Friday, November 19, 2010

Of Boring Ol' S'mores and the World's Best Hot Chocolate

O.K., I wanted to share a couple of great "accidental" treats we have fallen in love with recently.

The first is S'mores. "S'mores?" you may be wondering, "but s'mores are nothing special." Yes, but these are no ordinary s'mores, no sir! I have always thought the original s'mores were alright, but really, I could take them or leave them. I'd almost prefer just to eat the chocolate plain and not bother with the crackers or marshmallows. That has all changed as of a short time ago. Let me explain. We have a gas fireplace in our apartment, which we use frequently, and a couple of weeks ago for Family Home Evening treat the kids wanted to roast marshmallows on it and make s'mores. We were out of graham crackers, so I substituted Ritz. OH SO GOOD! WAY better, in my humble opinion, then the old fashioned graham cracker deal! There is just something about that delicious buttery crunchiness with the chocolate...mmmm. It reminds me of soda cracker candy almost, which is another of my holiday favorites.

The second treat is my self-proclaimed World's Best Hot Chocolate recipe, which no one knows about besides our little family! That must be remedied! The world must know what they are missing out on. Just as an aside, I don't understand people who won't share recipes because they are "family secrets." I mean, I can understand that with restaurants, but seriously, why, if you have an amazing family recipe, would you want to hog it all to yourself? Do you want people to invite themselves over to your house any time they get a craving for it? You might get a lot of unwelcome company that way! But sorry, I digress. It's just that I was thinking about someone who I want some recipes from who says the recipes are secrets. I wonder if I could wow him with this chocolate recipe and tell him it's a secret, and I'll only divulge it in exchange for one of his recipes! Hmmmm...I'll have to try that!

Anyway, so my hot chocolate recipe is actually based on a chocolate sauce recipe that has been a favorite on my Mom's side of the family for several generations. Seriously, most of us could drink the stuff by the gallon, it is that good. In fact, it is rumored that one of the aunts once actually made several gallons of this chocolate sauce at one time, supposedly due to a slight miscalculation involving one of the key ingredients, but that is a story for another time. I will say however, that I have my doubts as to whether this was truly accidental. Anyway the story behind this Hot Chocolate is that the kids wanted some chocolate milk one day, but we had no chocolate syrup with which to make it. (I find the Hershey's stuff quite disgusting, to be honest, so I don't buy it often.) I did however, have a small amount of this homemade chocolate sauce in a jar in the back of my fridge, so I decided to just try that and see how it tasted. It was AMAZING! Thus was born, the World's Best Hot Chocolate. Try it and you will see why it is capitalized! (-;

The recipe is as follows:

2 cubes butter (no wonder it is so good!)
2 cups sugar
3 T. cocoa powder

Melt these ingredients in a saucepan until the lumps are out of the cocoa, then add one can of evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add a teaspoon of vanilla.

I like this recipe because it is simple and uses ingredients I usually have on hand. I don't have to go out and buy cream or something.

Anyway, to make the chocolate milk or hot chocolate, just add this sauce in to taste, and there you go! Leave a comment if you try it, and let me know what you think!


Job and Rachael said...

Oh my goodness that sauce IS good. What a great idea for hot chocolate. mmmm I can taste it now... I think that was my mum who made gallons of chocolate sauce when she was young. She still makes it every so often and we never complain if she makes a little extra ;)
I will let you know what Job and I think when (cause it is definitely a when, not if ;) we try it.
We miss you guys and hope things are going well all the way over there in Cali :)

Amanda said...

Hi Anna,
Another great idea from you! I would LOVE to have this handy in the fridge, especially since Mason gets his cravings often for chocolate milk, and I too, dont prefer Herseys syrup (nor its unhealthy contents). How long do you suspect this lasts in the fridge (that will give me an idea of how much to make) and do you think it could be canned/pressure cooked and stored for longevity?

Anna Marie said...

Hmmm...I know that it lasts a long time in the fridge because of the amount of sugar, I presume. I couldn't tell you how long, exactly though...I don't know if it could be pressure cooked! I don't know much about pressure canning items containing dairy, although I ought to learn!

Amanda said...

Anna, when you say 2 cubes of butter, do you mean 2 sticks or 2 tablespoons (cubes)?