Nana’s Hot Chocolate

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My Nana (Grandmother) used to make Mexican hot chocolate for my cousins and I during Christmas time.  The taste and smell really take me back to childhood.  It’s a cherished memory.  We have had our fair share of cold and rainy nights this year in California.  These rainy nights are perfect for pajamas and Mexican hot chocolate.  Find a cozy, quiet spot in your house and enjoy a silky smooth cup of chocolate.  It’s easy to make, and I will show you how to fancy-it up.

Time-10 minutes



2 cups of milk (whole/lowfat), 1 block of Abuelita/Ibarra chocolate, 1/2 cup of milk for frothing, hersheys milk chocolate for design.

Preparation of Mexican Hot Chocolate

On medium-high heat add milk in an aluminum pitcher or deep pot.  Warm milk to almost boiling.


The chocolate is already scored for you.  Cut into triangle pieces for easier melting.


Add chocolate into warm milk and use whisk or the traditional Molinillo to whip the chocolate milk for 5 minutes to thicken and make the chocolate smooth.  While chocolate is melting place your extra milk into frother.  Once chocolate looks slightly thick and smooth pour into cups.

fullsizeoutput_c917Add frothed milk to hot chocolate.  It should sit right on top leaving a little edge of chocolate on the perimeter.fullsizeoutput_c918With hershey’s syrup you can make a zig zag pattern or circular pattern.

fullsizeoutput_c911Using a toothpick run it perpendicular to the zig zag pattern.  For the circular pattern take the toothpick from the outside of the circle and bring it to the center most part to create a flower design.


Cook’s Note:

  1. This blog is dedicated to my Nana who passed away 2 years ago today.
  2. Milk is not a liquid you can walk away from when on the stovetop.  When it hits it’s boiling point it rises and spills over very quickly.
  3. See foodie field trips tab at top of my blog to find where you can find a restaurant that does it right.
  4. Mexican hot chocolate is different because it is infused with cinnamon.


The Author

First off, I'm not a writer. This should be abundantly clear as you read this bio. I'm not a trained Chef either. I'm a Mother, Wife, Registered Nurse and Fraudulent Chef. Why a blog you ask? Well, I don't want to be a line cook, executive Chef, or a restaurant owner. I just want to cook what I want, when I want, and for who I want. Cooking is a creative outlet for me. I don't even consider myself a blogger because I don't blog often. So advertising dollars and web fame is not my motive. Finding the time to cook, write up a recipe, photograph it while maintaining a job and household is challenging. However, it has given me great joy over the years to see people carrying on dishes that I've developed. It's also an online cookbook that I can reflect on. My cooking is an expression of the strong women in my life and inspired dishes from my favorite restaurants. I'm a recipe impostor of dishes from restaurants I love. Furthermore, many of the recipes are spruced up from my childhood. I'm a Mexican-American, native Californian who has spent time in New York and married a first generation Costa Rican. My cooking reflects all of these aspects. Karen's Kitchen is not a Mexican food blog. As much as I'd like to fit into a pretty little red, white and green box. I find it too limiting and reject the notion of creating a Latino point of view because it makes a blog cohesive. So my recipes are all over the place, with no rhyme or reason. Home cooks never apologize for not graduating from culinary school. You will find that my recipes are easy to follow and geared for the home cook. They look amazing and will make you look like a Domestic God/Goddess in front of your loved ones. It's my hope that you find the love for cooking and make some of my recipes your own. Cheers to cooking, eating and surrounding yourself with lovely people.


  1. Janie Lugo says

    My Husband and I were over Karen’s one night and Karen made the Mexican Hot Chocolate and it was amazing, great for any evening but especially great on cold days like we’re having.

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