I’ve decided there are some things I need more of in my life — and some things I need far less of! And landing squarely in the “must have more!” category is hot chocolate.
As the weather starts getting colder and I can no longer find my beloved pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, I have to get crazy and find something new to enjoy. I am a fan of hot apple cider and various other caffeinated drinks, but I don’t think anything can beat the feeling of holding a mug of delicious, simmering chocolate with a huge dollop of whipped cream or, if you hang out around my house, tons and tons of mini marshmellows.
Now, I’m no hot chocolate snob. I grab the Swiss Miss and pour in the little dehydrated marshmellow bits as often as the next drink lover. In fact, some of my all-time favorite hot chocolate moments involve drinks using just hot water, a mug, some chocolate powder and a microwave.
When it snows in Southern Maryland, things basically shut down. We’re not well equipped for cold weather or, as the case may be, ice covering our driveways, roads and places of employment. So when the first few flakes would fall and the blessing of all blessings would be sounded out on the radio and TV — A SNOW DAY! — Kate and I would grab our boots, shovels and big coats and pad out to help Dad dig out the driveway. And after the labor was done, of course, it was time for . . . hot chocolate. With tons and tons of marshmellows!
I think maybe I’ll do something crazy this year, though — making hot chocolate. From scatch. With milk . . . on a stovetop! I know, I’m thinking big these days! But here’s a cool recipe, submitted by Jo Ann Schimcek, I found on Allrecipes.com — my go-to for matters such as these. Sounds easy enough that even I could do it . . . hopefully. And it has melted marshmellows!:
• 8 teaspoons sugar
• 4 teaspoons baking cocoa
• 4 cups milk
• 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan, combine the first four ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until the marshmallows are melted, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Ladle into mugs.