By Chef Diane
If it's chilly outside, and Jack Frost is finally nipping at your nose, it’s the perfect day to have a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Today is National Cocoa Day, and it’s a perfect cold weather drink to get you warmed up for the day.
As many of you know, I love all things chocolate, well except bugs! When I was younger, we used to go Christmas caroling for shut-ins from my church. At the end of the night we would always have hot chocolate and cookies for our efforts. This was always such a treat for me, since I never had it at home.
Not too long ago I discovered that McDonald's had hot chocolate. Well, it was summer time, and not really the season for it, but I couldn’t resist when I saw those words on the menu, so I ordered a cup. I instantly fell in love! I went daily for a week and got a cup.
Two years ago, when my son got married, I made some spice tea mix and put it in bags placed in a coffee cup from the place where he was married. I learned then that most people aren't fans of spiced tea, so last year, for Christmas gifts I decided to make hot chocolate mix instead. I found a recipe for a mix, placed it in jelly jars, added a peppermint stick for stirring, and bagged it up with a bright bow on top. It was a success! If you would like a nice easy gift for teachers or neighbors, or anyone, try this recipe from spoonful.com for a great success!
Best Hot Cocoa Mix
- 2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Measure all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them until they are evenly blended.
- Store the mix in a tightly covered container at room temperature until you're ready to package it. Makes about 4 cups of mix.
The secret ingredient in this mix is the mini chocolate chips, which melt when combined with the boiling water and give the cocoa an extra-rich flavor. The recipe makes enough for four gift-size portions, each of which can be measured into a small plastic bag and tucked into a cup or mug filled with mini marshmallows, candy stick stirrers, and a spoon. Wrap each filled gift cup in cellophane and don't forget to include a tag with the following instructions: "Spoon 3 or 4 generous tablespoons of cocoa mix into your cup (depending on the size), add boiling water, and stir well."