Friday, August 10, 2012

Hot Cocoa Mix

Have you ever noticed how pricey it is to buy hot chocolate anymore, especially the good stuff? I was flabbergasted at the prices last time I checked in my local grocery store. To compound my consternation (yes, I just watched Alton Brown, hence the alliteration), I was floored when I looked at the ingredients in hot cocoa mixes. Many of them contained a variety of partially hydrogenated oils, a chemically-engineered product of oil (many times soybean oil) that is chock full of trans fats (the really bad kind of fats).

How hard could it be to make my own mix? Pretty darn easy, actually! My husband bought me Alton Brown's Good Eats cookbooks for our 15-year anniversary (isn't he a swell guy???). These are over 12 lbs. of Alton's most wonderful recipes, and one of them is for Hot Cocoa. I whipped up a batch (after a quick run to the grocery store...I don't typically keep non-fat powdered milk on hand), and it sure is tasty! I'm pretty sure this will be my go-to cocoa mix from now on.

Alton Brown's Hot Cocoa Recipe
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Hot water

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water.

2. Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry. This also works great with warm milk.

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