Cold, damp weather goes hand in hand with drinking hot chocolate. It’s the ultimate comfort drink for our family during cool weather.
It is forbidden to drink hot chocolate during warm weather by the Tradition Police (the older children). You have to wait until at least the first official day of Fall to drink the first mug.
When do we sip it? While listening to a book being read aloud, while sitting by a crackling fire, while thawing out from an icy backyard romp in the snow, or while huddled around the space heater early on a frigid morning.
Homemade hot chocolate mix makes a great Christmas gift for neighbors, teachers and friends. Package it in a festive container, top the lid with a bow and insert a card with the recipe and directions.
We experimented with homemade hot chocolate recipes until we developed The Recipe. The secret ingredient is the malted milk powder, which kills the powdered milk taste. I often add a little more just because we like it. Find a nondairy creamer with mild taste. If you live near a WalMart, we like Sam’s Choice Extra-Rich Creamer.
Bonus: a doctor told me that it was okay to drink this hot chocolate to soothe a sore throat associated with an upper respiratory illness. Usually milk products are not recommended due to effects on mucus production, but powdered milk won’t have that effect. Yes, I know that sugar is not-so-hot for the immune system, but sometimes you can entice the sick little one to drink fluids with a nice warm cup of hot chocolate.
So here it is, the drink mix coveted by college dorm inhabitants:
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
1 ½ cups cocoa
3 ¼ cups sugar
4 cups nonfat instant dry milk
2 cups non-dairy creamer
½ cup (or more) malted milk powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Mix in large bowl. Use 1/3 cup mix in a mug of hot water.
Did I mention that it makes a good cup of coffee even better? Instant cup of mocha on the cheap. Add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg and you’ve got cappuccino. Chocolate makes everything better.