Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rainy Weather and Hot Cocoa

Oh, the weather outside is frightful! It's been raining for nearly a week now, and before that, there was a cold snap of down to 45 degrees F, which is EXTREMELY cold for this area. I normally try to stay away from caffeine (ignoring the occasional Dr Pepper indulgence), so when it gets cold, I turn to cocoa.

Cocoa is one of those black box foods, like baking powder, that we use without knowing how it's made. There are cocoa recipes out there, but they involve heating milk and mixing in cocoa and it's messy to do on the run. Mixes are infinitely superior. But as you know, I'm a big fan of making whenever possible because it's often greener than a mass-produced version, it uses less packaging, and you know exactly what goes into it.

Plus, while I've bought a few gifts, I wanted to make something for my friends. So I decided to make cocoa mix and package it in tins as a gift. I turned to my trusty Make-A-Mix cookbook, which has always served me well.

Cocoa Mix Recipe
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup nondairy creamer
3/4 cup cocoa powder.
1 1/2 cup sugar

Mix all. To serve, mix 4 heaping teaspoon fulls in a glass with 8oz boiling water. I added a large handful of mini-marshmallows to my tins of mix, too, because cocoa is never right without mini marshmallows. Pop it in a tin, and it makes a great gift any time of the winter.

Super tip-top holiday secret - a splash of eggnog in your newly-handmade cocoa may just be the best treat ever invented.

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