This is my wish for cold weather. I feel bad asking for it as today was sunny and beautiful. But, I need a little of it to reset my clock, if you will. There is a perfectly serviceable recipe for hot chocolate on the box of Hershey’s Cocoa. But this is in a whole different category. All the credit goes to the Cook’s Illustrated magazine Cook’s Country and Jeremy Sauer. This recipe deviates here and there on amounts and I added semi-sweet chocolate. But that recipe tipped me off to the benefit of including white chocolate chips, and it adds a very creamy and lovely aspect to this warm, comforting drink.
I also love having a hint of vanilla in hot chocolate. Because this is a powder meant to keep for up to three months, I couldn’t use vanilla extract. So, instead, I threw in a few tablespoons of vanilla sugar. Kim Johnson Puricelli, a gal that I went to high school with in Wichita Falls, Texas, one or two years ago sent a jar of vanilla sugar to me about a year ago and I have yet to let it run dry. Occasionally, I add a little more sugar and another bean and give it a good shake to work out the clumps and distribute the new sugar. It adds a perfect little hint of vanilla wherever I need it. Additionally, there is no liquid, and no alcohol this way).
Back to the hot chocolate. Simply put all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and whiz it up until it is light and powdery and all of the chips have been fully processed. Put it into a big lidded jar or distribute it between several jars and, perhaps, give them away to friends.
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for about 45 seconds to one minute, or until the chips have fully processed and incorporated. Store in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
To make hot chocolate, place 1 cup of milk for every serving into a saucepan over medium low heat. When the milk is hot but not yet simmering, add ¼ cup of mix for every serving into the saucepan with the milk and stir it with a whisk to work out all of the lumps. Allow the hot chocolate to continue to heat up until all of the remaining chocolate particles have melted. Remove the hot chocolate from the stove as soon as it begins to simmer. Serve with marshmallows.
Mocha Version: For every ¼ cup of mix, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of espresso powder. It is delicious!
My son learned about “furry tongue” or “too hot hot chocolate tongue” when we made this. Allow the hot chocolate to cool considerably before serving it to kids. You can even add a few tablespoons of cold milk to the hot chocolate once all of the chocolate bits have melted.