The Secret Ingredient You Should Be Adding To Your Hot Chocolate

There's really no better beverage to enjoy while sitting in front of a roaring fire than a warm mug of hot chocolate. A packet of Swiss Miss will certainly do the trick, but it doesn't exactly take cocoa to the next level. Sure, you could elevate your hot chocolate with a few marshmallows and a dash of cinnamon, but what you really need is something that will put your hot chocolate over the top. It turns out that secret ingredient is butter. 

Yep, the stuff you spread on your toast. But there's actually more than one kind of butter you might want to add to your hot chocolate to kick it up a notch...

Peanut butter is the secret ingredient your hot chocolate needs

Most of us probably aren't in the habit of adding peanut butter to our hot chocolate, but it makes complete sense. Reese's peanut butter cups are consistently ranked as one of the best Halloween candies to eat, so if you could drink a Reese's peanut butter cup, wouldn't you want to?

According to a study from Penn State University, chocolate and peanut butter are such an irresistible combination because the aroma of each perfectly complements the other, and the oils from the peanuts highlight the flavor of the chocolate in your mouth (via Men's Health). Hey, there's no arguing with science on this one. 

Recipe blog One Ordinary Day recommends adding 3 to 4 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter to your hot chocolate, and perhaps a pinch of sea salt. Trust us, it's a game-changer.

Use salted butter as a secret ingredient for extra creamy hot chocolate

Chocolate is obviously the star of the show when it comes to hot chocolate, but to really highlight its flavor cream is needed. Milk or creamer is an obvious go-to, but what about butter? This ingredient admittedly might seem a little odd at first, but hold up and hear us out. Some adventurous coffee drinkers opt for butter over other creamers, and Spoon University writer Megan Wu swears by it when making her hot chocolate. 

Not just any butter will do, though. You'll want to use salted grass-fed butter to balance out the sweetness of the chocolate. The incredibly simple recipe calls for 1 cup of water, a packet of hot cocoa mix, and 2 tablespoons of salted grass-fed butter. Blending it together thoroughly is key, but what you're left with is a seriously thick and creamy cup of hot chocolate.