Boozy Peanut Butter Cup Hot Chocolate
December 24, 2020
I am a total sucker for hot chocolate in the winter. If I even so much as step outside in the snow, that’s enough of an excuse to whip up a warm mug and curl up with a fuzzy blanket. But adding alcohol to it also? I don’t need a lot of convincing! In this version of boozy hot chocolate, cozy up with that classic peanut butter cup flavor.
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If you ask me, peanut butter is chocolate’s one true love. Sure, they each pair with other flavors nicely, but in their peak form, always come back to one another. I can never resist the combination on a dessert menu. And I’ll admit it’s tough not to fall back on it constantly in my recipes.
But in this comforting and cozy treat, I couldn’t resist. It’s smooth, and safe, and velvety. The peanut butter provides a subtle saltiness that somehow makes that rich dark chocolate even more bold. Trust me, this combo is backed by science.
What You Need to Get Started
- Fridge: Milk
- Pantry: Sugar, Creamy peanut butter, Dark chocolate, Mini peanut butter cups
- From the Bar: Peanut butter whiskey, Dark chocolate liqueur, Milk chocolate liqueur
- Optional: Whipped cream, Mini marshmallows
- Equipment: Pot, Silicone spatula or whisk, Ladle, Mugs
Let’s Make Peanut Butter Cup Hot Cocoa
Hot chocolate is one of those things that’s really easy to make from scratch, but that we still mostly rely on the quick way. But there’s no powder here, and it shows. Using real chocolate makes for a thick and creamy cocoa, and it still only takes about 10 minutes to come together.
Get started by adding milk, peanut butter, and sugar to a saucepan. There isn’t a ton of sugar in this recipe, but if you are using a sugar-free or natural peanut butter, you may want to add a bit more to taste. For the peanut butter, be sure to use creamy. I am usually into crunchy, but for this, it’s all about being smooth.
If you are making a non-alcoholic version of this cocoa, I suggest swapping out half the milk for water. The liquor will help thin out the consistency, so you can replicate that by removing a bit of the heavier milk. Stir these ingredients constantly while heating, but slowly. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn off the heat.
Add in both the dark chocolate pieces and the mini peanut butter cups at this point. I like to use the peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s, but you may also find similar ones in your store’s candy aisle or bulk section. If you end up using larger ones, chop them up first so they will melt easily.
For dark chocolate, you want something that is between 80-90% cocoa. Be sure it’s real chocolate and not candy melts, as those have additional ingredients that don’t work well in hot cocoa. Stir both in until fully melted. Then turn the heat back on, and cook on low, stirring frequently until smooth and thickened.
Turn off the heat once again, and now it’s time to add the alcohol and stir it in until combined. I suggest using three different types in this recipe. First is a peanut butter whiskey. I used Skrewball and enjoyed it, but any other brand should work as well. Just be sure it’s a true whiskey, about 70 proof.
For the chocolate liqueurs, I like to use Godiva. They make both a regular and a dark chocolate variety, and both are used here. If you are not able to get these exact types, you can use any chocolate liqueur or creme de cacao. You can even use a single type to replace both if needed.
That’s it, your cocoa is ready! If you’d like, you can pour the entire mixture through a fine mesh strainer. This will help smooth it out if there’s any unmelted chocolate or peanut butter pieces, but it’s not required.
Ladle the hot chocolate into your favorite mugs, and don’t forget the garnish! I am a big fan of always topping my cocoa with whipped cream and mini marshmallows, no matter the variety. But for this recipe, you can also add a few extra mini peanut butter cups.
Other ideas include a chocolate or peanut butter sauce drizzle on top of the whipped cream, or some chocolate shavings. You can also try some chopped full-size peanut butter cups.
Warm up this winter with a boozy hot chocolate! This one features mini peanut butter cups and peanut butter whiskey.
How to Serve Boozy Hot Chocolate
This cocoa tastes best fresh off the stove, quite warm. However, if you need to make it in advance you can store it in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in a saucepan on the stove until warm, and garnish just before serving.
Boozy hot chocolate is perfectly decadent on its own. But you can also pair it with delicious desserts. For chocolate lovers, lean into that flavor with rocky road black bean brownies, or on a smaller scale mini chocolate chip skillet cookies. Or complement the cocoa with peppermint stick cupcakes or a strawberry rhubarb crumble.
If you are looking for other warm and cozy drinks to enjoy, try an almond Irish coffee hot cocoa or a pecan pie hot buttered rum. For a couple non-alcoholic choices, you can’t go wrong with either a chai white hot chocolate or hot pear cider.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Any extra dark chocolate is a highlight in peanut butter pretzel brownies.
- Use up milk by making a batch of decaf coffee ice cream.
- The rest of that peanut butter jar is perfect for double chocolate cookie cups.
- Toss excess mini peanut butter cups into miso cookies.
- Chocolate liqueur can be used to make either a chocolate turtle martini or an apple brandy alexander.
Boozy Peanut Butter Cup Hot Chocolate
- 2 Cups Milk
- ½ Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Creamy Peanut Butter
- 3 oz Dark Chocolate broken up into small pieces
- ¼ Cup Mini Peanut Butter Cups plus more for garnish
- 2 oz Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
- ¾ oz Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
- ¾ oz Godiva Milk Chocolate Liqueur
- Whipped cream and mini marshmallows for garnish
- In a medium saucepan, add the milk, peanut butter, and sugar. Cook on medium-high, stirring gently but constantly until to dissolve the sugar and peanut butter, until just boiling.
- Turn off the heat, and stir in the dark chocolate pieces and mini peanut butter cups, until fully melted.
- Heat again on low, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened slightly and is uniform and creamy.
- Turn off the and add in the liquor. Stir until well combined. If desired, pour the entire mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
- Ladle the cocoa into mugs, and and top with whipped cream, marshmallows, and mini peanut butter cups as desired.
- Make it Dairy-Free: Use your favorite milk alternative and vegan or dairy-free chocolate and peanut butter cups.
- Make it Alcohol-Free: This cocoa will be quite thick without adding the liquor. Replace half the milk with water for a lighter drink.
- Make Ahead Tip: You can prepare the cocoa ahead of time and store in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat on the stove, stirring until smooth. Garnish just before serving.