With the weather chilling down it's finally feeling festive around here. Colder winds also means I've been able to whip up a big batch of my favorite wintertime drink: hot cocoa. I have always loved hot cocoa - not just around the holidays, but all winter long. When I was a kid my mom was sweet enough to provide me with all the ingredients needed for my constant hot chocolate consumption. I was so good at making hot cocoa mix as a kid I could eyeball it as I went. Since it's been quite a number of years since my hot-chocolate-binging-days, I had forgotten the exact ratios. After some experimenting I think I've finally hit on the right balance of sweetness & chocolatey goodness.
Since it's Christmastime & peppermint is the go-to flavor, this hot cocoa features candy canes. If you want to make a basic hot cocoa mix, substitute the 1/3 cup crushed candy canes for 1/3 cup sugar.
- 2 cups dry milk
- 1 cup sugar (I like using powdered sugar because it melts easier)
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 1/3 cup crushed candy canes
- 1 drop peppermint extract (optional - it really ramps up the minty flavor!)
- Sift together the cocoa, powdered milk, & sugar.
- Place candy canes in a sealed plastic bag, then crush them with a hammer or other heavy object.
- Stir in candy canes.
- Store mix in a jar. Add drop of peppermint extract & shake jar until the extract has completely saturated with the mix.
- To make a cup of hot cocoa, add 5 tablespoons hot cocoa mix to 12 oz. hot water.
I like to top my hot cocoa off with marshmallows & an extra candy cane. Heather prefers hers with whipped cream & chocolate chips. Either way a cup of hot chocolate in the evening is really making it feel like Christmas around here.
Related // Check out this candy cane iPhone wallpaper.