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Dec 062013
 
 December 6, 2013  Posted by  Features, Food, Hot Deals
hot_chocolate

On a cold winter’s eve, what tastes better than a cup of hot cocoa? Hot cocoa mix (especially the gourmet brands, like Ghirardelli) might be a luxury item on your grocery list, and it can be really pricey if you buy a cup at Starbucks or other coffee hut. So why not make your own at home? It’s easy, tasty and saves you money. Now, how sweet is that?

The price of a medium cup of hot chocolate at Starbucks is $3.38 plus tax. You can make a whole batch of your own mix for the price of one cup of Starbucks cocoa. A can of cocoa mix in the store is only slightly higher than homemade, but the quality varies by brand and it’s likely full of unpronounceable preservatives.

The Nestle company offers this recipe for homemade mix:

  • Combine 1 1/2 cups instant nonfat dry milk with 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup baking cocoa powder, plus a pinch of salt. Most recipes recommend Dutch-processed cocoa powder for best taste.
  • Combine thoroughly in a container that has a tight lid.
  • To serve, place 4 tablespoons of the mixture in a cup and add boiling water and stir well. Marshmallows are optional. For richer cocoa, add hot milk instead.

No preservatives or funky ingredients, either.

The Food Network has a dozen other recipes for hot cocoa mix, including a caramel one, a hazelnut flavored one, a peanut-butter version, and a peppermint cocoa, among others. They are, of course, more expensive to make, but still stack up well, cup for cup,  against one you buy at a coffee shop.

For fun, when you go to the Food Network site, click on a video featuring chef Alton Brown for his version, which uses powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar, plus a few other tweaks. You get a little free entertainment with your recipe.

You can also make your own chocolate syrup. You won’t believe how easy it is.

Linda DuVal

Linda DuVal has lived in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region since 1969. She has been writing about the area for most of that time and is the co-author of the new “Insider’s Guide to Colorado Springs,” from Globe Pequot Press. She was a working journalist with The Gazette – the city’s daily newspaper – for 32 years, covering everything from city council to fashion trends, books and authors to travel and food. She has been a freelance writer since 2004, contributing regularly to newspapers, magazines and online sites. Linda owns and operates Pikes Peak On The Cheap.

2 comments on “Here’s a sweet deal: Make your own cocoa mix

  1. CAROLINE R BAIN on said:

    I can find everything but the recipe

  2. Teresa Mears on said:

    The recipe is in the text of the story.