You know those people who are just naturally, flawlessly good at everything?
Yeah, that’s not me.
To give you a bright and shining example, I spent the last three days making a variety of Christmas-time cookies to share with all of my lovely friends and co-workers. I spent hours perfecting every cookie to be photo-ready in the hopes of enticing hungry eyes. I made myself a prisoner to my kitchen until the fumes of sugar and icing made me, literally, sick to my stomach.
I realized one of my earrings was missing.
400 cookies in and I discover that my earring is somewhere among all of my baked goods waiting to crack the filling of one unsuspecting victim. Luckily for me, several years of losing expensive jewelry has taught me to go for the fake diamonds whenever possible. So, while I didn’t exactly lose a pricey bauble in the cookie dough, I still couldn’t serve these sweets to my coworkers or friends with the possibility of a very unpleasant surprise.
Next year, I plan on removing all jewelry prior to commencing with any cookie making marathons.
My cookie exchange may have been ruined, but I think I more than made up for it on Christmas morning with this hot cocoa recipe. And, not just because I kept all of my jewelry in place for the making of this delightful chocolate beverage.
This hot cocoa utilizes a slow cooker, which is not necessarily a revolutionary concept, but does allow you to meld the ingredients together slowly without much attention. An occasional stir is all it needs while you focus on some of your more intricate brunch recipes.
My favorite part of this recipe is the addition of Irish cream liqueur which serves the obvious purpose of boozing up a normally harmless recipe. It also pairs exceptionally well with very rich chocolate desserts, so it’s almost a no brainer when it comes to homemade hot chocolate. It has the third very important task of impressing my 100% Irish grandmother, which I’m happy to say it did!
Because of the sheer volume of the recipe, my 6 quart slow cooker needed to run on high to get all of this fluid to heat up. Therefore, while I consider this a recipe requiring an “occasional stir”, you’ll want to keep a closer eye on this as it gets closer to ideal serving temperature. This is a recipe that needs a thorough heating through to melt the chocolate, and is not something that requires actual “cooking”.
This is a recipe that will definitely be made on future Christmas mornings, or maybe even for next St. Patty’s Day!
Irish Cream Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa
1 gallon whole milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 10 oz. bags of semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups Irish cream liqueur
1/2 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients into a large slow cooker. Set the temperature to “high” and warm mixture.
Stir mixture occasionally, about every 4 minutes, to fully incorporate the chocolate chips. Do not let the mixture boil or bubble.
Serve hot with whipped cream or marshmallows.