Today is the first day of the last month of the year. I cannot believe how quickly this year went by, where did the time fly? I seriously feel that 2014 just started. Time scares me at times, it flies way too quickly. Anyway December is everyone’s favorite month here for obvious reason, it’s Christmas time! 🙂 I love how everything looks so festive and beautiful here around the holidays. Just day before I saw fake snow flakes shower with beautiful music at the shopping mall, it looked so so pretty.
One of the things that everyone looks forward to during holidays is gifts! Our biggest festival in India is Diwali and everyone’s house is loaded with gifts during that time of the year. While people gift each other all sorts of gifts, the most common one has to be “food gifts”. Sweets, chocolates, cookies, dry fruits are exchanged in huge amount, like really huge. I think it’s the same here for Christmas, the shopping has already begun and everyone is busy buying/planning gifts for their loved ones. While all gifts are great, I feel homemade food gifts are the best. The personal touch makes them extra special. Don’t you agree?
There are so many options when it comes to food gifts – cookies, bread, granola, jams etc etc. but one of my personal favorites is hot cocoa mix. I mean who doesn’t love/want hot cocoa during
cold freezing days? And it’s even better when you add some peppermint to it, after all mint and holidays go hand in hand.
This peppermint hot cocoa mix is just the perfect little gift for your loved one. It’s easy to make and requires few simple ingredients which you might already have in your pantry. The only challenging part for me was sifting the cocoa powder. I kind of dislike sifting so it’s a task for me to sift and mix everything together but once the mix is ready and you pack it into cute little jars, the effort seems worth it. You can decorate the jars with cute ribbons and even but a homemade sticker/tag on top. Cute, isn’t it?
These cute jars filled with peppermint hot cocoa mix are the cutest gifts you can give someone this holiday season! To make hot chocolate, just add 2-3 tablespoons of the mix to 6 oz of water/milk/half & half. I always use 1/2 milk and 1/2 half & half for my creamy and rich hot chocolate. Top with some whipped cream and enjoy!
* I added just enough crushed peppermint candy to have a subtle mint flavor in the hot cocoa. If you want a stronger mint flavor, add more peppermint candy to the mix.
* Chilling the chocolate chips before pulsing them in the food processor is not essential but recommended since they might melt slightly in the processor if not chilled.
Serves: 4 cups
- 1.5 cups instant dry milk (milk powder)
- 1 cup confectioners sugar (also known as powdered sugar)
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- ¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup crushed peppermint candy
- Keep semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile sift unsweetened cocoa powder and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together dry milk and confectioners sugar.
- Add the sifted cocoa powder to it.
- Transfer the entire mixture into a food processor. Take out semi sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips from the refrigerator and add them to the food processor as well.
- Pulse will everything is well combined and smooth. The chocolate chips should be completely broken and powdered.
- Add the crushed peppermint candy and give a final pulse.
- Store peppermint cocoa mix in airtight containers or pack them in small jars as gifts.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of peppermint hot cocoa mix to 6 oz milk/water/half and half.
Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix