Whether you’re taking a ride on the Polar Express or just cuddling under your blankets after class, nothing welcomes the holiday season quite like hot chocolate. Now, I’m not talking about the instant stuff you get at just about any supermarket, I’m talking about the decadent, rich hot chocolate your younger self could only dream of.

While the holidays approaching means that finals are getting ever closer, it also means that winter break is almost here, and you are one step closer to seeing your loved ones back home. So it’s only fitting that this bittersweet time is filled with bittersweet chocolate and milk all wrapped up in a perfect drink we call cocoa.

Here are some recipes that will have you scoffing at plain old box mix and longing for some snow.

Marisa Ratchford / Daily Nexus

Cookies and Cream Cocoa

1 cup milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup cocoa powder mix
4 crushed Oreos
Whipped cream
Chocolate syrup

Combine the milk, cream and cocoa mix in a pot over medium-low heat until simmering. Next, add in two-thirds of your cookie crumbles to the mix and stir until blended completely.
Pour your drink into a mug and top with a healthy dose of whipped cream. Drizzle chocolate syrup and sprinkle the remaining oreos.
The flavor is rich and decadent and so sweet that it’s almost impossible not to be swept back to your childhood as you finish the mug, and the Oreo crumbs create that all-too-familiar cookie mush at the bottom of your cup.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

1 cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsps. light brown sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg

Place the milk, chocolate, heavy cream and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the ground cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg once the chocolate has melted. Lower the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and serve in mugs with whipped cream.
Reminiscent of Abuelita chocolate tablets my mom keeps back home, the flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg in this cocoa make the classic drink just that much better. The spices and smells will have you excited for the holiday season ahead.

Marisa Ratchford / Daily Nexus

Nutella Hot Chocolate

2 cups milk
2 tbsps. cocoa mix
⅓ cup Nutella
Pinch of salt
Mini marshmallows
Chocolate syrup

Combine the milk, Nutella, salt and cocoa mix into a pot on medium-low heat. Stir vigorously until Nutella is completely blended. Bring to a simmer, but be careful not to boil your drink. Serve with an abundance of marshmallows and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
The flavor of this one is much more subtle but just as delicious, and the nuttiness of the hazelnut pairs deliciously with the creamy cocoa.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1 cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp. peppermint extract

Place the milk, chocolate and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove the saucepan from the heat once the chocolate has melted and stir in the peppermint extract. Serve in mugs with whipped cream and crushed peppermint candy.
Nothing quite captures the holidays like peppermint and hot chocolate, the flavors of this drink balancing each other out to give you a perfectly minty treat.


Tiffany Velazquez
Tiffany is the On The Menu Co-Editor and has been at the Nexus since spring of her freshman year. When not working on the paper, she is the literal embodiment of an English major and can survive on coffee alone.