• In a large saucepan, combine chocolate chunks or pieces, sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in milk and crushed candy canes. Heat and stir over medium heat until chocolate and candies melt and mixture just boils. Whisk until smooth.

  • Serve immediately or transfer to a 3-1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker; keep warm on low-heat setting up to 2 hours.

For serving:

  • If you like, carefully beat milk mixture with a rotary beater until frothy. Ladle cocoa into mugs. If you like, top with whipped cream or marshmallows and serve with a candy cane stirrer. Makes 8 (6-ounce servings).

All-Grown-Up Cocoa:

Prepare as directed above. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons creme de cacao or other chocolate liqueur into an 8- to 10-ounce mug. Add hot chocolate. Garnish with whipped cream. Makes 1 serving.

For Easy Cleanup:

Line your slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Add ingredients as directed in recipe. Once your dish is finished cooking, spoon the food out of your slow cooker and simply dispose of the liner. Do not lift or transport the disposable liner with food inside.

Nutrition Facts

361 calories; 13 g total fat; 12 mg cholesterol; 59 mg sodium. 49 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein;