Scratch Made: Nany’s Chocolate Sauce

My Nany was one of a kind.


She ate a bowl of ice cream every single night before going to bed. She made the best Chex Mix, deviled eggs, and potato salad.  She used to let us girls crawl all over her in her favorite recliner and put our Strawberry Shortcake doll’s rollers in her hair.

She was a yard sale fanatic, marking up her newspaper each week with the houses she wanted to visit early Saturday morning. And even though most things at yard sales are cheap, Nany never missed a beat – she was a hard bargainer and would rarely pay more than fifty-cents for anything.

She loved Hardee’s breakfast biscuits, grits, and coffee. She had a collection of housecoats, slippers, and long beaded necklaces hanging on the back of her bedroom door. Her house was decorated in mauves and country blues and had one of those frilly curtains hanging around her shower.

We played in her make up, using her mood lipstick as much as possible – even tricking my dad into putting some on one day.

She gave the best hugs and kisses.

And, no fail, you’d get a phone call on your birthday from her. But not just any phone call. As soon as you picked up, she’d start singing “Happy Birthday”, adding her signature “I love you. Guess who?” at the end. We never had to guess – we’d know that sweet, southern, joyful voice anywhere.

I miss that. I miss her.

Many of her recipes, including her famous deviled eggs and potato salad, were lost when we lost Nany. She never wrote them down and no one has been able to recreate them yet.

But one recipe lives on, and it’s one that my dad and his brother remember as one of their favorite snacks and a true treat when Nany would pack it in their lunch bags.



Nany’s Chocolate Sauce.

Or Would-be-cake-frosting-if-it-included-butter.

And Delicious-spread-for-saltine-crackers.


According to my dad, the best was when Nany would pack a few chocolate sauce and saltine sandwiches in their lunchbags because, by the time lunch rolled around, the crackers were just a bit soggy, making each salty-sweet bite even better. Sort of like when your mom would pack you a pb & j sandwich and the bread would be mushed together and soggy from rolling around in your bookbag or locker until lunch. I loved that.


Sadly, I never had this when Nany was alive. She didn’t make it much once the boys were grown up, but it’s so simple, I knew I could make it and create my own memory of her special chocolate sauce.


Yes, it’s one stick of butter away from being homemade cake frosting.

But it’s also incredibly easy and delicious. And very good spread between a few saltine crackers…or eaten right off the spoon.

Nany’s Chocolate Sauce

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk
  1. Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in bowl.
  2. Add in milk and vanilla and stir until mixture is combined, adding more powdered sugar until sauce is thick enough to spread onto crackers.
  3. Serve.


  1. What a wonderful store. And a wonderful recipe!

  2. what a wonderful family recipe! i love making dishes that remind me of my nanny, but there are those few that we don’t have recipes for either :/

  3. Beautiful story… And chocolate sauce on Saltines?? Sounds sweet and salty delicious!

  4. Ha, you’re right about it pretty much being one step away from frosting…but isn’t that the beauty of it?

  5. What a luscious chocolate sauce. I need to try this :)

  6. Your Nany was SO my kind of lady–ice cream every night?! Yes, please! Thanks for sharing one of her recipes–looks delish!

  7. What a nice tribute! Your Nany had something going with that recipe: I love chocolate and saltines. Who doesn’t? It’s timeless.

  8. oh my gosh yum! Your Nany sounds like a pretty rockin lady :)

  9. Your Nany sounds like she was an amazing person! How awesome that you have one of her recipes to use and pass down!
    By the way, it looks absolutely delicious, but I never would have thought to put chocolate sauce on crackers!

  10. Love this story, Brandi, and I’m sure your nanny would too. My granny is also one of a kind, and makes a pretty kick-butt chocolate sauce, too!

  11. So simple, yum! I love nutella spread on saltines… It’s that sweet and salty combo that gets me ever time. What a sweet story.

  12. I love making homemade chocolate sauce, it’s such a fun and indulgent treat.

  13. YUM! I love hand-me-down recipes.

    My great grandmother has a similar recipe for what we call Chocolate Jam – only it’s warm and used for biscuits. :)

  14. I loved this – legacy and love through the simplest of recipes. I feel blessed to have had a wonderful, beautiful grandmother, and I smile every time I think of her. It makes me wonder what I’ll – or any of us – will be remembered by in future days…

  15. It is the best and was a great treat, thanks for thinking of mom

    Love ya

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