There isn’t anything much better than a cup of hot cocoa. And I know it is practically spring, but it was a gloomy, rainy day and we could not help but pretend that it was cold outside, and a good day for cocoa. I’ve never been a huge fan of cocoa from a packet, so we made our own.  I make it in the crockpot, basically just throw it all in and stir on occasion until you get sinfully rich molten chocolate that you can drink. Did I mention that it was tasty? Make this and promise you won’t like cocoa from a packet either.

Start with a half gallon on chocolate milk in your favorite crockpot. I suppose you could use regular milk, but why?  Make it more chocolatey every chance you get. To that add 1 cup regular cocoa powder. Whisk those together as best you can to break up the powder. It may not completely mix, but don’t worry, it will eventually. Then add 3/4 cup of sugar, and two teaspoons of salt. Mix that in. Because I like chocolate, I add in half a bag, about 6 ounces, of semi sweet chips. Milk chocolate, or dark chocolate will also work, but if you go dark, you might want to add a touch more sugar. Then add a tablespoon of vanilla. As the crockpot heats up your chocolate will melt and add an amazing velvety texture. Plus it tastes good.

If you’re like me and you take your “hot” in hot cocoa seriously add a teaspoon (more or less to taste) of cayenne pepper. Then finally dump in one whole container of Cool Whip. Let everything melt on low for a few hours stirring every now and again. The best thing is that your kids can absolutely do most of the work for this recipe and practice measuring their ingredients. Once you’ve had your fill you can bag the leftovers and throw them in the freezer. The next time you want cocoa you can just toss the frozen goodies in the crockpot and wait until they melt.

-Stephanie Wright

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