7 best hot chocolate recipes for National Cocoa Day 2018

It's cold out there! Warm up with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
Zane Holmquist's Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
Zane Holmquist's Gingerbread Hot ChocolateNathan Congleton / TODAY

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/ Source: TODAY
By Megan O. Steintrager

Blustery weather isn't all bad news. After all, it can lead to all sorts of wonderful things, like snow days, sledding ... and the excuse to get cozy inside with a cup of hot chocolate, snuggle up and watch a movie.

Even if it's not chilly where you live and you're still craving a comforting drink, you can always just say you're celebrating National Cocoa Day, which is Thursday, Dec. 13.

But shouldn't all of winter really just be National Hot Chocolate Season anyway? We think so.

Here are seven of our easy hot chocolate recipes for delicious mugs of the sweet stuff.

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Our favorite homemade hot chocolate recipes:

Make this warming treat in less than five minutes. Just melt Nutella (or your favorite chocolate-hazelnut spread) with milk in the microwave. It's a totally decadent drink.

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Combine the rich creaminess of hot chocolate with the warm spices of gingerbread into one delicious drink. The spiciness matches perfectly with both milk and dark chocolate.

Use your slow cooker to whip up the easiest hot chocolate ever, then top the mugs with frozen dollops of whipped cream.

Spice up hot chocolate with a hit of fiery jalapeños, plus fragrant cinnamon and vanilla. This twist on a classic treat won't soon be forgotten!

Dulce de leche and sea salt give this dreamy white hot chocolate an extra punch of flavor, but it's still totally lucious and smooth.

Spiked Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

Combine a cocktail craving and hot cocoa by spiking your Nutella hot chocolate (or any hot chocolate!) with bourbon, Frangelico, cacao rum or chocolate liqueur.

Turtle Hot Chocolate Float

This over-the-top hot chocolate float can work as a decadent drink or wow-worthy dessert.

Looking for something a little extra this holiday season? Don't forget this wild hot chocolate trend: red wine hot chocolate — which is as easy as adding a splash of your favorite red wine to a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Yes, when it comes to wintertime drinks, you really can have it all.