Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Homemade Instant Hot Chocolate Mix

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
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I recently posted my recipe for hot chocolate and it works perfectly, but I can't exactly gift it, so I started experimenting with making a mix I could give away. Using dried milk powder and a bit of trial & error, I've figured out something quite close to the homemade version I normally make that can be used with boiling water, similar to instant coffee. I love to make this, put it into cute jars and give it to friends with a bag of mini marshmallows and a card with instructions on how to mix up a hot cuppa. It's super fast and also a great way to use up any old jars you're not sure what to do with. I had a couple of Kilner jars that I never really use lying around so I've used those this time, but the options are endless if you want to buy jars fo this project. I like to pick mine up at Flying Tiger or Wilko since they're super affordable and usually very cute. If you don't want to buy them, I think the little jars that spices come in at Sainsbury's could easily be up-cycled for this project and one jar would hold about enough for 1 or 2 cups of hot cocoa. Pop it in a bag with a cute mug and it's a very thoughtful gift! Alternatively, recycle old coffee tins or jars or any glass container with a lid and an opening wide enough to put a spoon in unless it's a single serving size that can just be poured out.

I've given the ingredients here in cups because honestly it's just the easiest way to do it. It doesn't have to be super exact, so if you don't have any measuring cups, simply use a standard coffee cup instead and you'll be close enough. This recipe makes enough for me to fill up two 0.5 litre Kilner jars with just enough left over to make a cup for myself, but you can split it up however you like.

If you want to include the crushed candy canes or peppermint sticks, they add a lovely minty flavour, but it's not required. I put them into a sturdy plastic bag and crush them by beating them pretty vigorously with a wooden spoon. 

One final note... This recipe is made with ingredients that can all be kept on-hand, so it's great if you need a last minute treat or gift that you can easily whip up. It makes a really nice little present for the holidays or to give as a host/hostess gift.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips (or milk chocolate pieces chopped very small)
3/4 cup crushed peppermint sticks or candy canes (optional)
Mini Marshmallows (optional)

Method:
1. Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir with a fork until combined.

2. Scoop the mixture into clean jars or canisters.

3. When you're ready to enjoy your hot chocolate, put 3 tablespoons of the mix into a mug and pour in boiling water. Give it a good stir so it all mixes together as the chocolate and peppermint pieces melt. Sprinkle mini marshmallows on top and enjoy!

4. If you're gifting it, include a note or a card with preparation instructions (see below) and a bag of mini marshmallows. I like to buy a big bag and split them up into treat bags tied off with a bow. Simply pop a container of mix and some marshmallows into a gift bag with the directions and you have a lovely gift. If you want to make it even more special, include a mug as well.

Preparation instructions for gifting:
Put 3 tablespoons of mix into a mug and pour in boiling water. Give it a good stir to mix it up as the chocolate & peppermint pieces melt, top with mini marshmallows and enjoy!

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