Dark Chocolate Oatmeal

Oatmeal is on my short list of comfort foods. While meat and potatoes or thick hearty stews are perfect for cold winter nights, I look to oatmeal to warm my body and keep me snug on frost covered mornings. The stick-to-your-ribs goodness makes me feel as if I'm wearing a wool sweater (without the inevitable "itch"). Oatmeal has an ease and grace that stands out among the breakfast cereals. It's warm and friendly, soft and approachable (and it's good for you too). It's always pleasant to know that an honest breakfast is just five minutes away.

If only all of my comfort foods were just five minutes away...

On second thought, that would actually be a terrible idea.

I typically sweeten my morning oatmeal with a sprinkling of brown sugar, a spoonful of maple syrup, or a handful of fruit. Occasionally, when I have the urge to become a little more adventurous, I cook up a batch of pumpkin spice or banana bread oatmeal. Despite the rare bowl of bold oats, I tend to stick with the classic hits in the oatmeal world.

While wandering the aisles of my local grocery store recently, I spotted something dangerous, something so utterly corrupting to my healthy New Year's resolutions I had to take a closer look. It was, for all intents and purposes, a mix for chocolate oatmeal. Chocolate Oatmeal. No wonder it stopped me in my tracks.

The four dollar price tag, however, kept my feet moving.

Nevertheless, the idea had been planted.

As I contemplated the best way to make this oatmeal happen, I looked to my cabinets for the right ingredients. I used cocoa powder to supply a chocolate base, a dash of sugar to offset the bitterness the cocoa powder lends, and a small handful of chocolate chips to give it that chocolate punch I was craving. I call this recipe an easy success—easy to make (and even easier to make disappear).

This dark chocolate oatmeal is so sinful it tastes like a rich full-fat chocolate pudding. You'll want to eat this for breakfast, but you really, really shouldn't. However, if you do indulge (like me), you can count on me to keep that information under lock and key.

Your secret is safe with me.

This Dark Chocolate Oatmeal is the perfect snack to zap your chocolate cravings and keep you full until the next meal. Made with milk, cocoa powder, and dark chocolate chips, this oatmeal tastes more like a chocolate pudding than a breakfast staple (and trust me, that's a very good thing). This recipe serves two comfortably. If cooking for one, halve the recipe accordingly—it will be enough. Serve hot, with a splash of milk and a few extra chocolate chips scattered on top.

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Dark Chocolate Oatmeal

Yields 2 servings

3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

In a heavy saucepan,combine oats, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until milk has been absorbed and the oats have softened.

Stir in dark chocolate chips until melted. Divide oatmeal equally between two bowls, splash with milk, and sprinkle on a few extra chocolate chips (just because).