There’s never a bad time for hot chocolate, but it’s always just a little bit better when the weather gets cooler. I love making a hot cup of cocoa and wrapping my cold fingers around the mug to warm them. Sometimes I forget to take a sip because the mug feels so good.
Comfy Cocoa is perfect for easy going weekend mornings. It serves approximately 8 people. You can also make this in advance, store it in a glass container in the fridge and reheat for busier mornings. This recipe doesn’t contain any alcohol, so it’s great for anytime sipping. If you’d like a cozier Comfy Cocoa, add an ounce of brandy, bourbon or dark rum to individual glasses.
Comfy Cocoa – adapted by Cheri Loughlin
Yields approximately 8 servings
1/2 cup Simple Syrup – more or less to taste preference
1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
2 teaspoons Instant Coffee Granules
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon whole Cloves
3/4 cup Water
4-1/2 cups Milk
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Fresh Ground Nutmeg
Mix cocoa, coffee granules, syrup, salt, cloves, cinnamon stick and water in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a soft boil. Add milk and heat through until steaming hot, but not boiling. Stir frequently while heating. Taste for sweetness. Add more syrup if needed. Remove from heat once all ingredients are heated through. Add in vanilla extract. Strain out cloves and cinnamon stick. Pour into heat-proof mugs. Top each with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
For richer cocoa, use 2-1/4 cups milk and 2-1/4 cups half & half.
Now put on some comfy clothes, warm slippers and snuggle in by the fire with those closest to you.
Recipe adapted from Going Hog Wild with Razorback Country Cooking by Susie Connell Brown and Vicki Connell Speck, copyright 1986.
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Cheri Loughlin is the Omaha writer and photographer behind www.intoxicologist.net and author of Cocktails with a Tryst: An Affair with Mixology and Seduction. You can email Cheri with comments and questions at email@example.com.