When you see this outside…
Then you know its time to make this Easy Hot Chocolate Recipe that will keep you warm all winter long.
In the winter for breakfast, my grandmother would make hot chocolate and toast with peanut butter. Her hot chocolate came from the great “Swiss Miss”, of course. She would always buy the hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, which would disintegrate within seconds of the hot water being added to the mix. Unless you wanted to burn your mouth, it was impossible to drink the hot chocolate fast enough to taste the marshmallows. Until one day my grandmother filled me with such wonder and started putting real marshmallows inside the hot chocolate making it an extra wonderful treat to drink! Even today when I drink hot chocolate I cross over into the realm in which she exists, lay on her chest, and take in her natural scent of peppermint, fabric softener, and hint of cigarettes into myself.
We’d discuss the stories and characters of the Guiding Light, Days of Our Lives, and the Bold and the Beautiful until there was nothing left to say. Then, she’d ask, “Now Nicole, is your room clean?” This is a question she always asked her grandchildren because, to her, it gave her some validation of how good a grandmother she was. If she taught us to be clean, speak correctly, and act well-mannered then she has done her job.
My grandmother was a house wife. Unfortunately, I will never get to ask her how she felt about raising three children, being at home everyday, and how she managed to still find solitude outside of her wifely and motherly roles. However, there is one thing I don’t have to wonder, that woman loved making me pancakes every Saturday morning; she loved making me Cream of Wheat and peanut butter toast every morning before school; she loved taking me to her pharmacy called “Bettman’s” where she’d pick up her insulin and buy me a brown paper bag full of candy; she loved making me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday after school; and she loved making me hot chocolate. I like to think if she were still here she would be proud of me and the woman that I’ve become. I don’t know how we are alike in terms of being a woman, but I like to think that all the things she has given to me has shaped me to be who I am today.
For this recipe, my grandmother is my muse.
- 1½ c. half in half
- 1 c. heavy cream
- ¼ c. sugar
- ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa
- ¼ c. chocolate syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. rum (optional)
- In a medium sauce pan, bring half and half and heavy cream to a slight boil. Once the milk has started simmering, pour in the sugar and stir for about 2 minutes so it will dissolve. Turn the heat low and sift in the cocoa. Stir until completely dissolved (you might have to whisk a little bit to break up any large clumps of cocoa).
- Once the milk starts to look like chocolate milk, add in the chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, and rum if you are using it. Stir until well mixed. Serve with marshmallows or whipped cream!