Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beat Those Winter Time Blues With an Amazing Cup of Cocoa!

A Yale University study shows that dark cocoa can lower blood pressure--not really new news, but always welcome news. And what better time for a hot cup of cocoa than winter time, because research also finds that chocolate can beat those winter time blues that sometimes hits families this time of year. This is also a good recipe for children to practice their cooking skills on.  

There's a plethora of instant cocoa products on the market to choose from now, but they never seem to measure up to my Aunt Annie's To Die For Hot Cocoa that she'd have ready for us when we'd come visit.

If you haven't made hot cocoa from scratch, you really ought to try it--while it's a little bit of work, the results are SO much better than just mixing an instant from a can. To give you a major jump-start, here's Aunt Annie's recipe:

TO DIE FOR HOT COCOA (5 8-oz servings)

1/2 C sugar
1/4 C cocoa
Dash salt
1/3 C whipping cream
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese (at room temperature)
4 C (1 qt) milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
Mini marshmallows (optional)

Stir together sugar, cocoa and salt in saucepan. Cream together cream cheese and whipping cream. Add to sugar/cocoa mixture in saucepan and mix well. Stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla; stir again. Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream or mini marshmallows as garnish.

You can see this is certainly NOT heart-healthy, but sometimes, who cares? This thicker cocoa really lives up to its name. Try it and let me know what you think. AND, do YOU have a favorite cocoa recipe you can share? Let's spread the good stuff--we're all in this together. So until next time, here's to beating those winter time blues with an amazing cup of cocoa, and making family dinner hour possible!

1 comment:

  1. I am SUCH a hot chocolate fan! This looks yummy. Nothing like hot cocoa to keep the winter blues away :)

    See you soon!