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January 26, 2015

Hot cocoa recipes to keep you warm as the snow arrives

Local bloggers share delicious spins on a winter favorite

Cooking Recipes
01262015_HotCocoa_AP Matthew Mead/AP


There's nothing like watching the snow fall while cozying up with a nice hot cup of cocoa. As the snow makes its way into Philadelphia, be sure to stock up on your favorite hot chocolate essentials.

Check out some local bloggers' delicious spins on this winter favorite.

1. Vegan Thin-Mint Hot Cocoa by Urban Vegan

Imagine cozying up by the fire with a hot beverage that tastes just like your favorite Girl Scout cookie. Using non-dairy milk, fresh mint and some cocoa powder, Dynise Balcavage combines the coolness of mint with the comforting warmth of hot cocoa in this recipe for vegan thin-mint hot cocoa

The Philly-based blogger put together the recipe after returning to the city from a warm vacation in Puerto Rico one winter.

After running errands, I came home, and hung my snow-soaked coat up to dry. I was chilled to the bone and wanted – no, needed plant-based hot chocolate immediately.

Balcavage, who focuses on plant-based foods and products, has published three cookbooks. She lives in Philly with her two cats, Bossa Nova and Pablo. 

2. Redness-Relieving Hot Chocolate Chai by Jolene Hart

Beauty editor-turned health coach Jolene Hart believes that beauty is built through smart nutrition choices. 

Her company, Beauty is Wellness, aims to educate women about the connection between a healthy lifestyle and beauty. 

You may be inclined to snack on sweets while you're stuck inside from the storm. With Hart's hot chocolate chai recipe, you can enjoy all the sweetness without the consequences.

The biggest minefield of skin-sabotaging foods appears at the dessert table. Refined sugar, white flour, processed pastries and cookies and other high-glycemic foods speed up aging processes in your body, so too many candy canes actually equal breakouts, wrinkles and dull skin in the weeks to come. 

Behold, your winter beauty warmup: Hot Chocolate Chai. Filled with anti-aging spices and cacao. Dark chocolate lovers will adore this recipe as-is, and those with a bigger sweet tooth may want to add one or two drops of liquid stevia.

Hart's book, Eat Pretty, provides a seasonal guide to "looking and feeling your best all year."

3. "Perfectly Chocolate" Hot Cocoa by HERSHEY'S

Hot cocoa wouldn't be the same without Pennsylvania's beloved HERSHEY'S chocolate. 

You can enjoy the traditional cocoa flavor, or use one of HERSHEY'S other variations to create the perfect fireside treat. Add some cinnamon and nutmeg for spiced cocoa, or orange extract for citrus cocoa. 

The recipe calls for 25 minutes of prep time, but hey, you're not going anywhere.