Creamy Hot Cocoa

1⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄3 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1⁄3 cup water (boiling)
3 1⁄2 cups milk
3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup half and half (optional)

Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.