by Tammy Taylor~
Recently our grandbabies came to stay with us for a couple of days. It was cold and dreary outside, so there was no playing outside for them. So I thought we’d pop some popcorn, plug in a fun movie and enjoy some hot cocoa stirred with a peppermint stick. But there’s no need to resort to the packets of powdered stuff! Homemade cocoa is delicious & only involves cocoa, sugar and milk, flavored with vanilla with a handful of miniature marshmallows floating on top. Believe me when I say it was a huge HIT with the grandbabies!
You see, they already think I ROCK because I treated them to tortilla pizzas for lunch one day. But they were absolutely amazed when I pulled out the tortilla-sized tomato leather for the pizzas. Heck, now they think there’s nothing I can’t do! LOL!
So I can’t risk pulling out a packet of the powdered instant cocoa mix & losing my “Grandma knows how to make ANYTHING” badge, oh no! Luckily, homemade cocoa is quick & easy. I’ve enjoyed this recipe for a long time now, I originally found it on the Hershey‘s website. But I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it even richer. You see, when I’m making something chocolate I always substitute cold coffee for at least some of the water in the recipe. It always seems to intensify the chocolate flavor to me. In this case I just substituted coffee for all the water. If you don’t have cold coffee, you can just use water if you like. The result will still be delicious! Here’s how I made it:
Homemade Hot Cocoa: Make Concentrated Syrup
First I made a concentrated chocolate syrup by adding the sugar, powdered cocoa and coffee. This step will blend the cocoa & dissolve the sugar. At first it seems like there’s no way there’s enough liquid to dissolve the sugar & cocoa, but stay with it. I promise it is! I simply mixed it all in the pan, stirred it until it came to a boil, then simmered it while stirring for about 2 short minutes.
Pour In Milk
After my syrup was made I poured in the milk, stirring with my whisk until it was hot. You don’t want the milk to boil, just get it as hot as you’d like to drink it. The bubbles you see in the picture below are from the whisk, not from simmering!
When the cocoa was as hot as I wanted, I removed it from the heat and stirred in a bit of vanilla extract. Then I just ladled it into our mugs. Of course we added a hefty handful of miniature marshmallows too!
There ya go, rich, decadent hot cocoa – homemade in a flash!
Hot Cocoa Recipe
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- dash salt
- 1/3 cup cold coffee can substitute hot water if desired
- 4 cups milk Whole milk is creamier
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir together cocoa, sugar & salt in medium saucepan; stir in cold coffee & cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Simmer while stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
Add milk, still stirring constantly. Heat cocoa to serving temperature - NOTE: Do not boil the milk!
When the cocoa is as hot as you want, remove it from heat. Stir in vanilla and ladle cocoa into mugs. Serve with miniature marshmallows if desired.
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