVER! ! ! HOPING )

I like this, but I also like to skip the marshmallows and add a dollop of whipped cream on top sprinkled lightly with nutmeg. Yummy! Add a little Kahlua and it REALLY warms things up! lol

I like this, but I also like to skip the marshmallows and add a dollop of whipped cream and a light sprinkle of nutmeg on top. When I really want to warm up, a little Kahlua added does the job!

I prefer plain hot chocolate.

CAN'T WAIT TO MAKE THIS D Cinnamon sticks are a VERY nice touch 3

I know fat-free milk is healthiest, but at nice 2% or 1% milk gives hot chocolate a fuller mouth feel. I'll try mine with the cinnamon@

Yum this sounds amazing I have never had it this way!

this sounds really flavorful intense, my mouth is watering! Kathryn C

Cannot wait to make this...sounds like the hot chocolate I had on vacation in CANCUN....it was the BEST EVER!!!

This is very similar to a "Mexican" hot chocolate recipe that we make at home, minus a bit of sweetness, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Love to put vanilla in my hot chocolate!

Never thought of adding Vanilla and cinnamon to hot chocolate. Sounds like a winner!

Looks very good. I like to add a little coffee to mine.

This looks like a great hot chocolate recipe

My girlfriend and I gave this a try with a little whipped cream on top. Pretty good.

interesting.... i sometimes add Dove dark chocolate to mine.... never thought of adding vanilla...

Looks delicious! I will definitely have to make this for Christmas!

That looks so yummy! I need to try this!

Looks delicious! I will definitely have to make this for Christmas!

Will have to give this a try, sounds good.

Sounds worth trying. I like cinnamon but have never added it to hot chocolate before.

I prefer the one my Mother made in the 40's. Childhood memories are best and this recipe sounds great.

Looks like something I will drink on a cool winter night

This sounds like a recipe I need to make on Christmas Eve for the family!

looks yummy,,,

I love dark chocolate, so this is a recipe I will make!

love, love, love cinnamon. just the right touch! oh, and you have to have whipped cream on top!!!

I like this with Cholate whipped cream on top!

sounds good will have to try

Sounds good will have to try

This sounds like an interesting recipe - I like cinnamon with sweet flavors, but not necessarily the spicy cinnamon flavors. I'd definitely give this a try!

I never thought to add cinnamon to hot chocolate but that sounds like a good idea. I have been using dark chocolate for my chocolate for a few months and will add cinnamon the next time.

I love hot chocolate and I love cinnamon. Using real dark chocolate makes it both tastier and healthier. It should taste great!

Hot chocolate is a big favorite with my family during the winter. I love that this recipe is made with real chocolate and cinnamon and a hint of sophistication.

I love this ! I love flavored hot chocolate over plain. my favorite is Butterfinger candy flavor )

Hot chocolate is a big favorite with my family during the winter. I love that this recipe is made with real chocolate and cinnamon and a hint of sophistication.

I love this ! I prefer flavored hot chocolate than plain. My favorite is the Butterfinger candy hot chocolate .

Dark chocolate in anything is great, but add the cream and make it smooth.

Dark chocolate in anything is my thing. Also make it smooth and creamy.

I like mine plain , creamy and real chocolatey, also.,

I love hot chocolate but I prefer 2% milk and mini marshmallows.

i like mine plain and real chocolaty!

I like mine plain!!!

i like the idea of steeping it with cinnamon sticks

Thank you for this recipe. It sounds fantastic.

Waoooo it looks so delicious...ummmm. I love hot chocolate!!!!

I prefer hot cocoa plain, but some spiced rum and marshmallows would be great!

Hmm. I never thought to add cinnamon or vanilla to hot chocolate. Will have to give this a try!

I love my hot chocolate rich dark but marshmallows are good occasionally too.

No cinnamon but a touch of malt powder and a snippet of Baileys. And of course a few mini marshmallows..

Delicious!

Love this recipe!!!

Love my hot chocolate with cinnamon, just a hint of cayenne and lots of whipped cream....

I love this recipe! Incorporates both my favorites - chocolate and cinnamon!

I love this recipe! Incorporates two of my favorites - chocolate and cinnamon.

I enjoy my hot chocolate with tiny marshmellows

I've never had hot chocolate with cinnamon in it before. I'd like to give it a try though. Sounds yummy.

This sounds like liquid gold.

cinnamon in cocoa - makes it seem warmer, cozier, always!

I like mine with an added ingredient. It could be more chocolate, caramel, or raspberry syrup.

Love this hot chocolate. Love all the recipe's

I usually drink mine plain, but this sounds yummy

Like mine plane but with some whipping crean and a bit of sprinkled chocolate on the top. The added cinnamon sounds interesting.

I usually drink mine plain, but must try this!

I've always done mine plain, but must try this!

this sounds delicious

I like my hot chocolate with 1/2 tsp powdered espresso.

I love Hot Chocolate . I especially love mint Flavored .

I usually like my cocoa plain, but I think I would really enjoy this recipe!

YUM, this looks delicious.

I love Hot Chocolate .Couldn't see first comment I made .

This one looks interesting . Would love to make it .

That looks really good.

yum, this looks delicious.

I prefer flavoured hot chocolate - there are so many different types to enjoy.

Hot Chocolate YUMMY YUMMY Great Recipe

I love my hot chocolate dressed up. Add mint, more chocolate, marshmallow or whipped cream and I'm a happy camper... Would love your recipe in a adult version with a splash of Bailys Irish Cream.

My son would love this hot chocolate. Thanks for the receipe.

My son would love this hot chocolate. Thanks for the recipe.

This sounds delicious I love hot cocoa in the winter )

This sounds delicious I love hot cocoa in the winter )

I like it plain but the cinnamon sounds good.

I love hot chocolate all on it's own!

I love hot chocolate all on it's own!

Would be perfect with marshmallows!

Hot chocolate is perfect all on its on. Add a touch of vanilla and its a little piece of heaven.

I love Cinnamon in hot chocolate. I think I might have to add a little more sweetener, however.

Plain Hot Chocolate is the way to Go! Just like when I was a child and hot chocolate was a snowy day treat.

I like adding some caramel syrup. YUMMY! This is good just the way back like it!!!

I believe that hot chocolate should always be flavored.

Rich and thick, just like I want my hot cocoa to be. This was the perfect drink for a cold afternoon day!

This hot chocolate was a little too rich for my liking. I'd probably change up the proportions of chocolate to milk next time. Otherwise, I enjoyed it!

This hot chocolate is great for cold days. I loved how rich it was, but a few marshmallows or some whipped cream would really help to cut through the strong chocolate flavor.

This makes a for a good strong cup of hot chocolate. It's perfect for keeping cozy on polar days. And the cinnamon adds an extra bit of flavor. I can't wait to make this for the holidays!

This hot chocolate is AMAZING. Everything about it is perfect, I wouldn't change a thing!

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