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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hot chocolate for Fall!

Moving right along with my Friday Night Football feeding frenzy. The Hubs and I ate big bowls of hot and spicy chili before leaving for the game. And was I ever glad I did! It was cold out there (okay, so I know the 50's isn't exactly what some folks would call "cold" but remember it's still in the 70's & 80's during the day, so we thin-blooded Texans notice that 20 degree drop when the sun goes down!)
 The game was nonstop suspense! 7 to 7 in the first quarter. Then 7 to 14 followed by 7 to 21 (started to sweat just a little in spite of the cold north wind) and finally 14 to 21 at half time. We moved up 21 to 21in the 3rd quarter (I think) and made a field goal in the 4th quarter. Our opponent got the ball in the last 54 seconds of the game, and the running back was about 10 yards from scoring a winning touchdown when he was tackled and the buzzer sounded announcing "game over"! Our team beat the undefeated team 24-21 and won themselves a chance at the play offs! Woo-hoo! Go Team Go! It was so cold at the game I just knew I would need a cup of hot chocolate once I got home. The kids would probably appreciate something to warm their tummies as well. I popped a pan of sugar cookies in the oven (okay, so I cheated on the cookies. They were the pre-made break apart & bake variety from the grocery store) and went to my favorite to see what I could see. I started with "creamy hot cocoa recipe" but tweaked it a little. I'll post mine below.

Hot cocoa
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 t. instant coffee
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk

In a 2 quart saucepan combine cocoa, sugar, salt & instant coffee. Add boiling water and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly for two minutes. Slowly stir in milk and heat, stirring occasionally until heated through but not boiling. Serve with marshmallows or whipped cream if desired. Makes four servings.

The original recipe called for 3/4 t. pure vanilla extract, but I forgot it and it tasted fine without it. The original recipe also called for 1/2 cup cold half & half divided evenly between four mugs before adding the hot chocolate. Maybe that would have cut the sweetness a bit, too.

I think if I make this again, I'll try reducing the cocoa to 1/4 cup and the sugar to 1/3 cup and see what happens. Or perhaps adding 4 cups cold milk vs 3 1/2 cups. The above version was still very sweet in my opinion even after drinking it with sugar cookies on the side. I'll keep you posted. Until next time...

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