Serve this creamy chocolate beverage on a cool, crisp Halloween night.

Ghostly Great Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate Ingredients:
1 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cups milk
2 cups (1 pint) half & half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Toppings Ingredients:
Sweetened whipped cream
Grated chocolate, if desired
Freshly grated lemon peel, if desired
Freshly grated orange peel, if desired
Ground cinnamon, if desired
Ground nutmeg, if desired
  1. Melt chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly, in 3 quart saucepan. Stir in sugar, water and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with wire whisk, until mixture comes to a full boil (4 to 5 minutes). Boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in milk and half & half.
  2. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through (12 to 15 minutes). (DO NOT BOIL.) Add vanilla. Beat with wire whisk until frothy.
  3. To serve, pour into mugs; top each serving with dollop of sweetened whipped cream. If desired, garnish with the following toppings: grated chocolate, grated lemon peel, grated orange peel, cinnamon or nutmeg.

Makes 8 (1-cup) servings.

Microwave Directions: Combine chocolate chips, sugar, water and salt in microwave-safe -quart bowl. Microwave on HIGH, stirring every minute, until chocolate chips are melted and mixture comes to a full boil (3 to 4 minutes). Microwave on HIGH 2 minutes. Stir in milk and 2 cups half & half. Microwave on HIGH, stirring after half the time, until heated through (8 to 10 minutes). (DO NOT BOIL.) Add vanilla. Beat with wire whisk until frothy. Serve as directed above.

Nutrition Facts (1 serving):
Calories: 260
Fat: 9 g
Cholesterol: 10 mg
Sodium: 180 mg
Carbohydrates: 40 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 8 g

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Land O Lakes, Inc.