Family Recipe: Southern Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy

There are few things that I remember more fondly about my childhood than biscuits and chocolate gravy.

I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house before she died, and this was one of the tried-and-true, sure-fire winners at her house!  Chocolate gravy was always a celebrated meal choice.  The recipe itself has been passed down many generations in my mother's family, and I shall carry on the proud heritage and spread the joy that is chocolate gravy with you, dear readers.  This is a recipe found in many American Southern homes, and everyone claims with pride that their mother or grandmother makes the best!  (But others are lying.  I am telling the real truth when I say this is the best version.)

I will warn you, however, that this is a true Southern recipe in that it starts with a stick of butter.  It is not gluten-free, low-fat, or healthy in any way, but it will raise your spirits and comfort your disheartened morale in a way that a literal ton of carrot sticks and bran muffins could never, ever do.

Though this recipe is from many generations ago, it was my grandmother who made the chocolate gravy I remember from my childhood, and she was especially known for her "dippin' biscuits" that were hardier than normal and could withstand being dipped in chocolate gravy.

And, without further ado, here is the chocolate gravy recipe:

Chocolate Gravy
(Serves 2-4 hearty servings)
1 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
dash vanilla extract
2 cups milk
pinch of salt

Directions: Melt the butter in a large pot first.  Add the dry ingredients in and mix thoroughly.  (Set the burner on a medium-high heat.)

Next, pour in the milk and stir for a long time.  The gravy will continue to thicken.  When the gravy begins to thicken up (and begins to glop off the stirring utensil rather than run), add in the vanilla extract.  Stir a little bit longer to work in vanilla, then remove from heat.  (It will continue to thicken as it sits, even off the heat, so don't worry if it's not quite as thick as you like it yet!)

Note:  There are two camps in the chocolate gravy world: dippin' and forkin'.  Dippers choose to place a bunch of gravy on the plate and dip the biscuit in.  Fork-users pour the gravy over biscuits.  Choose wisely.

Serve these with thick slice bacon and coffee for a perfectly Southern breakfast!

Be sure to subscribe to Flashback Summer Emails for tomorrow's email that includes my grandmother's "hearty dippin' biscuit" recipe!  Created just to go with this gravy, these dense biscuits hold up to dipping without falling apart and won't get soggy quickly like normal biscuits!
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  1. Yummers!!! Biscuits were a staple in our house growing up, though they were usually pared with homemade jam. I'll have to try and whip up a GF version of your recipe to try them with chocolate (I can practically taste them already). Thank you for sharing this beloved family recipe with us.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. This sounds very tasty. How much does a stick of butter weigh? I am in the
    UK and don't know that term.

    1. OH yes! I didn't think about that. That would be... 4 oz, I believe!