I have to confess that this is not my original recipe, as my dad used to make this when we were children growing up in Nova Scotia. It really is the best hot cocoa you will ever taste - a thousand times better than store bought mixes. I am not really sure about the amounts, as I don't measure for this, I just add till it feels and smells right. Makes about 4 cups of cocoa.
What you need: 1/4 cup pure cocoa powder; 1/4 cup sugar; 1/4 cup cold water; 4 cups of milk, (or 3 cups milk, and 1 cup of table cream); 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. As a decadent option, if you enjoy mint and chocolate together, you can use a tsp of peppermint extract in place of vanilla.
What you do: In the bottom of a heavy pot, mix the sugar with the cocoa powder. Add cold water and whisk well to a smooth paste. Add milk and heat gently over medium high, until hot. DO NOT BOIL! Add cream if using, and then stir in vanilla. For kids, you can add mini marshmallows, and a candy cane stir stick. For adults, you can make the original version and add a shot of Creme de Menthe. Such a wonderful apres ski drink!!!