Yet another snow day in New Jersey.

While we’ve had quite a bit of Colorado-esque light fluffy stuff that clears off of your car when you slam the door shut, what we got today is much more the New Jersey type — wet and heavy and perfect for snowman building, snow fort construction, and painful snowball fights.  I must admit, now that my children are older, and can aim, I am not so anxious to get out there.

Coming back inside is fun, too, when there is hot chocolate to be had.  I am talking real hot chocolate, made with milk and chocolate syrup — not some stuff out of an envelope with who-knows-what preservatives and artificial flavors!

One of the reasons I always loved Passover was the chocolate milk.  Quik wasn’t kosher for Passover, so my mom would get the Hershey’s syrup in the can (which apparently was before the days of HFCS taking the place of sugar in everything!).  In my longing for that great chocolate milk (and therefore awesome hot chocolate, as well), I started tinkering with making my own chocolate syrup.  How difficult could it be?  Well, about a dozen tries finally got it right.

Chocolate Syrup

  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 1 C water
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract (see note below)
  1. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan
  2. Heat over a medium setting, stirring constantly to avoid burning
  3. Simmer until it thickens (about 10 – 15 minutes)

To make Hot chocolate, gently heat 1 C of milk and 1 T of chocolate syrup to desired temperature.  Enjoy the warm creamy awesomeness.

A Note about Vanilla Extract: If you use vanilla beans, you can make vanilla extract quite easily:  Pour a quart of cheap vodka (and I mean CHEAP flavorless vodka) into a glass jar and put in the scraped vanilla bean pods.  Keep adding pods every time you use one. Let it sit in a dark cupboard for about a month, and voila! vanilla extract.  I add more vodka as I use it.  It gets stronger with time.  I took a few out when the jar started to get crowded.  I’ve had this going for a couple of years.