Whip up some hot cocoa to give away or savor yourself.
Hot cocoa doesn't always come in a pack of envelopes in a cardboard box. You can whip up a pot of over-the-top chocolaty cocoa to slurp on a wintry day, make up a batch of cocoa mix and dress it up to give as DIY holiday gifts, or even throw together a quick and delicious mug of cocoa in the microwave. It's all in having the right ingredients and a little know-how.
Basic Method for Cocoa Mix
There are oodles of hot cocoa recipes, such as Cocoa Mix Recipe
and Sugar Free Hot Chocolate
. Essentially, though, there are just three things you need to make hot cocoa: some form of milk, unsweetened chocolate and sugar. With these three magical ingredients, you can concoct a steamy mug of cocoa or a sweet mix to give as a gift.
Cocoa by the Cup
Don't deprive yourself if you are home alone craving hot chocolaty goodness. If a steaming pot of hot cocoa is more than you can handle, make yourself a mug in the microwave without resorting to the instant stuff.
Fill your favorite mug not quite to the top with milk and pop in the microwave for about a minute. Once it's hot, whisk in a third cup of your homemade cocoa mix. Make it even more yummy by stirring in a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract. Top as desired and sip away.
Mix to Impress
There is nothing like a handcrafted goodie to let someone know they are special. When you give your BFF some homegrown cocoa all dressed up like a specialty gift shop offering, she will think you spent hours working your fingers to the bone. The fact that the cocoa mix was a snap to toss together is your little secret.
Fill a pretty glass jar half or two-thirds full with cocoa mix and add layers of semi-sweet chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Add a hang tag with directions: "Scoop six tablespoons hot cocoa mix into a mug. Pour in 3/4 cup of hot water or milk. Add chocolate chips and marshmallows to taste, stir and savor."
Jazz Up Your Cocoa
Want some variations on the same old hot chocolate? Check out your cupboards for some flavor-boosting mix-ins. For instance, you can stir in a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon or use a cinnamon stick as a stirrer for some spicy Mexican hot cocoa. Dash in a half teaspoon of peppermint extract or stir it with a candy cane for "thin mint" cocoa. Toss in a few teaspoons of instant coffee granules for hot mocha cocoa. Add a splash of Kahlua, Irish cream or your favorite coffee creamer for a uniquely grown up taste.
You Say Cocoa, I Say Chocolate
What do you do to make this childhood fave a grownup treat?