My little guy, like most 3 1/2 year olds I suspect, loves chocolate milk. Our nightly dinner conversation usually goes something like this:
Me: What would you like to drink? Water?
Owen: Chocolate milk in the Mickey cup with the green straw.
Me: The Mickey cup is dirty. It’s in the dishwasher. How about seltzer? You like seltzer.
Me: (Frantically hand washing the Mickey cup) OK, how about plain milk?
And so on and so forth. Sometimes I hold firm, but I give in more often than I’d like to admit. If I can get him to eat a healthy dinner (with vegetables!) I feel like I can compromise a bit on the drink.
But on a recent trip to the supermarket, I picked up a bottle of our usual brand of chocolate syrup. Casually, I glanced at the ingredients and was horrified to see that not only is the first ingredient corn syrup, the second ingredient is also corn syrup. How is that even possible?!?
It was time to take matters into my own hands. If Owen wanted chocolate milk, I was going to make the chocolate syrup myself.
I thought it would be a simple task, but you guys, it took me four tries to get it perfect. At first I went totally holier-then-thou and made a version with raw cacao powder and agave. It was delicious, but not kid-friendly. Then it took me another three tries before I got the measurements exactly right for a thick (but not hot fudge thick), sweet (but not sugar overload), intensely chocolatey syrup.
A chocolate syrup that is truly perfect for your kid’s chocolate milk, but that would also be delicious poured over ice cream or used as a dip for strawberries. Just sayin’. ?
Is this health food? Um, not exactly. But it is all-natural, and made with real ingredients that I can control. For me, when it comes to feeding my kid, that’s what counts.
This homemade dark chocolate syrup will keep for at least three months in the fridge. The recipe yields two cups, so you can easily divide it between two 8-ounce mason jars and give it as gifts. I think it would make an awesome party favor for a kid’s birthday!
- 1 1/2 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- In a medium saucepan, whisk the brown sugar, cocoa powder, and 1 cup of water until smooth. Heat over medium heat until it reaches a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat add the chocolate, and stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Cool completely, then transfer to a clean jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
- To make chocolate milk, add about tablespoons chocolate syrup to a glass of milk and stir.
- Nutrition facts are for 2 tablespoons of syrup.