In one of my first posts on this blog (3 years ago!), I shared a homemade hot cocoa mix recipe. Tired of buying commercial hot cocoa mix with its hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and other unwanted ingredients, I searched for a simple hot cocoa mix I could make at home. I found a good one, but not great. And I wanted a great hot cocoa recipe.
I searched the internet recently for a new recipe and found one on Mel's Kitchen Cafe. It's what I had been looking for. This recipe makes terrific hot cocoa! The ingredients are blended together in a food processor, so the mixture ends up powdery and dissolves well in hot water or milk. White chocolate chips add a richness and creaminess that's hard to beat. I don't usually buy white chocolate, but I found some at Whole Foods that doesn't contain hydrogenated oil and artificial flavor.
The next time I make this recipe, I'll experiment with dark chocolate chips for an even deeper chocolate flavor. You could also add crushed peppermint candies for a fun twist. The down side to this recipe? It's so yummy, I want to make hot cocoa morning, noon and night!
Make a batch and give some as a gift. Package it in an old vintage jar tied with a ribbon and attach a handmade tag with directions on how to prepare it.
In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups of dry powdered milk, 2 cups of confectioners' sugar, 1-1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Store in an airtight container.
Note: I used Carnation instant nonfat dry milk, Ghirardelli 100% unsweetened cocoa, and Whole Foods' 365 brand white chocolate chunks.
To make a cup of cocoa:
Combine 1/3 cup cocoa mix with 1 cup hot water or milk (I prefer it made with water; it was too rich for my taste when made with milk). Top with marshmallows if desired; I'm interested in trying these vegan marshmallows.
I have to tell you about something I bought recently. It's a small thing, but has made me very happy. It's this electric kettle, and I love it. It boils water super quickly and shuts off automatically. And because it's so fast, I'll now enjoy more cups of tea and hot cocoa (yippie!) this winter.
I hadn't bought an electric kettle until now because of the lack of storage and counter space in our little bungalow kitchen. Our glass tea kettle, and the metal one before that, lived on the stovetop when not in use. Where would I keep an electric kettle? However, once I experienced the speed of the electric kettle we have in the kitchen at work, I knew it was something I had to have. So I carved out a little space in our "pantry" (two shelves above our washer and dryer) for this new kettle. I love it!
(Please note, this is not a paid endorsement for Hamilton Beach)
Finally, I wanted to show you one of the four handmade pottery mugs I bought at a crafts show last month for my husband's birthday. They are all slightly different in size and color; this one is my personal favorite. Christmas Eve herbal tea by Stash is a delicious peppermint tea that I enjoy year-round. I bought boxes and boxes of it online a couple of years ago when the holiday season ended and I could no longer buy it in our local grocery store.
I hope your Christmas preparations are coming along nicely, and that your holiday season is merry and bright!