Frozen Hot Chocolate
In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cocoa powder. Gradually whisk in 2 cups of the half-and-half. Cook and stir over medium-low heat just until mixture comes to boiling.Advertisement
Gradually whisk in the remaining 2 cups half-and-half. Heat through but do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool completely and pour into the compartments of two to three ice cube trays. Freeze at least 6 hours or overnight.
For each serving, blend 5 or 6 chocolate ice cubes with 1/2 cup half-and-half or whole milk. Top with whipped cream and/or chocolate syrup, if desired.
Mexican Hot Cocoa:
Prepare as directed, except stir 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and, if desired, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper into the sugar mixture. Add 1 teaspoon almond extract with the vanilla. Top each serving with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.
Mocha Hot Cocoa:
Prepare as directed, except stir 1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder or 2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals into the sugar mixture. Top each servings with whipped cream and coarsely crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa:
Prepare as directed, except whisk in 1/4 cup high-quality caramel sauce and 1/4 teaspoon salt with the vanilla. Top each serving with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle, and a sprinkle of salt.
Minted Hot Cocoa:
Prepare as directed, except add 1/2 cup peppermint schnapps or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract with the vanilla. Top each serving with whipped cream and crushed peppermint candies.