While trying to stay warm for the winter and staying nice and cozy under blankets, here are just a few hot drinks to help. One of them doubles as aromatherapy from the slow cookers. All you will need is some ingredients, a slow cooker and a few hours of your time.
- Caramel-Hazelnut Cafe Mocha – Makes 12 servings
Ingredients – 8 cups half-and-half or light cream, ½ cup of chocolate-hazelnut spread, ½ cup caramel dessert sauce, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2-3 tablespoons instant espresso coffee powder, whipped cream and extra caramel dessert sauce (optional).
Directions – In a 3 ½ or 4-quart slow cooker whisk together half-and-half, chocolate-hazelnut spread, ½ cup caramel sauce, cocoa powder and espresso powder. Cover it and cook on low for 5-6 hours, whisking once or twice during cooking and again before serving. Serve with whipped cream on top and if you want, drizzle more caramel sauce to top it off.
- Chai-Maple Cider – Makes 8 servings
Ingredients – You will need 4 long strips of orange peel, 2-3 cinnamon sticks, 8 whole cloves, 3 cardamom pods, 25 whole black peppercorns, 5 cups apple cider, 1 cup water, ½ cup pure maple syrup, 8 black tea bags, and extra orange slices (optional).
Directions – For a spice bag, place orange peels, broken cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns in the center of a double-thick, 100% cotton cheesecloth. Bring up the corners and close with clean kitchen string. In a 3-4 quart slow cooker combine spice bag, apple cider, water and syrup. Then cover, cook on low-heat setting for 5-6 hours. Add tea bags, draping strings over the side of the cooker, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, gently press them on the sides to release the liquid and discard the bags and spice bag. If desired, garnish with additional cinnamon sticks.
- White Hot Chocolate – Makes 5 servings
Ingredients – You’ll need 3 cups half-and-half or light cream, ¾ cup vanilla flavor baking pieces or vanilla flavor candy coating and chop it up, 3 inch cinnamon sticks, ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, ¼ teaspoon almond extract, and extra ground cinnamon is optional.
Directions – Combine ¼ cup of half-and-half or light cream, vanilla baking pieces, cinnamon stick and nutmeg in a medium saucepan. Whisk over low heat until vanilla pieces are melted and remove cinnamon stick. Then add remaining half-and-half or light cream and whisk until heated through. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and almond extract. Serve in a cup or mug and top with pieces of candy or sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
- Hot Coffee Latte Eggnog – Makes 8 servings
Ingredients – 3 eggs (slightly beaten), 2 cups whole milk, 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder or 4 teaspoons instant coffee crystals, ground cinnamon, extra whipped cream and cinnamon sticks (optional).
Directions – In a heavy large saucepan, stir together the eggs, milk, whipping cream, honey and espresso coffee powder. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just coats a metal spoon; do not let boil. Pour the hot eggnog into heatproof glasses or coffee cups. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle each with ground cinnamon and serve with cinnamon sticks. Serve immediately.
Warm up your cold days with these hot drinks straight from your slow cooker. These drinks would be great for the holidays and family gatherings. If you need more servings, just double everything as listed.