It’s no secret that I love chocolate. This time of year my daily (errr…hourly?) chocolate fix often comes in the form of a piping hot mug of cocoa. It’s the perfect accompaniment to snuggles on the couch (the human or dog kind), a crackling fire and a good book…or reality TV binge. That’s real talk.
Hot cocoa made from a homemade mix just blows those store bought packets out of the water. The flavor is so much richer and more intense. It’s crazy simple to make. AND you can play with the flavors by adding cinnamon (which I do here), a dash of cayenne pepper or by using flavored chocolate morsels.
With just a few minutes of work, you’ll have a huge batch of cocoa that you can enjoy all winter long. Or you can package it up into cute little containers (I like mason jars) for a great hostess or Christmas gift. I like to give this out with a few homemade chocolate dipping spoons to make it feel extra special. Collect some old spoons at thrift stores or antique shops. Dip them in melted dark or milk chocolate, chill on a wax paper-lined baking sheet until firm, then drizzle some melted white chocolate on top and sprinkle with chopped peppermint candies or mini marshmallows. Easy peasy. And so stinking cute!
For my taste preferences, I like about 3 tablespoons of this hot coca mix combined with 8 ounces of hot milk (cow, nut or soy all work well here). But you can experiment to find out what ratio works best for you.
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate morsels
- 4 ounces white chocolate morsels
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Using a small pairing knife, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Save the pod.
- Add the scraped vanilla bean seeds and the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor with the metal blade attachment. Process the mixture in short spurts or pulses (don't run your food processor for too long at a time or you will create heat and risk melting some of the chocolate) until the chocolate is finely ground and everything is well combined.
- Transfer the hot cocoa mix to an airtight container (I used my biggest mason jar for this) and slip the expended vanilla bean pod into the mix. Seal and let it sit overnight (or longer) at room temperature. When you are ready to assemble your gift packages, remove and discard the vanilla bean pod. Transfer the hot cocoa mix to the gifting containers of your choice. Add a cute ribbon and a small tag with instructions for making the hot cocoa.
- To make a mug of hot cocoa, combine about 3 tablespoons of the hot cocoa mix with 8 ounces of heated milk of your choice and stir until well blended. If desired, top with whipped cream or marshmallows and serve with chocolate dipping spoons. Enjoy!
1. If you are planning to scale up this recipe, I recommend working in batches. My food processor was VERY full with just a single batch as written in the recipe above.
2. You can use bar chocolate instead of chocolate morsels. Be sure to chop them into smaller pieces before adding them to your food processor.
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