Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate


I’ve weaned myself off of that late afternoon cup of coffee. With this.

Oh wait, I also had some of this.

This one’s just plain old hot chocolate, straight-up. That white creaminess on the top, by the way? aren’t dollops of whipped cream – they’re (melting) homemade marshmallows. Which yes, I know, are oh-so-very Martha. And to be honest I don’t have the patience for the cutting and the dusting with icing sugar (I can never cut them cleanly, and wind up a total mess with marshmallow goo stuck to me and less-than-Martha looking mallows all over my kitchen. And myself. And the floor. And the dog. Black-haired dogs and sticky freshly sawed-apart marshmallows do not mix.)

So I discovered if you just drop spoonfuls of the marshmallow mixture onto parchment paper or pipe it out from a zip-lock baggie (in which case you can make Peeps!) it’s far easier and less labour-intensive, and you don’t need to dust everything with icing sugar nor cut them into neat cubes afterward. And in your mug, they look like whipped cream.

I digress. Back to the PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE. (It doesn’t have to be salted, if you’ve had enough of the salted sweet stuff. But it does have to be peanut butter.) In New York we went to a place called the Shake Shack. (Aside: BEST BURGER OF MY LIFE, HANDS-DOWN.) It was an outdoor burger joint, in a little park across the street from the Flat Iron Building, and although they have those heaters on poles distributed among their tables, it was chilly. A sign beside the ordering window read:

Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
Baby Itโ€™s Cold Outside


As if the burgers and frozen custard (!) werenโ€™t stupendous enough, this ranked among the top two – possibly one – hot chocolates of my life. It wasnโ€™t terribly salty, nor sweet, not overwhelmingly peanut buttery. It was thick and foamy and intense and wonderful. And this morning I figured out how to make it.

Oh no.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate


November 23, 2010

If you want it salted, add a pinch of flaky sea salt at the end.


1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 cup water

3 cups 2% or whole milk

2-4 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (Lindt 70% cocoa or Bernard Callebaut - you can get nibs or flakes from Bernard Callebaut they work great)


1In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and cocoa to get rid of lumps; stir in the water until smooth, then whisk in the milk over medium-high heat. Heat until steaming. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter and chocolate. Let it sit for a few seconds, then blend it with a hand-held immersion blender. Or for individual cups, divide the chocolate among the cups and pour the warm milk overtop. Whiz with one of those little frothers to make it very smooth and foamy.


P.S. You don’t really need a recipe for this – you can just lob in a spoonful of creamy peanut butter into your regular (real!) hot chocolate. But whizzing it with a hand-held immersion blender makes all the difference, emulsifying and frothing it up into something much better than the sum of its parts.


About Julie

You May Also Like

44 comments on “Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

  1. Cheryl
    November 23, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Oh my sweet heaven.
    PS Love the marshmallow tip! Although, the girls do love the icing sugar mess.

  2. kickpleat
    November 23, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I was so curious after you tweeted this! Yum. I only buy natural peanut butter – would natural work do you think? Maybe I’ll just have to try….

  3. JulieVR
    November 23, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    It’s worth a try! I have the natural stuff too, but this seemed like a time to pull out the creamy. Let me know how it goes!

  4. Taryn
    November 23, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you – what an incredible treat for a cold day. I was salivating listening to you talk about it on the Eyeopener this morning. And I used natural peanut butter with my homemade hot chocolate tonight. Worked great mixing it with an immersion blender. Delish!

  5. Robyn
    November 23, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    are you freaking kidding me? btw i totally stole some cute jam jars from my mom so i could make a jar of hot chocolate mix like you!

  6. Caitlin
    November 23, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Julie,
    I love reading your blog and getting new ideas! I was looking for a recipe you had posted a while ago for cupcakes with avocado frosting, but couldn’t find it on the site. Could you help me locate it?
    Can’t wait to try some peanut butter hot chocolate too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Anita
    November 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Julie, you are a freakin’ goddess and I am LOVE LOVE LOVING this recipe. Can’t wait to try it tomorrow – I have that new whipped peanut butter. Mmmmm.

  8. Shelby
    November 23, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    You are so speaking my language on this one……..have to wait until my peanut allergic son isn’t around, but I am so trying this! Do you think it would work with almond butter?

  9. LimeCake
    November 24, 2010 at 2:19 am

    it’s never occurred to me to mix PB with hot chocolate. sounds delicious!

  10. Liana @ femme fraiche
    November 24, 2010 at 4:50 am

    My jaw LITERALLY dropped when I read the title of your post. GENIUS!!

