Breakfast cereal and cake mix with bright orange packaging and fall leaves scattered across the titles jumped out at us whether we were in the grocery store, department store, or the local cafe. The ever popular PSL (pumpkin spice latte) was mentioned on the radio, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, and once, on a strangers t-shirt outside of my daughter’s ballet class. While I enjoy pumpkin and spice, I have never been one to so enthusiastically jump on the bandwagon and pledge to live solely on this seasonal drink until Black Friday.
That said, my kids have been extra curious this year and I decided to take matters into my own hands and make them their own special treat. No coffee for them – they certainly don’t need caffeine for energy and at 5’2″, they don’t believe me when I tell them it stunts your growth. So hot chocolate it is! My Minnesota roots show through when I tend to mix just about anything with melted chocolate and milk.
A little spiced and a LOT addictive, this is warm and lovely. A fun switch from hot apple cider after a day of pumpkin carving, hay rides, raking leaves, or here in South Carolina, a trip to the lake in 90 degree weather. 🙂 Easy to do and mild in flavor, this just may become your go-to, whipped cream topped beverage this fall!
Don’t tell Starbucks.
Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
This is rich enough using half milk and half water, but feel free to use all milk and make it especially decadent. I won’t tell. Notice below that you can adjust the level of spice you add. 2 tsp is perfect, but if you really want to amp up the flavor, go for the whole tablespoon!
In a large sauce pan, or slow cooker, whisk together:
1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 c pumpkin puree – NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING
2 tsp – 1 T pumpkin pie spice
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 c water
3 c milk
Whisk everything together until incorporated and heat on medium low until very hot, whisking occasionally. Don’t let it burn! Alternatively, heat over low or high in the slow cooker, whichever you have time for, until very hot. Store leftovers in the fridge, stirring well before reheating. Drink will last 4-5 days in the fridge. When serving, top with whipped cream and an extra pinch of pumpkin spice!