I grew up in the 1990s.
Ok, I also grew up in the 1980s.
The thing is — when I was a kid in the 1970s, money was tight and we didn't have a ton of extra cash available for buying store-bought treats. Cakes were reserved for birthdays (and were always homemade), ice cream was a once or twice a year delicacy and the closest I came to Popsicles were the delicious frozen chunks of apple juice nestled in our ice cube trays.
It all added up to a simple, yet magical childhood and ultimately, when I eventually discovered the existence of Pop Shoppe cream soda, Popeye Candy Cigarettes and Vachon Flakys (thanks to a friend whose parents owned a convenience store) the exhilaration I felt and the sugar hits I took were enough to keep me away from hard drugs during my teenage years.
Now, in case you think it was all Melba toast, homemade yogurt, and carob bars at the Mulder residence, you should know we had as much sugar in our house as any other self-respecting bell bottom wearing, clog-clad Abba fans.
For example, if I had friends over and we felt like a sweet snack, mom would whip us up a batch of fluffy sugar eggs, which we washed down with a mouthful of strawberry-flavoured milk.
But my absolute favourite was chocolate butter, made the old-fashioned way.
The recipe was simple.
Grab a can of Nestle’s Quik chocolate-flavoured drink mix, pry the lid off with a spoon, scoop a pile of the delicious powder into a bowl of butter (NEVER margarine), mix and spread on a piece of toasted homemade bread.
Boom! The ultimate old-school 1970s cake.
It was the right amount of creamy with a hint of crunch and a ton of sweet. And, the flavour changed depending on whether or not we had salted or unsalted butter in the house.
To this day, chocolate butter on toast is still one of my favourite comfort foods, and my seven year-old daughter loves it too, because hellooooo sweetheart.
My recipe is a little different than my mom’s, but it is just as easy (and tasty) as the original.
*If you have a sweetened chocolate drink mix, go ahead and use it.
Put some room-temperature butter in a bowl.
Add some cocoa powder and sugar. Don't measure the amounts. Just guess. It's better that way.
Mix with a spatula.
Sure, you spread your chocolate butter on toast, but why stop there?
If you really want this old-school snack to live up to it’s full potential, you owe it to yourself to find other ways to consume it.
Use it as a quick icing on the cupcake your nut-allergic kid needs to bring to a last-minute birthday party. Heck, you could even decorate an entire pound cake with this glorious goo.
Skip the maple syrup and smother a toaster waffle, which can then easily be devoured in the car on the way to after-school pickup.
Pretend to conduct a science experiment as you spread it on rippled and/or plain potato chips.
Dump a blob of it in a dessert dish and use it as a banana dip. Perfect paired with
milk white wine while watching the Bachelorette.
Dress up those gluten-free cookies you baked last night that didn't turn out quite right because you forgot to add the xanthan gum.
Heat it up and drizzle it on ice cream. Because, duh.
Any way you slice it, chocolate butter on toast will become your family’s new favourite. And, it's good for you* too - since butter is basically considered health food now. No, really - they did a study.
*Keep in mind, I once referred to garlic bread as a vegetable, so take my health food advice with a grain of salt. Or in my case, an entire shaker full.