Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate

White chocolate often gets a bad rap. It's not REAL chocolate, people say. And while that's technically true, that alone is not reason enough to dismiss this actually quite lovely confection.

The trick is to pick out a good white chocolate. There are way too many terrible options on the shelves, which I think is a huge part of the problem. Cloying, chalky, artificially flavored white chocolate is a far cry from the good quality stuff made with real cocoa butter. Real white chocolate is creamy, subtle, and a fantastic base for any number of desserts.

Look for options from brands like Ghirardelli, Guittard, Lindt or the Italian brand Perugina--all of which offer bars and/or chips made with real cocoa butter.

And once you have it, you can try out this easy twist on a classic hot chocolate--Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate.

Just a few simple ingredients whisked together on the stove, and you'll end up with a rich, decadent treat to end a chilly day.

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Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate

8 oz chopped white chocolate (or use chips)
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch kosher salt

Combine the white chocolate chips, milk, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Use a whisk to stir continuously until the chocolate has completely melted and the hot chocolate is thick and smooth.

Divide into mugs and serve immediately.

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