What’s on your Grocery List? Hot Cocoa Mix

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It is a rainy day here in the desert. One that calls for cocoa and a good book, but I don’t think I’ll get to the second half, and might only barely get to the first. And even “healthy” moms and kids need treats. Life would be dreadful without them, I’m sure.
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It has been a rough few weeks at our house, and while I’m on the mend, we had a night of a sick boy. We’re also cleaning out the fridge for an upcoming trip, so you can imagine it looks a little bare. I thought about coming up with recipe using cabbage, black beans, carrots and whey, but gave up.
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I have been looking for Guittard hite chocolate chips for a few weeks, because the stores I regularly shop at don’t carry them, I have had to shop around. I found them yesterday at Harmons (on sale for $2 a bag even) on our way to the park. According to America’s Test Kitchen, of the general brands, they are the best as they actually have white chocolate in them. Imagine that.
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As you might know from previous posts, I am always a bit leery of processed food because of ingredients I can’t pronounce or copious amounts of that unsatisfying corn syrup, and in solid form I’m even less pleased with it. And while the white chips have some of those long names, they lack corn syrup and others, and I recognize that occasionally, we have to be willing to give up the battle for the bigger picture. Compare the ingredients of the two below – Swiss Mix versus White Chips.
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The recipe originates from Cook’s Country.com, which I love. It calls for Dutch process cocoa, but since I only had the regular stuff, I used it. I’m not sure it is as good, because it has a much stronger chocolate flavor than the dutch process, but because it’s not used for baking, it doesn’t matter chemically, which is when you normally have to pay attention. For more info on the differences, go here.
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It makes a lot. A whole lot. It would be great for gifts, and it would also be a better idea to make it at the beginning of winter, rather than the end. I never claimed to be the smartest girl. The recipe says it makes 20 servings of 1/3 cup each, but 1/3 of a cup was WAY TOO much, at least for a sissy like me. I would probably start at 2 tablespoons and work my way up until I was happy. It is rich, easy and delicious.
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Best-Ever Hot Cocoa Mix (from Cookscountry.com)
Makes about 20 servings
3 cups nonfat dry milk
2 cups confectioners’ sugar (this was the recipe amount, but next time I might try regular sugar and add a touch more)
1 1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients in large bowl – this may be your only chance to mix them. Working in two batches, pulse ingredients in food processor until chocolate is finely ground. This could take awhile and your house might fill up with a fine, light cocoa-y powder. That’s not bad.
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Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To make hot cocoa, stir 3 T to 1/3 cup of this mix into 1 cup of hot milk. Water might also work in a pinch or if traveling. Top with whipped cream or mini marshmallows.
**We tried it with just water, and it was better than packets of the stuff for sure. My only advice would be to add a teaspoon or so more sugar and top with whipped cream if you can.

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