We have had unbelievably frigid weather this winter! Have a few days at a time – or even a week is not unheard of in western Wisconsin, but we have literally had WEEKS of this stuff. We were spoiled with long-running fall like weather for so long that some are saying that is why many have been so sick this winter. I know we have … at least one person in our household has been sick every week since mid-November. It’s been awful. Thankfully we seem to healthy again (crossing my fingers though).
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So what do you do when it’s too cold to be outdoors except to walk to the mailbox (quickly)? How about sit by the fire, listening to Papa read a story, playing with Legos or drawing (Little Chick, not me), while Mama knits…
Personally, I advise against knitting with black yarn in low light, especially when doing something basic like 2×2 ribbing. The warmth of the fire and the monotony just about put me to sleep! 🙂 But I digress…
Another great way of spending cold days and nights is to sip warm liquids. Like delicious homemade hot chocolate!
I went searching for a hot chocolate recipe a couple of months ago when I discovered we hadn’t stocked up yet after using last year’s stash of chocolate mix. I mean, who thinks to buy hot chocolate in the summer time?! (Unless you’re campers – but that’s another story).
I’ve tried recipes in the past that use dry powdered milk, and I’ve never cared for them. I can always taste that processed milk above the chocolate flavor. Besides, when I tried this recipe, I realized it doesn’t matter if I can’t store it. In the time it takes to boil liquid, you can have your freshly made hot chocolate mix!
I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, but we rarely have “normal” cocoa in our house. We’ve discovered a love for this deep dark version instead.
It makes for an almost “dirty” looking liquid. This is not your pale, wimpy store-bought chocolate mix after all. I worried the first time I made it – would there be enough sugar to combat the deepness of this chocolate? But I’m trying to reduce my / our sugar intake, so I figured it was worth the risk. No need to worry. It tastes perfect as-is.
Although – I guess when you add marshmallows, whipped cream and/or peppermint candies … you still get quite a bit of sugar!! LOL
Do you have a favorite hot chocolate topping or addition? I would love to hear some ideas!
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa (regular will work too)
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract or other flavors like creme de menthe
- 4 cups milk
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Optional toppings: whipped cream, marshmallows, crushed peppermint sticks
Mix sugar and cocoa in a medium saucepan; stir in water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 2 minutes.
Turn heat to low. Add milk. Stir and heat until hot. Do not boil! Remove from heat; add flavoring. Whisk until foamy. Serve hot. Top with whipped cream, marshmallows, crushed peppermint candy (or all three!)