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Spiced (But Not Spicy) Hot Cocoa Mix

hot cocoa with cinnamon, ancho chile powder, and nutmeg
If you’re going to make a batch of Cinnamon Marshmallows, you need a little something to go with em. Something with a little zip to it, a little depth, a little more oo-la-la than the everyday. Something like Spiced Hot Cocoa.

Thanks to a generous helping of cinnamon, a slightly-less generous amount of ancho chile powder (which is made from dried, mildly hot poblano peppers), and a hint of nutmeg, this cocoa is sophisticated enough for the grownups, but still chocolaty enough for the kids—Harry’s downed about a bathtub’s worth of the stuff since I first made this mix.

Packaged in sweet little Weck jars, topped with a baggie of mini-marshmallows, and tied up with brightly colored twine, a gift of Spiced Hot Cocoa will put a smile on the face of even the Grinchiest person on your list. I paired mine with these ridiculously adorable cards from inkylivie on Etsy.

All wrapped up & ready to go in gorgeous twine from The Twinery


Spiced (But Not Spicy) Hot Cocoa Mix
Adapted from Best Ever Hot Cocoa Mix
Makes 24 servings

3 cups nonfat dry milk
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Working in 3 batches, pulse ingredients in a food processor until the chocolate is finely ground. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  2. To make hot cocoa, whisk 1/4 cup of the mix into 1 cup of cold milk (any percentage), and heat over medium-low heat.
  3. Serve with Cinnamon Marshmallows, if you’ve got em.

MAKE BABY FOOD: Yes, it’s safe. But no, I wouldn’t.


This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Jo

    I adore this idea, but given the date and my workload, I’m thinking I might cheat and use readymade hot chocolate this year 🙂

  2. Debbie Koenig

    Ha! No shame in that, Jo. Sometimes I think chocolate is like pizza (or sex): even when it’s “bad,” it’s still pretty good.

  3. Jo

    So true… I’m thinking I’ll blend some white chocolate in though… thanks so much, loving your recipes 🙂

  4. Amy

    Made this for teacher gifts…didn’t try it first and assumed it would be good….had some left over and was more than surprised how amazing it was!!! Now I’m just trying to see who I can add to my gift list for I can make another batch, or who I can take off and keep their jar!!! (considering I made three batches with a three year old, I’m kind of done cleaning my kitchen for the day!)

    1. Debbie Koenig

      Ha! I know exactly what you mean, Amy–and I tip my hat to you for pulling it off with a 3yo around!

  5. lark

    Mmm, made this as a part of a present to my in-laws, and was pleased that there was extra for me to have some, too. It’s maybe a teensy bit spicy for me, such that I might reduce the amount of chile powder next time, but I love how the sludge at the bottom of the mug is actual chocolate, not just cocoa powder, and the spiciness makes it more warming than simply having a higher temperature.

    1. Debbie Koenig

      Thanks for the comment, Lark! Interesting that you found it spicy–wonder if your batch of ancho powder was hotter than mine.

      1. lark

        Could be–my husband had to search around for it, so there wasn’t a lot of choice. But I’m also a bit wimpy when it comes to spicy (not spiced! ;^) food.

  6. devyani anand

    why is my mix tasting powdery and granular in the mouth when i make it in milk?

    1. Debbie Koenig

      I don’t know, Devyani! All I can think of is that you’re feeling the ground spices–they won’t dissolve the way sugar/salt/chocolate will, so there’s bound to be some texture. I’ve never been bothered by it, but perhaps you’re more sensitive to it than I am! The other possibility is that you’re taking it off the heat before all the dissolving/melting ingredients have had a chance to do their dissolving and melting, kwim? How thoroughly did you whisk the mixture into the milk?

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