Forbidden Cookbook: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix for Grown-Ups

So if you’re in need of a simple but delightful gift for anyone who might drop by unexpectedly on Christmas, or that cousin who has everything and is difficult to shop for but not difficult to love, or maybe your kids’ teachers — and if you have half an hour to put this all together — you might like this hot cocoa recipe I just developed tonight.

I started by researching other homemade hot cocoa recipes all over the Internet and found maybe a gazillion. I read as many as I could until my eyes glazed over to glean the basic mechanics and to figure out the common denominators that make homemade hot cocoa mix successful. Interestingly, every recipe I read had a relatively different ingredients list. They were all unique from each other in unexpected ways. So I came to an understanding of the baseline necessities, and then I put an ingredients list of my own together. I tested it and tasted it and added a few more things and tweaked the measurements, et voilà! Here’s what I finally landed on.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix for Grown-Ups

This recipe isn’t “for Grown-Ups” because it contains anything that kids can’t drink. Rather, this cup of hot chocolate has a less cloyingly sweet taste than store-bought mixes and a teensy bit of a festive kick to it, so you won’t feel pre-diabetic by the time you reach the end of your mug.

And since I was, in fact, making this batch to put into little jars to give to my kids’ teachers, the recipe is generous and yields probably at least 40 servings. Store it in an airtight jar.

*  3 c. nonfat dry milk powder
*  3 c. powdered sugar
*  1-1/2 c. Dutch-process red cocoa powder
*  1 (11-oz.) bag white chocolate chips
*  1/2 tsp. fine-grain salt
*  2 tsp. cornstarch
*  1 (11-oz.) bag vanilla baking chips
*  3 tsp. cinnamon

Whisk all the ingredients together in a very large bowl. Then pulse small batches of it in a food processor until the chocolate and vanilla chips are finely ground. Add 2 generous tablespoons to 6 oz. of hot water, stir, and enjoy!

A few notes:

I recommend mixing it with hot water rather than milk — although you certainly can use milk if you want a really mild, help-you-off-to-sleep kind of taste — only because water won’t dilute the flavor.

Prepare for your kitchen and you to get really dusty with cocoa powder. It’s gonna happen.

Spoon out a few servings into a decorative glass jar and put a ribbon on it to make a charming and delicious gift for pretty much any fall or winter occasion!

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