Stay for the Food: Hot Chocolate a la Book Club

I swear I’m capable of making more than hot chocolate.  It just worked out that the two recipes I’ve shared so far are hot chocolate recipes.

Our library has two monthly book clubs for kids (click here for more about that) and instead of having a traditional book club meeting in December, we have a party.  There are games, free books, shenanigans, and the now infamous Hot Chocolate Bar.

I found this recipe on Pinterest three years ago and it has become the centerpiece of the book club parties.  This recipe has also been a hit at our staff training day lunches.

Be warned: this stuff is RICH.  I’ve upped the milk from the original recipe to help cut the richness a bit (and make the recipe go further).  What makes it so rich?


Nothing like smartphone photography!

Nothing like smartphone photography!

I love sweetened condensed milk.  The recipe calls for whole can…but in all honesty about a third of the can makes it into the hot chocolate.  The rest goes into a cup for me.  Omnomnom….


Hot Chocolate a la Book Club

-1 1/2 cups heavy cream

-1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

-2 cups milk chocolate chips

-8 cups milk

-1 tsp. vanilla extract

-Marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips, candy canes, and whatever else you need to adorn the hot chocolate (or you can drink it plain…but why?!)

Dump all the ingredients into a slow cooker and stir.  Cover and turn slow cooker to low.  Stir every 15-20 minutes, being sure to scrape all of the goodness off the bottom of the slow cooker.  Hot Chocolate should be ready in 1- 1 1/2 hours, depending on your slow cooker.  Once everything is melted, you can turn your slow cooker to Warm.  Stir before serving.  Allow guests to top as desired.


Stay for the Food: White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate

LibraryLyssa: Come for the library talk, stay for the food.

We’ve had some library talk, let’s have some food!

I like to cook and LOVE to eat.  I’m not a terrible cook , but I won’t be getting a Food Network show anytime soon ( a girl can dream, right?).  I rarely create my own recipes (BAD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN I GO ROGUE IN THE KITCHEN) but love to tweak recipes I find in cookbooks and online.

At the library, we rarely have food at programs.  There are exceptions and our annual Pumpkinpalooza is a great example.  I’m one of those people who LOVES all things pumpkin and for the past few years, I’ve shared that love through our Pumpkinpalooza program.  The program consists of pumpkin themed crafts and some pumpkin flavored snacks.

I found this recipe last year for Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate and immediately pinned it on Pinterest.  It sounded amazing AND it was done in a slow cooker.  I was in love.  A little tweaking of the recipe and it was ready for programming.  The kids loved it!

And staff doesn’t mind the leftovers either….


White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate


-8 cups whole milk (1 1/2 gallon)

-2 cups white chocolate chips

-1 15oz can pumpkin puree

-2 tsp vanilla extract

-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and turn on low.  Stir the mixture every 15-2o minutes, making sure you scrape up the chocolate from the bottom of the slow cooker.  Hot chocolate will be ready in approximately an hour and a half!  Turn slow cooker to warm to keep beverage warm while serving.  Serves 8-10.