3 Recipes to Amp Up Your Hot Chocolate

Hey there, Penny Darlings!

Happy Friday! The weather has been ALL over the place here in the North East! A mix of sixty degrees and twenty degrees. Literally, what? I saw Preston’s play yesterday and we had a great game night with our neighbors! It’s been pretty busy (photoshoots, performances, rehearsals, trying to be humans, etc.) this week so I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow so we can sleep in and be bums!

Let me just end with the boring stuff so we can get to the goods! Ha! Check me out on Instagram here!  I also have a selling Instagram page where I sell some of my old clothes/styles so that I don’t drown in my own wardrobe. I just listed a few new things – so check that out!



With us being in the Mid-Atlantic/North East our weather is pretty….well, fair weather. Today the high is expected to be 68 degrees and the low is 29 degrees. FORTY DEGREES IS A BIG HIGH/LOW DIFFERENCE, ya’ll.

So, out here, we have hot chocolate season from, like, October to April (March is still in the lion phase, less of the lamb phase). It’s the perfect sweet way to end a long day, a great way to share on long chilly nights on the back porch with my neighbors, and perfect for brunch!

However, ya’ll know me. I am the MOST extra whenever possible. I want to make my #Snackapade as delicious and awesome as possible – so I like to do ‘experiments’ on my HoCho. (I’m not a recipe chef, but I AM a Pinterest QUEEEEN!).

So far, the BEST addition to my hot chocolate has been Smashmallows and they are a game changer. They are self described as ‘no ordinary marshmallow. Made with organic cane sugar, naturally gluten free and deliciously non-GMO ingredients, it’s just like you remember – only better.”.

These extraordinary marshmallows are exciting and zany flavors, usually include some type of chips, and are SO GOOD. (honestly, they’re good by themselves as a snack!).

Today, I’m sharing some of my fave recipes (topped with Smashmallows) for the last few chilly nights, for spring bonfires, and morning brunches – here’s a few ways to amp up your Cocoa Game!



Cookie Dough Hot Chocolate


So, I am NOT a recipe chef, but I am a HoChoPro and have tried all the recipes! This one is my fave! I got this from Sam Jesner on SpoonUniversity and this idea is a fave of mine!

I wish I could come up with some equally fabulous idea like this, but I have tried and tested many a recipe and there are none as simple, quick, and TASTY as this one!


Ingredients: 6 squares Toll House mini cookie dough, 1 packet hot cocoa, 1 cup milk

Break up the cookie dough, add the cocoa, add the milk, microwave for a minute, stir until smooth, and enjoyyyyy. Taking the first sip of this is a literal ‘ahhhhhh’ moment.

I topped mine with a cookie dough Smash Mallow and YUM! The perfect final sweet touch.


Toasted Vanilla Cocoa

I got this recipe from Lynnda Coutier from Just a Pinch Recipe Club! This brown sugar based cocoa tastes like toasted marshmallows and a thick vanilla creaminess! It’s so perfect on these last few chilly days of coming in like a lion!

Only four ingredients: 4 cups of milk, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract. And of course, a Toasted Vanilla Smashmallow and some whipped cream for garnish! (that part is my addition!)


Pour milk into pan and heat to simmer over medium heat. Stir cocoa powder and brown sugar together.

A couple teaspoons at a time, stir about 2 tbsp. of the hot milk into the cocoa mixture to make a smooth paste.

Add cocoa paste to milk in pan and simmer for 2 minutes; don’t let it boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into small mugs!

Top with a Toasted Vanilla Smash Mallow!



Mint Chocolate HoCho

For a super easy, super quick mint hot chocolate – try this tried and true recipe (one I got from my dad – no idea where he got it!). Mint Chocolate Chip is my mom’s fave flavor of…well, everything!

My mom is actually who turned me on to topping a great mug of peppermint hot chocolate with a Mint Chocolate Chip Smash Mallow! (they are her FAVE treat).

Moral of the story: moms are usually right! Ha!


Ingredients: 3/4 cup whole milk, 1 packet plain instant hot cocoa mix, 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extra, 1/8 teaspoon pure peppermint extract!

Microwave the milk for a minute and a half, stir in the powdered mix until smooth, then add the peppermint, stir, vanilla, and stir! Such minty perfection, my mouth is literally watering thinking about it. Top with a mint chocolate chip Smash Mallow and…perfection!



Check out Smallmallow socials for recipes, where to buy (I got mine at Target!), and more exclusive deets!




If you are at all interested in doing a collab or working with me – please feel free to check out my new Contact Me! page! I also do social media consulting and photography, so please reach out! Let’s work together!

Follow me on Instagram: @thepennydarling

Like my Facebook page here!

Follow me on Twitter here!

Subscribe for updates!

Check out my Gwynnie Bee affiliate page here! (Free month trial if you use my code!)

If you’d like to donate to help me keep Penny Darling going – click here!

Comment for topics you would like to see me cover! Like to help my self esteem! What do you think so far? More fashion? More lifestyle? Do you like the mix?

Thank you for all that you do. You are truly extraordinary.

Love all you wonderful ladies (and gents!) out there!

How Very,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s