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.
Make Your Own: Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe
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.