  11. Ruth
    November 24, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Maybe this will help me get rid of my expensive craving for salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks! Or I could try this without the PB and stir in some caramel sauce and … my brain is overcome with these awesome thoughts!

  12. Lana in South Mountain (ON)
    November 24, 2010 at 7:32 am

    My immersion blender died and although I have been managing without, I think this warrants a new one!
    OMG. Peanut butter hot chocolate. My kids will fall on their knees and worship me.

  13. Jennifer
    November 24, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Holy chocolaty-peanut-buttery-yummy goodness. I think my keyboard is shorting out from my drooling.

  14. Gemma
    November 24, 2010 at 9:24 am

    This sounds amazing! Could you please post or help me find a recipe for marshmallows?

  15. jen
    November 24, 2010 at 9:26 am

    wow! that sounds so amazing, peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favourite combos, i’ll be making this one tonight for sure, thanks julie!!

  16. sara
    November 24, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Wow, this sounds awesome! Love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Lindsey
    November 24, 2010 at 9:57 am

    This is true original. I agree with Gemma, a recipe for the marshmallows would be great!

  18. Lindsey
    November 24, 2010 at 9:58 am

    “a” true original! Oops!

  19. Beverley M
    November 24, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I don’t like PB so this recipe doesn’t interest me… but homemade marshmallows?! Recipe please!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Beverley M
    November 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

    PS I grew up with that same Correll pattern (brown butterflies and flowers) ๐Ÿ™‚ My Mom later upgraded. She now has BLUE butterflies and flowers.

  21. Jennifer Jo
    November 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I’m assuming the peanut butter is to be added at the end with the chocolate pieces?

  22. Sharlene
    November 24, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I adore the Shake Shack! Just ate there last week and was so so tempted to try this out but I somehow resisted. Perhaps that was a bad decision? I will have to try this out!!

  23. Fiona
    November 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    So basically it’s a peanut-butter cup in a mug? You are so evil.

  24. JulieVR
    November 24, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Mwaaa haa haaa..
    Jennifer – yes! sorry.

  25. Kristy
    November 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I hate you. that sounds too good. addictive good. curse you and your amazing hot chocolate. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. ladyloo
    November 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    There will be hot chocolate in my life soon. Oh yes, there will.

  27. Jan @ Family Bites
    November 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Um, hello yummy! And the tip on the marshmallows? Fantastic.

  28. colesangel
    November 24, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    i have good news for all you who are happy about the peanut butter in your hot chocolate…there is more for you as i only have one word to say about this….


  29. Sue
    November 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I was going to suggest the Shake Shack to you when you were on your trip. I agree…the BEST! We were so impressed we ate there twice.

  30. Pat
    November 24, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Julie – Have you tried the hot chocolate at Choklat in Inglewood? Amazing! And its in your neighbourhood!

  31. Monica I.
    November 25, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Couldn’t help but walk down memory lane with my late T-Bone (black lab) in the kitchen encountering disasters and being covered in baking at Christmas. Awwww. Thanks.

  32. Manon from Ontario
    November 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Julie, how do you make home made marshmallows, did I miss the recipe here???

    Thanks again Julie ๐Ÿ™‚


  33. Manon from Ontario
    November 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Monica…they are part of the family after all ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Beverley M
    November 26, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    A quick googling turned up — would this be similar to how you made them, Julie?

  35. JulieVR
    November 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Sorry everyone – the recipe is here if you just go up and click on “the eyeopener”!

  36. Barb
    November 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Ooooo I might just have to have one of those.

  37. Laurie in Calgary
    November 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Wow!! Just made this for the kidlets after a long afternoon outside in the snow. Holy Hannah it is delicious! I put big spoonfuls of Adam’s natural pb (w/salt) in the bottom of the cup, poured on the homemade hot chocolate and whipped up a frenzy with my handheld frother thingy. My children will now do anything I ask. At least for the next couple of hours, anyway. Thanks for another great idea.

  38. Pattie @ Olla-Podrida
    December 3, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Oh my gosh, I want some of this now. Talk about a combination of everything I love all in one. Oh, mamma!

  39. Nancy
    December 27, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Thank you! My sister, niece, and I had almost the exact same experience as you did at Shake Shack in early December. LOVED the peanut butter hot chocolate, and jointly decided that we were better off not knowing how to make it. But since you’ve generously supplied the recipe, I have no doubt we’ll be making a batch before day’s end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.