Food: Hootenannies and Hot Chocolate


It dumped about 3 feet of snow in our neighborhood over the weekend. Over 24 hours, Chris and my brother-in-law shoveled our driveway 4 times. It sure makes me grateful we got a snow blower back in August. While they were outside clearing paths, I was inside making hibernation-worthy foods. I really don’t cook much, but when I go all-out I make sure everyone on Instagram knows about it. I had a few requests for recipes, so here they are.

Hootenannies are an old family favorite. We have them yearly for our Thanksgiving sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa Newton’s, and I make them whenever I need to warm up the house in the morning. The recipe is so easy, you’ll have it memorized in no time.

Hootenannies (or German Pancakes)

Serves 4-6

  • 1/4 cup butter*
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup flour

Preheat your oven to 425F. While preheating place your 9×13 pan (I use metal) with butter in the oven. Blend milk, eggs and flour in a blender. Once butter is melted, pour the batter into the pan and back in the oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sides are browned and puffy. It’s always fun to get Penelope to help me take the hootenannies out of the oven, the batter gets HUGE and deflates as it cools. Serve with cream and syrup. I served mine with buttermilk caramel syrup using this recipe. It was divine.

When Chris and I traveled to Brazil 5 years ago, we were in Iguaçu Falls in May and it was freezing!! No one down there ever turned on the heat and since we were just backpacking through the country, we didn’t have room to buy or pack socks and sweaters. I was cold to the bone. We walked past a little cafe one night and enjoyed the best hot chocolate I had ever had. It was melted chocolate that coated my entire insides and warmed me up instantly. Later, I found a place in Salt Lake that delivers the same kind of gourmand experience: Hatch Family Chocolates. Starbucks’s caramel hot chocolate tastes like hot water compared to Hatch’s. Problem is, I can’t make the 40 minute drive whenever I’m feeling a chill and chocolate craving coming on. So I made up my own recipe. This is for dark hot chocolate, but you can lighten it up by adding more milk.

Dark Hot Chocolate (the REAL stuff)

serves 2-4

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, dutch process is best
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon OR chipotle chili powder (optional)

The biggest mistake people make when cooking hot chocolate form scratch, is not melting the chocolate properly. It takes a little bit longer this way, but the texture is smooth and amazing. Melt butter and heat milk in a small sauce pan over med-high heat. Turn down heat to medium and add sugar and cocoa. Constantly stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. This will create a thick syrup. Once it’s perfectly smooth, add milk a few tablespoons at a time until incorporated. I usually have a cluster of tasting spoons to test the flavor and temperature. I’ve usually added about 2 cups of milk by the time I’m done, then I continue to stir it until it’s hot enough. Add flavorings and serve. Do not let it sit on the stove or get too hot, or else a milky film will form on the top. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

If you happen to have GOOD chocolate on hand, I use about a 1/2 a bag of Guittard/Ghirardelli’s dark chips instead of cocoa sugar and butter.

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    1. Anne says:

      For the longest time I thought someone in my family made up the name hootenannies (or hoots for short). My world has been rocked. I grew up eating hoots, and they are still one of my favorite things. I prefer to eat mine with sour cream and homemade strawberry jam. Delish. You should try it next time you make them.

    2. Lindsay says:

      Thanks for the recipes! I’m dying to try that hot chocolate right now. It’s SO COLD.

    3. Erin R. says:


    4. Misse says:

      Holy cow- Hatch’s hot chocolate is the best thing I have ever tasted in my life and I am so sad that we’ve moved out of the state for this winter. I’m going to have to try this recipe stat! Thanks for posting it!

    5. samarahuel says:

      Wow, thanks for the revelation; we have a local chocolate shop around here that also makes gelato. Needless to say, their chocolate one is divine. Why have I never thought of trying their hot chocolate?

    6. Kieran says:

      Thanks for the recipes! I just tried the Hootenannies for lunch, topped with (defrosted) frozen mixed berries and honey…yum!

    7. marissa says:

      This just made me hungry. Thanks a lot! ;)

    8. Carlee Dynes says:

      The hot chocolate at Hatch’s is so crazy good. The hot fudge is also amazing. You should try it if you haven’t. We used to go in and just get the hot fudge by the pump to eat on ice cream at home. The kids that worked there always knew my husband as the hot fudge guy.

    9. […] also sleep over (usually watch old family videos of Christmas parties past) and my grandma makes us hootenannies and tea for breakfast. If we’re really lucky, we’ll wake up to snow and sled down their […]

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