Mint Chocolate Pudding

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2 c. Longmont Dairy milk
½ c. sugar
1 c. fresh mint leaves
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Country Cream butter
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Clean mint leaves well and rub with the sugar for about 5 minutes.

Mix the mint-sugar into the milk in a saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until milk is warm and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat just before it boils and let it rest for 20 minutes. Strain to remove mint leaves.

To the strained milk, sift in the cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Heat on medium, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes while stirring continuously until mixture thickens.
Scrape the sides and bottom of pan often while heating to avoid lumps.

Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla, if desired. Pour into individual bowls or a single serving dish.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until cold. To prevent a thick layer from forming on the top, cover with plastic wrap touching the pudding surface.

For a stronger mint flavor, add a few drops of mint extract. Makes about 3 to 4 servings.