One of my favorite things to do on a cold winter morning is to sit in front of the fireplace with cups of hot cocoa and read Bible stories to the kids. I won’t pretend this is healthy, but it is a delicious way to warm up these cold winter mornings when spring seems to elude us and the freezing temps come back again and again.
I love the convenience of hot cocoa mixes, but then I looked at the ingredients. Artificial flavors and colors? hydrogenated oils? I can do better than that.
So I started mixing my own, but it didn’t seem to dissolve as well, and I don’t have much patience at 6:15 in the morning.
Then I visited The Chocolate Bar and had their European hot cocoa. It was like a taste of heaven. Smooth. Rich. Wow. I asked them how they did it, and they said they used real chocolate, not just powder. The secret ingredient.
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I love the Kirkland brand)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (HEB’s is the best)
1/4 cup sugar (I like evaporated cane juice, but white or coconut also work)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
almost 2 cups milk
Place chocolate chips in a microwave proof bowl, and add enough milk to bring it to the 1/2 cup line. Melt the chips and stir. Add cocoa and sugar, stir. Add remaining ingredients, then fill up to the 2 cup line with milk. This is your concentrated hot cocoa mix. I dilute it 1 part to 2 parts milk for the kids, or enjoy it straight and rich in a little espresso cup. When serving, it mixes beautifully with cold milk that can be heated to the desired temperature. Then topped with whipped cream or marshmallows or a dash of peppermint extract.