This Christmas has definitely been one to remember. This is Maddie’s third Christmas, but her first two she was 2 months old and 14 months old so she had no concept of what Christmas means. This year was a little bit different! We taught her the Christmas story and were able to start explaining Santa to her. All of these new traditions are beginning and it’s really exciting as a parent!
The traditions started Christmas eve. It’s been a tradition of Mike and mine to make chili on Christmas Eve, so that’s what we did! I used the chili recipe from this post. It was amazing, as usual, and really hit the spot.
Maddie and I have been baking a lot lately, so we decided to make sugar cookies from scratch. They came out perfectly! This particular recipe required cold dough before cutting them out and baking them, but it was worth it because these cookies didn’t spread at all in the oven. Each shape was perfect! After the cookies cooled, we decorated them!
On Christmas morning, I woke up and got breakfast and hot chocolate ready. Hot chocolate on Christmas is a tradition for my little family. Every Christmas morning, I make homemade hot chocolate. I love hot chocolate. I love it so much that I am very picky about it. I need it to be creamy, rich, chocolatey, not too sweet, and topped with marshmallows. A lot of store bought or coffee shop hot chocolates just don’t cut it for me, so I’ve worked to create my own recipe. I finally perfected the recipe and the process, so I wanted to share it with you!
This hot chocolate is rich and creamy. It’s a perfect comfort drink. A little Baileys or Kahlua wouldn’t hurt it either but, for the sake of the post, we’ll keep this recipe kid friendly. The key to this recipe is the process. You’ll make almost a sort of ganache-roux hybrid with the ingredients at one point to make sure the dry ingredients are mixed well enough with the liquid.
Another thing I love about this recipe is the simplicity of the measurements. You can easily cut this in half or double it without needing odd measurements. It’s definitely a win!
- 2 cups milk*
- 2 1/2 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Marshmallows or whipped cream - optional
- *I have only tested this with 2% and whole milk.
- In a pot, heat the milk and half and half over medium heat on the stove- make sure not to boil.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
- When the liquid is very warm, add a small amount of liquid to the dry mixture and stir.
- Continue to add warm liquid until it becomes the consistency of a sauce- you will NOT use much of the liquid at all in this process- maybe 1/3 cup.
- Once the chocolate/sugar/milk mixture is done, add it to the pot with the remaining milk/half and half.
- Stir together until it is mixed together completely.
- Add vanilla extract and stir.
- Once the hot chocolate is very warm- making sure not to boil it- remove it from the heat.
- Serve into mugs, top with marshmallows or whipped cream.
How simple! This takes maybe 10 minutes to make and it is so yummy! Mike put it in some coffee and it was great as well. Definitely try it out and let me know what you think!
After breakfast was in the oven, we opened stockings from Santa and gifts from each other. Maddie put cookies and milk out on Christmas Eve and she really seemed to understand that Santa came and ate the cookies, so that was fun! I got a bunch of new baking utensils which I am STOKED about because the ones I have are old and well used. Mike got me a bunch of wooden and metal utensils and I can’t wait to use them!
We spent the rest of the day watching movies with Mike’s dad and sister who came to visit from Miami. I started dinner in the early afternoon and we sat down for a nice, Christmas dinner that evening!
Overall, this Christmas was amazing. It was so cool to see her get excited about the things she got from us. I’m excited to see her love for Christmas grow as she gets older. I’m also excited for her to continue to learn about Jesus’ birth and why it’s important enough to be celebrated.
Questions for you:
What is your favorite holiday drink?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?