Somehow I have a gazillion packets of hot chocolate in the house. After seeing the recipe below, I think they’ll be around a bit longer as I make the real stuff! Here’s Maggie’s hot chocolate…
True story: I did not know that instant hot cocoa existed until I went away to college. Mom always made hot chocolate in a big saucepan on the stove top with milk, cocoa and sugar. We would come in from playing the snow, and it would be hot and ready. Every Christmas morning. It was rich, thick, sweet, creamy comfort in a mug.
The first time I had instant I don’t think I even finished drinking it. Gross. Watery and boring. Even making it with hot milk didn’t help much.
I rarely order it out as I know it will almost always just be mixed up with hot water. (unless you’re in Europe and get drinking chocolate which is a wholly different and amazing experience!- secret- most Starbucks baristas will make you some if you order it- and they get excited since it is not on the menu!)
Daughter #2 Miss Picky Pants wanted to make Hot Cocoa mix for our neighbors instead of baking something. I was like- hell yea, and looked for a recipe that would be respectable. Alton Brown is the winner. The cayenne won me over.
For instant mix, this was pretty good, and packaged in half pint canning jars was a fun gift to deliver.
Hot Cocoa Mix
What you need:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Hot water of hot milk (I prefer milk)
What you do:
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water.
Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry.