I don't remember who I got this hot chocolate recipe from, but it is one I have used for years. I thought it was a great time to share it, with temperatures getting on the cooler side lately. After all, what's better than a cup of steaming hot chocolate paired with a batch of freshly iced sugar cookies to share with good friends and family? Enjoy!

Ingredients: (Serves 4 to 5)

3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sugar or 1/3 cup Splenda
3 cups whole milk
1cup cream or half & half
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla


Place chocolate, sugar, milk, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring, until chocolate melts and mixture is well blended. Add vanilla and pour into cups. Top with dollops of fresh whipped cream or marshmallows.

Food Tips:

* For a spiced version, add 2 cinnamon sticks , 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves and a pinch of allspice.

* Use 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of almond extract in place of vanilla.