Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hot Chocolate Mix

Nothing says the holidays like a steaming mug of hot chocolate.  Preferably with a stripey candy cane for stirring. Sounds pretty basic.  But what if you take time to celebrate the first cup of the season?  Make it an occasion.  Break out the fancy mugs, scrounge up some whipped cream, cuddle up with the ones you love and savor the warmth. Turn on a holiday special or just sit by the fire. Perfect opportunity to make some memories. We stopped this week in the middle of the day and took a break for no good reason, just to enjoy our first batch of hot chocolate. What a fun way to celebrate the beginning of December.

My mother in law has blessed us over the years with many batches of homemade hot chocolate mix.  I took this stash for granted, until one year when we ran out and I had to purchase the packaged kind in envelopes.  Considering that our family has grown to a size where we can blow through an entire box in one sitting, our hot chocolate habit was pricey.  Plus, the flavor and creaminess we've gotten used to, makes the packaged stuff taste blah in comparison.  I've tweaked the original recipe to suit our family's  taste MORE CHOCOLATE  and the result is a lush, rich blend of deliciousness. This recipe makes a giant batch so it will either last you through the winter, or you will have plenty to share.  A tin full of this makes a lovely Christmas present for someone special.

Hot Chocolate Mix
  • One 20 quart box of powdered milk
  • One 22 oz container of powdered coffee creamer
  • 3 lbs of powdered sugar
  • 2lbs of powdered chocolate drink mix (I use Nestle)
  • 5 cups cocoa powder  

* Measurements for powdered milk, creamer and Nestle are approximate.  Your grocery store may not carry those exact sizes.  A little variation in either direction, will not change the overall flavor of this recipe very much.
Pour ingredients into a very large bowl. Mix with a wisk until everything is combined and mixture is all the same color.  You can divide this recipe and mix one half at a time, which makes for easier stirring.  Store in airtight container.  

To prepare hot chocolate, add a heaping 1/3 cup of powdered mixture to 8 ounces of boiling water.  Stir until well combined.  Add a splash of milk if desired.

  •  Use a flavored powdered coffee creamer instead of plain.  Cinnamon or mint are both good.
  • Use a "dutched" cocoa powder for darker, smoother flavor.  Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder is an American example of dutched cocoa powder.
  • Add a spoonful of instant coffee crystals to a cup of hot chocolate for a mocha flavor
  • Invite some friends around and set up a hot chocolate bar.  Mini chocolate chips, crushed candy canes, red hot candies, cinnamon sticks, marshmallows or sprinkles are all fun mix-in ideas.

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