Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated February 12, 2021)
When I was in high school, I had some pretty late nights staying up to finish making study guides and reading AP American History chapters (once I got to college, the work load didn't get any better!). I would get pretty frustrated sometimes, and that frustration was usually a direct result of being burned out and tired, both mentally and physically. That's when my mom concocted the best and most simple hot chocolate that had all the power of making me able to finish whatever I needed to. If you are having a late night and need a boost, then this is the hot chocolate for you.
This recipe is seriously one of the simplest recipes ever, but it is also one of my favorites. Part of the effectiveness of this recipe, however, lies in ingredients that you don't combine in the kitchen. The secret of this hot cocoa combination is mental. The main cooking ingredients are Nestle hot chocolate (that's my personal favorite brand of hot cocoa mix) and vanilla powdered creamer. You start out by simply making hot chocolate: Boil some water and get the dry cocoa mix and creamer ready. To get the cup ready, take a few spoonfuls of the hot chocolate mix and then put some vanilla creamer in. You want enough vanilla creamer so you can taste it and so that it makes a difference, but you also don't want to have so much that your cocoa is overpowered by vanilla. Your own personal preference will have to be honed by experienced.
Pour the water into the prepared mug and make sure to stir all of the cocoa in. You want it all to dissolve, because if it doesn't, then you have just nasty chunky cocoa, and that won't make you feel better at all! One of my favorite effects of the vanilla creamer is that it makes the cocoa frothy on the top.
Now comes the mental part of this recipe. Usually when I would stay up late working, I wouldn't necessarily be ready for bed. I'd usually end up just staying in my clothes from the day, and when you're not too comfortable and your hair is in your face and your contacts are still in and your makeup still on, you are just not very comfortable. Before you have your cocoa (perhaps while it is cooling), go and get ready for bed. Take out your contacts, wash your face, and even take a shower. Get into your pajamas and take a moment to relax and breathe. Once you're ready for bed, take your cocoa to your desk and sip on it while you finish up whatever you need to finish up. Think of your cocoa as a mental breather, as a way for you to take a step back and regroup. This recipe may not be the most traditional, but it is one of the ones I think is most important. With any kind of recipe, if you can use it to help you gather yourself and re-focus, and then you have a recipe that you should hold dear to your heart!
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