I consider myself to be a pretty friendly person, but there are a few things that I get a little bit snobbish about. The first is butter. I turn up my nose at margarine in all of its varieties. Just give me the real stuff, please. The second is hot cocoa. I do not drink coffee, but hot chocolatey goodness is heaven in my mouth, especially on cold winter days. I am, however, a little bit of a snob when it comes to what kind I will drink. Those inexpensive powdered packets from the grocery store…no thank you. They don’t taste very good, and have you ever looked at the ingredient list? (Ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, modified whey, cocoa processed with alkali, hydrogenated coconut oil, nonfat milk, calcium carbonate, less than 2% of: salt, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglyderides, artificial flavor.) Why does my hot cocoa need dipotassium phosphate? What is that anyway? And artificial flavor…is cocoa not enough?
In the realm of hot cocoa, I stick with the real deal…made with whole milk, cocoa powder, and sugar. It is super easy, and so delicious! Try it and you may never go back to the powdered stuff again. You have been warned…
Favorite Hot Cocoa (Single Serving)
1/2-1 T. sugar
1 T. cocoa powder
1 c. whole milk (you can make it with low-fat milk, but trust me…whole is rich, creamy, and delicious!)
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Mix together all dry ingredients in a mug. In a microwave safe cup (I use a glass measuring cup with a handle), warm the milk for 1 minute and 30 seconds. (I like mine really hot, so I heat mine for 2 minutes. It is perfect sipping temperature after that amount of time.) Pour about 1/4 cup of warmed milk into the mug containing your dry ingredients, and stir until all dry ingredients are dissolved. Add the rest of the milk and vanilla, mix well, and enjoy. You could even substitute mint extract for the vanilla (or a drop of peppermint oil) if you like mint hot cocoa, or try other flavored extracts if you want to get a little bit crazy. Orange would be yummy as well.
**Slightly adapted from Hershey’s hot cocoa recipe
If you would like a recipe that makes more than one serving, try this one. It is a winner!
For all of you who are dealing with the crazy weather in the Eastern United States, warm up with a steaming mug of this delicious chocolatey goodness. You will not regret it. I will be enjoying the same deliciousness here in Phoenix where it was 75 degrees and beautiful today. I will try not to brag…
There are benefits to living in the desert…especially in January.