I recently hosted a dinner for my husband's work--dinner and dessert. We thought that it'd be the most fun to have a cookie and hot chocolate bar for everyone.
We were short on seating and it was the type of event where we thought everyone would want portable food as they mingle, so cookies and hot cocoa worked out nicely.
It turned out great and was a lot of fun--yummy fun, what could be better?
It was also surprisingly easy to pull off. Even with making homemade mixes, the whole thing came together quickly, and my girls and I had a lot of fun testing out each of our hot cocoa flavors to make sure they were "good enough" for our guests. The of course all were.
I think it took a whole 3 minutes to make each type of cocoa mix--cleaning up the mess my kids made was the labor-intensive part for sure. :)
It took me awhile of scouring the web and then sampling to come up with the type of mixes I wanted.
I thought at first about just making a slow cooker recipe and having mix-ins, but in then I just wondered if it was going to make a mess with everyone (including kids) ladling it out. So, in the end I decided to have hot water and then mixes for people to use. Therefore, I needed my mixes to have dry milk in them and then I also needed a recipe that I could alter the flavors. I decided to achieve this with powdered coffee creamers. On the one hand, it seemed kind of pointless to me to make your own cocoa mix and then load them up with all the junk in the coffee creamers, buuuut flavor won out over being health conscious this time. :)
So, here is the recipe I came up with.
Hot Cocoa Mix
Makes about 2 cups
Use about 1/3 c. mix per serving
1 c. Nido milk powder (found in the hispanic food section at your grocer. It is whole milk powder rather than nonfat dry milk = creamier, yummier hot chocolate!)
1/2 c. powdered sugar (dissolves better and adds thickness)
1/2 c. powdered coffee creamer
1/4 c. dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 c. chocolate chips (once I added mint chips for the mint flavor and it was wonderful, buuuut it was kind of greenish and weird)
dash of salt
Put all of this in your food processor and pulse until chopped and mixed well.
So yummy! I think I'll have another cup right now. :)
Using this method, I made the following flavors:
original (used vanilla coffee creamer)
dark (used a little extra cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips, less coffee creamer)
mint (used vanilla coffee creamer and mint chips. next time I might just try adding mint extract?)
caramel (lots of people liked this best--used caramel coffee creamer
mexican (added 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and a dash of cayenne)
almond (used amaretto coffee creamer)
I had little jars of coconut, red hots, crushed candy canes, chocolate chips, mint chips, and of course marshmallows.
In the end, it was a success. Tasted good and it was fun.
I think I will do it again this weekend when family comes for our annual gingerbread house making party!
And maybe neighbor gifts? so easy!