Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Syrup

My little girl refuses to drink milk. I'm okay with that since she'll drink water and loves to eat cheese, smoothies, and yogurt, but kids are supposed to get lots of calcium, right? So I'd like it if she'd drink milk now and then.

I saw some organic chocolate milk at Whole Foods the other day, and it occurred to me that I could just make our own chocolate milk to get her started on a food she's not crazy about. How easy is that, right? Chocolate syrup and milk.

Here are the ingredients in Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, as stated on their website:

HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP; CORN SYRUP; WATER; COCOA; SUGAR; CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE); SALT; MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES; XANTHAN GUM; POLYSORBATE 60; VANILLIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR


I was fresh out of diglycerides and polysorbate, so I went in a different direction, one that only uses four ingredients. It takes less than 10 minutes, makes 2/3 c. of syrup, and costs a lot less, too. This recipe doubles easily. I wouldn't say that this is a "healthy" recipe, but it's certainly healthier than store-bought - and for a special treat, I think it's great. And it's super easy, too.

Printable Version Here!

Chocolate Peppermint Syrup
1/3 c. water
1/3 c. sugar plus 1 T. 
1/3 c. cocoa
1/8 tsp. peppermint extract (or vanilla)

In a small sauce pan, bring 1/3 c. water to a simmer. Add 1/3 c. plus 1 T. sugar, and whisk to dissolve. Reduce heat and add 1/3 c. cocoa powder, whisking constantly to dissolve. Let the mixture thicken a little over low heat, whisking so the cocoa doesn't burn. 

Pull the syrup off of the burner and add 1/8 tsp. peppermint extract. (Or substitute vanilla, if you prefer. Vanilla brings out chocolate's natural flavors). 

Makes about 2/3 cup of chocolate syrup. And it's awesome over ice cream or simply stirred into milk. And yes, she will drink milk now, as long as it's chocolate. 

Bon Appétit!