19 December 2007

The Warmth of Hot Cocoa

The following took place the weekend after Thanksgiving.

My beverages of choice for the winter weather tends to be coffee and tea. The exception to that is hot cocoa, something that my mom makes every year when the weather starts to drastically cool down.

The ingredients for the mix (chocolate milk mix, confectioners' sugar, coffee creamer, and instant milk) get layered in the large container, specially reserved for the mix. and gets mixed together.

After it's well mixed, a portion goes into the decorative Christmas jar that gets put next to the coffee maker.

The snowflakes on the mugs remind me of cobwebs... Cobwebby snowflakes... I don't like cobwebs.

During the final preperations, I remembered an espresso drink consisting of espresso, chocolate milk, orange rind, and topped with foam that I always order from a special cafe when I go to two different 5Ks in St. Joseph, MI, Caffe Tosi. (A quick digression...Their trail mix cookies are incredible, very buttery, and they serve illy Coffee. The espresso is wonderful.)
In an attempt to recreate a wonderful taste, we added a teaspoon of instant espresso powder and a bit of finely grated orange rind -- enough to flavor it adequately but not enough to gag on (the latter ingredient was added to each mug, not just those drinking the espresso version).

After it was filled a bit more than halfway with boiling water, the mugs were topped with whipped cream and sprinkles in the theme of fall (since it wasn't yet Christmastime).

The flavor was lovely, very reminiscent of the chocolate-orange espresso drink but heavier on the cocoa. The orange came through nicely and forever remains the perfect compliment to chocolate, in my opinion. (To me, Scharffen Berger Bittersweet has orange undertones and is my favorite chocolate bar to nibble on.) I also appreciated the warmth it provided on a cold, nippy day. That might also have been due to the memories hot cocoa reminds me of -- thermoses filled with hot cocoa to warm us up when we take a break from sledding, hot cocoa and bizcochitos, and being together with my family while mixing the large batch.

**This year, the entire mixture was used up at an alarmingly fast pace -- we are almost out.**

Print this recipe

instant hot cocoa mix
from Butter 'n Love Recipes (an old church cookbook of my mom's)

ingredients ~

Large amount:

10 2/3 cup powdered milk
1 pound confectioners' sugar
2 pounds chocolate milk mix
2 cups cocoa powder
22 ounces powdered coffee creamer

Small amount:

4 cups powdered milk
2 cups chocolate milk mix
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered coffee creamer (flavored or plain)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon salt

directions ~
  1. For large amount: Pour ingredients into a large container (it may be easier to mix in batches in a large mixing bowl before pouring into a container) and mix well. To taste, pour 1 cup water over 1/3 cup mix in a mug. Adjust ingredients depending on preference.

  2. For small amount: Pour ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Pour into a decorative container.

This would make a great gift if mix was poured into a pretty container and sent with some cookies.


  1. My mom makes a similar hot chocolate mix for her classroom every year. I think when I'm home for Christmas, I'll have her give me some and try your espresso.

    Also, thanks for telling me about Caffe Tosi. I have to be in St. Joe in Feb and was wondering where I would find a good cup of coffee and some baked goodies to go with it!

    Hope you are back in the groove soon.

  2. Yum, I loved hot chocolate. I want to try a frozen version.
    Yes, those look like creepy cobwebs.
    Hope you have a good holiday!

  3. All the best with the 8-miles :-) One mile at a time...

  4. Thank you so much for the birthday wish. You are too sweet. Sorry I haven't commented in so long. I've been away for the holidays and you know how that is. :-) I hope you had a wonderful holiday, sure looks like it from the hot chocolate!

  5. Sorry I used the wrong account! It's Val from bake your cake and eat it too...man I've been away from the computer too long.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are appreciated! ^,^


Blogger Template Created by pipdig