Finally! Hot Coca Days

A few weeks back, it was warmish and rainy, and completely not winter. So, in an effort to bring about at least the idea of winter, I decided to make up a batch of Hot Cocoa Mix. Now that it’s cold over much of the country, I’d say my decision worked–although others may feel differently!

Ideal for cocoa, coffee or tea, these enamelware coffee mugs are available at Lehmans.com or Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio. (You may want more cocoa mix in the giant mug!)

Ideal for cocoa, coffee or tea, these enamelware coffee mugs are available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio. (You may want more cocoa mix in the giant mug!)

I could, of course, just go to a supermarket and buy a box of the little packets of mix. Toss one in a cup and add boiling water and voila!

Here’s the problem. The cocoa comes in a packet which comes in a box which is wrapped in plastic. The ingredients include some questionable ingredients. I’m pretty certain I don’t want my children starting the day with a cup of dipotassium phosphate, cellulose gum, sodium aluminosilicate or partially hydrogenated anything. I’m also cheap.

So I make my own mix. It only takes a couple of minutes and the ingredients are nothing special. At least I can pronounce them. This recipe calls for a bit of cayenne which not everyone likes. Leave it out if you aren’t spicy people.

Pyrex Big Cup1093895

This 2 quart (8 cup) measurer/mixer is ideal for making Kathy Harrison’s cocoa mix. At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or www.lehmans.com.

I start with 4 cups of instant, dry powdered milk. If you want to make the mix to add to warm milk then leave this out too. Mix in 1 ½ cups sugar, 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup of finely chopped, semi-sweet chocolate, ¼ cup of cornstarch (it will make a thicker cocoa), ½ teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne. Use the best chocolate you can get. It will make a difference. Store this in a Mason jar. If you drink a lot of cocoa this is an easy recipe to double or even triple. You will need about a half cup of mix to cup of boiling water. I like my cocoa topped with real whipped cream.

Mix Recipe – Single Batch
4 cups instant dry powdered milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch cayenne powder (optional)

Add 1/2 cup mix to one cup boiling water and stir well. Top as desired.

Kathy Harrison

About Kathy Harrison

Kathy Harrison is the author of Just in Case, Another Place at the Table, and One Small Boat. She is a national spokesperson for both foster parenting and family preparedness and has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and National Public Radio. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.