Friday, December 13, 2013

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix and a New Electric Kettle

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.

The recipe:
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!


  1. So timely Claudia! I pinned a Williams Sonoma recipe for hot chocolate yesterday. Our daughter and I love rich French style hot chocolate, we are always on the lookout for good recipes.

    I was at my friend's home a few days ago. She has a loose organic tea business and is always making tea with her electric kettle. I was admiring hers and decided to start looking for one. Thank you for the recommendation! I also love peppermint tea. You are practicing the rituals that make getting through the winter more enjoyable!

  2. Thank you Claudia! I need to get some hot cocoa for the holidays and I'm considering making my own. The W&S brand is very good:) Some of the lesser expensive brands are kinda poor quality and probably not the best for you. I use a regular tea kettle for heating tea water. I've never thought of using an electric kettle! Hope you are enjoying the festivities of the season:)

  3. When it comes to hot cocoa, more please!! And home made? Even better! The dark chocolate chips sound really yummy and intense. Thanks for sharing, Claudia :)
    Happy weekend!

  4. I could not LIVE without my electric kettle! We've had one for at least 10 years; I even bought one for my office kitchen. I only drink tea, and loose at that, so it's essential! So fast to boil and I think you do save on electricity as it's only one appliance to use. As for hot cocoa it's too bad but I cannot drink it. It just does not agree with me, no matter what kind. Such a shame!

  5. Could NOT live without my electric kettle. First thing in the morning: cup of tea. Next thing in the morning: coffee made in the french press filled with boiling water from the electric kettle. After lunch: cup of tea. Making dinner in a hurry? Get your pots of boiling water ready with the electric kettle. Jamie Oliver's "Meals in 30 Minutes" makes extensive use of the kettle - and because it's quick it saves energy.

  6. I've never had homemade cocoa, but am looking forward to trying it. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love a good cup of cocoa in the wintertime. I can remember my mom making her own when we were kids and even as a kid I thought it was horrible. I'd love to give this a try.

    I also love your mug. I have a real thing for handmade bowls and cups--there's just something about how a handmade piece feels in your hands--but it's hard to find a good mug. It also looks large which is hard to find.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  8. This recipe sounds wonderful! I love the idea of using white chocolate... I bet it does make it so creamy! Thanks for sharing your recipe - we'll definitely be trying it. :-)

  9. I have to buy an electric kettle now! Even with a Keurig which houses warm water, we are always running out of warm water. Thanks for sharing the idea and the yummy recipes. Love the handmade mug, Beautiful colors and homemade mugs just seem to hold in the heat longer for some reason. Hope you're staying warm! Take care. - Jane

  10. I love your mug, but am wondering is it safe to drink out of hand made pottery? I've been avoiding hot cocoa due to not finding any in the store without all the bad additives. I'll definitely be making this!

    1. The artisan who made the mugs we bought provided an information card on his work. It states that his pottery does not contain lead and is safe for use in the microwave, oven and dishwasher. He recommends starting casserole dishes, pie plates, etc. in a cool oven to avoid the possibility of cracking. Thanks for your question. I hope you enjoy the cocoa mix.

  11. I have been using your original cocoa recipe and loved it, so was excited to try to new recipe. I tried the version with white chocolate and also tried a batch with the "winter" mix of dark chocolate and mint chips. My husband says the white chips are best. I am so glad that you are continuing your blog! I get so many good recipes and ideas from you. Plus, your zest for life and love of simple pleasures is inspiring. I want to be more like you! Hope you'll be writing for many years to come.

  12. Hamilton beach, always inspiring. Love that machine.


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