Just as Easy as a Packet, But a Blazillion Times Better

We’ve been on a bit of a cocoa rage here lately. Whenever we come in from a cold outing, Harry’s fixation kicks in—the pleas (which are generally accompanied by a plaintive and hard-to-resist “peeze”) don’t stop until hot (well, warm) cocoa is in junior’s insulated sippy.

At first I was making it from scratch each time—all the packets we keep at home are for satisfying my own sweet-tooth emergencies, so they’ve got Splenda or some other substance I’m not sure a toddler should ingest. (Course that begs the question of why I should be ingesting them, but that’s another blog post entirely…) I was getting mighty tired of pulling out canisters of cocoa and sugar each time, and since I wasn’t using a recipe it never tasted the same twice. Then I came across a wonderfully simple recipe for homemade hot cocoa mix. Perfect! It’s deeply chocolaty and creamy, thanks to the use of dried nonfat milk, powdered sugar (which contains corn starch), and white chocolate chips. And since I make the hot cocoa itself with 1% milk, I don’t even feel too terrible about sabotaging my (I’m-supposed-to-be-on-a) diet. Just think of all the calcium it provides!

It’s from the Cooks Country web site, which apparently you need a subscription to access. I’m not even sure how I was able to get it in the first place, but lucky for me (and you) I printed it out and I’m willing to share. The recipe called for some pretty substantial amounts so I reconfigured it to make less. When it was all blended it fit perfectly in a one-quart container, and it now sits in my pantry, just waiting to be called upon to warm a toddler’s—and his two middle-aged parents’—cheeks.

Best-Ever Hot Cocoa Mix
From CooksCountry.com
Makes about 13 servings

2 cups nonfat dry milk
1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup white chocolate chips
pinch salt

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Working in two batches, pulse ingredients in a food processor until chocolate is finely ground. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To make hot cocoa, stir 1/3 cup of this mix into 1 cup of hot milk [I use 1% and it’s fantastic].