Homemade Gifts: Hot Chocolate

I crave hot chocolate in the winter. Creamy and warm, it’s the perfect drink to chase away the chilly wind of winter, and it makes a fantastic Christmas or holiday gift. The hot chocolate mix comes together quickly, is easy to package as a gift and even easier to prepare.

The most important part of this recipe is the cocoa. A good cocoa is going to make all the difference in the quality of your final product. I used Scharffen Berger’s Natural Cocoa Powder. Find one you love and trust before mixing it all up.

Then I added just a bit of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne to give my hot chocolate a bit of depth, but you could definitely nestle a vanilla bean sliced open in there for a vanilla-flavored variety.

Hot Chocolate Recipe adapted from Alton Brown

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 cup whole/2% milk

Sift together all dry ingredients. Store in airtight containers. I used pint-sized mason jars and topped with a circle of fabric and a raffia tie, but this could be packed into zip-top bags and then into cut paper bags or any other airtight container for gifting.

To make hot chocolate: Add 1/4 cup of mix to the bottom of a mug. Heat 1 cup of milk until hot but not boiling. Pour milk over cocoa mix while stirring or whisking.

Makes 4 cups powdered hot chocolate mix.

For more chocolate recipes, head over to GoodLife Eats and My Baking Addiction for the Holiday Recipe Exchange!

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