Snow Day Hot Chocolate

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We haven’t had enough snow at our house this cool season to play in yet.

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One day it just snowed and snowed.  It was beautiful, but it seemed to stick everywhere but at our house.  I guess that’s the trade-off for having snow stay on the ground longer here than it does on other properties in our cove.  The treeline on the ridge behind our house shades our acreage just enough so that my boys can get a couple of extra sledding days in when we have a really heavy snow.

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Snow days mean hot chocolate to warm with when we all come in to take off our soggy outerwear and get cozied up.

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I usually keep packages of instant cocoa in the pantry for days when it snows so hard that the power goes out.  It’s easier to use a portable heating source to warm a few cups of water than it is to cook hot chocolate made with milk over one.  It’s also easier for me to snag one of the foil packets to add to my coffee when I have it on hand, so I decided after this was happening a little too often at that beginning of the cool season, that I’d better just quit buying it.

One snow day I was out of milk so had to come up with a hot chocolate alternative.  They couldn’t sip it, but my boys liked it so much that I’ve made Chocolate Malt Risotto on several occasions since.  It’s basically a chocolate rice pudding, and yummy warm or cold.

When there was snow forecast recently but nothing came of it, I decided to surprise my kids with hot chocolate to help with the disappointment of missing a sledding opportunity.

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I wish my boys were still this little. But at least now that they are adult size, I worry less about them whipping out of control sliding down that hill behind the old corn crib and breaking something. (e.g. noses, arms, legs, gutter pipes, spirits of adventure…)

Ingredients:

4 c. whole milk

6 T dark cocoa

8 T turbinado sugar

1/4 tsp. pink Himalayan salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Marshmallows, whipped cream, candy canes, etc. for garnish.

Method:

Add milk to a medium sized stock pot.

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Whisk in all the remaining ingredients but the vanilla.

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Heat over medium/high while constantly stirring to keep the milk from scorching and the cocoa from sinking and burning.

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Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes so the cocoa can be absorbed by the milk as it heats.

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Stir in the vanilla extract.

Cool to a sipping temperature so your little ones don’t singe their tongues.

Garnish and serve.

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Yield: 4 large mugs

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