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Backcountry Hot Cocoa Bar

spreading the warmth

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When the mercury drops, our attention often turns to activities we can do outside. We hike, ski, snowshoe, maybe build a snowman; but cooler temperatures can sometimes make us forget about "hang out" time. We've got a simple solution.

 

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After your next outdoor adventure with friends, create a backcountry hot chocolate bar! All you need is some hot chocolate (see our much-cheered recipe below) and a topping buffet.

 

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There are, of course, the old stand-bys of whipped topping and marshmallows (both EXCELLENT choices), but why stop there? How about "S'mores Hot Chocolate?" Sounds good, right? Just roast a marshmallow (or two) over the fire and plop that into your hot cocoa.

 

Double Mint Hot Chocolate? Prepare your hot cocoa, add a peppermint patty or two, and stir.

 

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Chocolate and spice go well together. That's the idea behind Aztec Hot Chocolate. Simply add a pinch of salt and a generous pinch of cayenne pepper. The spice from the pepper intensifies the chocolate flavor.

 

Prefer a little MORE kick? We're kind of fond of Black Cherry Bourbon Hot Chocolate. (It has 2oz of Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon by Jim Beam in it. Delicious!)

 

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Regardless of your hot cocoa preference, you can start with a good base. Below is our favorite recipe - easy to make and tastes amazing - almost like a melted candy bar (some people actually prefer to cut it with milk; taste and adjust to your personal preference).

 

Backcountry Cocoa

Ingredients

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
6 c milk
1 can sweetened, condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

 

Instructions

There are two ways to do this.

 

      1. If you're just headed out for the day and want to prep at home:
        Put the chocolate chips in a double boiler with about 1 cup of milk; stir as it heats to make a smooth syrup, then add your syrup to the rest of the ingredients and heat through. Place in a sealable container. When you're ready to rev up the backcountry - simply heat, garnish with your favorite toppings and serve.
      2. If you're going to be gone for a while OR you want to prep in the wild, simply take nesting cookware (the two pots from the Pinnacle Camper work well) and prepare onsite.

 

Hopefully these suggestions spark some ideas for you. The variations you could dream up are infinite. Got one you'd like to share? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

 

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