Spiked Slow Cooker Caramel Hot Chocolate

January 1, 2019 by Nicole Collins

This year has not started the way it was supposed to.

Blogger's secret...I oftentimes have my posts written in advance. Sometimes, weeks in advance. Since this isn't my full time job, the reality of my situation is that I have to write when I have time.

Sometimes I write about events that haven't happened yet based on the way they're supposed to go. Then the morning I post, I'll make any necessary edits to give the best account of how the event actually happened. So, my posts are always authentic, just pre-planned.

This past Saturday, I had tons of time and tons of energy. I got myself 4 posts ahead. That's 2 week's worth of posts for me. The doggies and I snuggled in bed most of the day while I worked away.

Yesterday, my life changed in the worst possible way. Little Charlie went in to heart failure, was having brain damaging seizures, and had to be put down. It was sudden. It was unexpected. And, I'm totally devastated.

The below post was already written. And, I honestly don't have the energy or the heart to change it. So, I'm posting what I originally wrote. But this time, it's not my reality. It's a long lost dream of how I thought my life would be today...

_________________________________________________________________________________________

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I can't believe I just wrote the date as 2019 for the first time in 2019. I wonder how long it'll actually take me to remember that it's no longer 2018.

You know there's always that awkward week or two of a new year where you can't get the date right to save your life.

Oh well...

Did everyone have a fun night last night? Tell me all about it!

The bestie and I decided we were going to rebel against winter and have a summer themed New Year's party last night. And it was AMAZING! There was coconut. There was pineapple. There was lime. There was cerveza. There were floaties and flamingos. It was fantastic!

And of course, there was a midnight kiss. Probably not the kind you're thinking of though. Check out my Instagram to see what I'm talking about! →

All I can say is thank goodness her hubby is a trooper and just smiles and nods when we get our grand (and usually off the wall) ideas!

Jan 1 for us usually begins with the bestie and I reconvening in the late morning with some McDonald's breakfast (our hangover food since our younger days) and some Hallmark movies. I don't imbibe to the point of having a next day hangover often; but when I do, there's nothing like a McGriddle or a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

Don't judge me!

They say the best way to cure a hangover is to keep drinking. I'm not sure who “they” is, but “they” sounds pretty smart to me right about now!

So, that's what we're doing today. We're going to keep the party going by snuggling up under the blankie with our hater blockers (sunglasses) and a big ol' mug of today's totally comforting (and totally spiked) drink.

Today, we're making Spiked Slow Cooker Caramel Hot Chocolate!

The beauty of this drink is you don't have to do anything but dump the ingredients in a slow cooker and give it a whisk every half hour or so. That's the perfect amount of effort after a long night of staying up past your bedtime. ;-)

The mix has your standard players in a homemade hot chocolate: whole milk, heavy cream, cocoa powder, and chocolate. I'm usually the first one to swap out milk in a recipe for a low fat or almond milk. But, we really want to stick with whole milk and heavy cream for this one. We need the extra fat content in the milk to keep our delicious drink nice and creamy.

We're also adding a special ingredient that really helps to deepen the caramel flavor and the creaminess of the drink: caramel coffee creamer. I am not a coffee drinker at all (YUCK! With a capital YUCK!). But, there are too many delicious flavors of coffee creamer out there for me not to partake in them. So, I always put coffee creamer in hot chocolate. And, we're flavoring our hot chocolate the same way today.

For the spiked part, we're going to add some caramel vodka at the very end when the hot chocolate has finished it's work in the slow cooker. We don't want to add it too soon, because we don't want to burn off the alcohol. But, keeping the slow cooker on the warm setting while you're serving this up won't affect the vodka. So, that's why we add it at the end. And, if you want to make this a drink for the kiddos, you can add the alcohol 1 ounce at a time per serving to the grown up glasses and add an extra splash of coffee creamer for the non alcoholic glasses.

This drink is so rich and chocolately with the perfect balance of caramel peeking through. And, you really can't go wrong when a drink is spiked! At least my taste testers seemed to REALLY enjoy it!

Alright guys, I know it's the new year so we're all supposed to be eating healthy from here on out, but I've got a few more chocolate recipes that I need to get out of my system first. We'll call it a gradual detox...

But for now, enjoy! And, let's drink!

Spiked Slow Cooker Caramel Hot Chocolate

Serves: 8-10 Print

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 cup caramel coffee creamer (I used International Delight's Caramel Macchiato)

  • 1 heaping cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • ½ tsp vanilla

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 cup caramel vodka

  • whipped cream and/or mini marshmallows, for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a slow cooker, add all ingredients except caramel vodka. Whisk to combine. Cook on low for 2 ½ – 3 hours, whisking every 30 mins. When ready to serve stir in caramel vodka and switch the slow cooker to warm. Top with whipped cream or mini marshmallows. Enjoy!

Recipe notes:

*Please drink responsibly!

*I usually prefer a low fat, skim, or almond milk; but we need the extra fat content in whole milk to keep our hot chocolate rich and creamy. I wouldn't recommend substituting milks (unless you're ok with a thinner hot chocolate).

*If you want to keep this kiddo friendly, skip the caramel vodka at the end. Just add another splash of caramel creamer. Or, if you want to add the alcohol per serving, just add one ounce of vodka for every 8 ounces of hot chocolate.

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