Friday, December 4, 2009

Quick Hack and Holiday Gift: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mixes



One of my favorite things to do in chilly weather is to cuddle up under a patchwork quilt near the window with a good book and a cup of delicious homemade hot cocoa.

Below are recipes for American-style hot cocoa mix, Mexican-style hot cocoa mix, and chocolate syrup.

Not only are these recipes quick and cheap hacks that cost significantly less than making hot chocolate with a store-bought dry mix or Hershey syrup, but pair a jar or two of these mixes with a nice mug, a bag of mini marshmallows, and a few candy canes for stirrers, and you've got a great, homemade holiday gift.

Note: A lot of cocoa mix recipes call for powdered nondairy creamer, but you'll want to steer clear of those ones. Almost all nondairy creamers, such as CoffeeMate and Creamora, contain hydrogenated oils (trans fats). Because most store-bought hot chocolate mixes are made with these nondairy creamers, they too are choc (sorry, I couldn't resist) full of trans fats. Swiss Miss, get a clue: Drop the hydrogenated oils! (Ironically, even their sugar-free and low-fat packs, the types marketed to more health-conscious consumers, contain trans fats.) Tsk, tsk.


Delectably Fat-Free Homemade Cocoa Mix

Ingredients
4 cups nonfat powdered milk or powdered soy milk
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar

Additions/Substitutions: You can use regular granulated sugar if you prefer, but I find that powdered sugar mixes better and makes the end product creamier. For a really rich cocoa, Italian style, add 4 oz unsweetened dark chocolate, coarsely chopped.

Directions
Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Transfer to storage jar(s).

To make hot cocoa
Use 2 Tb per mug (or to taste), fill with hot water.



"Chocolate Fiesta" Mexican Hot Cocoa Mix

Ingredients
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp powdered vanilla (or 1 whole vanilla bean)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups powdered milk or powdered soy milk
1/2 tsp of red (cayenne) pepper (optional)

Directions
Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Transfer to storage jar(s).

To make hot cocoa
Use 2 Tb per mug (or to taste), fill with hot water.


Chocolate Syrup

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Directions
In a small pot, boil water and sugar. Gradually whisk in cocoa powder, sea salt, vanilla extract, and corn syrup. Keep whisking until everything has dissolved and simmer until desired thickness. Let cool and transfer to bottles.

Use for hot chocolate, cold chocolate milk, or as a dessert topping.

Tip
Save your ketchup, mustard, syrup, and other squeeze bottles to reuse for this project. Remove the labels and add your own!








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2 comments:

JaelCustomDesigns said...

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Kittye said...

Can't wait to try these! Thanks for a great money-saving gift idea.

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