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How to Make a Mean Cup of Cocoa… from Scratch

Nothing is as enjoyable on a cold winter night as a piping hot cup of cocoa. In college, I used to open an envelope of Swiss Miss and dump it into a cup of hot water. But, in addition to being full of corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, cocoa mix just isn’t that good. You can whip up your own special cocoa for about the same price (including using fresh milk instead of the dehydrated stuff in the mix!) and about the same amount of time.

Homemade Cocoa
Makes about three servings.

  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • a dash of salt
  • 4 cups of milk
  1. Mix together the cocoa, sugar, salt, and 1/3 cup of water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Heat the mix over medium heat until it starts to boil. Let it boil for about two minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. When the mix looks like the chocolate syrup, add the four cups of milk to the sauce pan and stir. Continue to heat your cocoa until it’s the temperature you enjoy. (Adam and I both enjoy a nice, drinkable cup of warm cocoa.) Be sure not to let the cocoa boil—you’ll end up with a sticky film on the top that will ruin the cocoa’s consistency.

There are also many ways to jazz up a cup of cocoa:

  • Whipped cream is standard, but you can spice things up by powdering it with cinnamon or chocolate sprinkles
  • A teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract adds flavor
  • A teaspoon of mint flavoring or a candy-cane swizzle stick make your cocoa into a gourmet treat
  • Or a shot of a dessert liquor—Irish cream and amaretto come to mind—can take the edge off a difficult day at work
What do you like to make from scratch?

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