Cold weather calls for hot chocolate. But don’t settle for just any cup of cocoa!

Try these four flavorful recipes that are anything but average:

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate revelvethotchoc2
You Will Need:
1 cup of skim (or 1% milk)
1/2 cup of chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips work well)
1 – 1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla
for the whipped cream:
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Heat the milk over medium.
2. Whisk in the chocolate, and stir until melted.
3. Stir in the food coloring and the vanilla.
4. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla.
5. Serve the hot chocolate topped with whip and chocolate shavings.

Caramel Hot Chocolate caramelhotchoc
You Will Need:
2 cups milk, preferably whole
1/4-1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup caramel sauce
sweetened whipped cream or vanilla marshmallows
grated chocolate for garnish, optional
caramel sauce, recipe and step by step tutorial HERE (just leave the salt out if you don’t want salted)

1. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Once milk is warm, stir in chocolate chips and caramel and cook, whisking constantly until chocolate has melted.
3. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm topped with sweetened whipped cream or miniature marshmallows, drizzle each serving with 1 tbsp caramel sauce and garnish with grated chocolate if desired.

Notes: For a richer hot chocolate, you can use up to 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips and mix in more caramel sauce as well if desired.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate pbhotchoc
You Will Need:
For hot chocolate:
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

For topping:
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon Truvia sweetener
Chocolate Syrup
2 tablespoons melted peanut butter

For hot chocolate:
1. Add milk, chocolate morsels and peanut butter into your high speed blender. I used my Vitamix.
2. Top the Vitamix and process on high for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is hot and frothy.
3. Pour hot chocolate into 2 mugs.

For topping:
1. While your hot chocolate is processing make whipped cream.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer add whipping cream and sweetener. Whip until the mixture has reached soft peaks.
3. Top hot chocolate with equal amount of whipped cream and drizzle on chocolate syrup and melted peanut butter.

Notes: If you do not own a high powered blender just add all hot chocolate ingredients to a small saucepan and warm on the stove over medium heat until hot and creamy.

Raspberry White Hot Chocolate rasphotchoc
You Will Need:
12 oz raspberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
6 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

1. Sprinkle the sugar on the raspberries and toss to combine. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, until they start to soften and release their juices. Blend the raspberries in a blender, then pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the seeds. You should be left with about ¾ cup of puree. If you have more, save it for another use.
2. Combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer—you want bubbles to appear along the sides of the pan’s edges, but don’t bring it to a full boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped white chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate is melted, then add the berry puree, vanilla extract, and salt.
3. Serve immediately with whipped cream and fresh berries on top. It can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stove top.

Notes: For the best taste and texture, do not substitute white chips for the chopped white chocolate bar. Chips are usually made with palm oil instead of cocoa butter, and they tend to be hard to melt. If you find chips made with cocoa butter, those are a fine substitute, otherwise, look for white chocolate bars. This makes a thick drink, and if you prefer a thinner one, add more milk until you get a texture you like.

These hot chocolate recipes are fairly easy to make, so advanced culinary skills are not required.

However, you might need to add a few minutes to your workout routine. (Good thing the residents at The Reserve on West 31st in Lawrence, Kansas and 100 Midtown in Atlanta have access to 24-hour gyms.)