baby, it’s cold outside!

The temperature took a tumble this week!  We also had the first snow of the season. It was a great reason to whip up a hot cocoa mix that pleases my guys.

I saw this original recipe from Debbie Koenig, when she wrote a guest blog post for Monica Bhide’s blog,, A Life of Spice. You can find Koenig’s blog, Parents Need to Eat Too, here:

It’s Koenig’s warm-as-a-blanket hot cocoa recipe. She gives us a cocoa mix with a little something extra. We’re not talking about the addition of some soul-soothing booze added to your hot cocoa. You can certainly add something from the top shelf. Or the bottom shelf. Nobody’s looking.

This hot cocoa mix has a base of nonfat dry milk powder, cocoa powder, and sweet treats. Koenig calls for some good bits of chocolate to be pulsed in the dry ingredients in a food processor. (Ours is on the blink.) The chocolate pieces, when mixed with warm milk, melt into a rich cocoa in your mug. It’s the perfect hot beverage, as the hats and gloves dry, on the radiator. Flushed cheeks will smile.

The guys and I played with different kinds of chocolate. We shaved them into pieces and added them to the mix. We tried light chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and a mix of both. We tried chocolate chips. The guys decided the regular size chips didn’t melt enough by the time they were ready to down their hot chocolate. The chips were still bouncing around in their mugs, like little rafts of chocolate, left behind. Good to crunch. But, not a smooth, hot cocoa.

They finally decided the perfect addition, to their taste, was milk chocolate, mini-chocolate-chips. The chips added to the luscious texture of the cocoa. Best of all, they quickly melted into the rest of the divine cup of the warm, chocolate goodness. Perfect!

Now, for Koenig’s addition for an added kick. Again, not what you may think. A sprinkle of ancho chile powder. The dried ancho chile, in powder form, lends a spicy, raisin note to the flavor of the cocoa. The undercurrent of the dark chile powder brings out the cocoa bean flavor in the hot cocoa. I make a base hot cocoa mix, and add the ancho chile powder, at request, for anyone who wants the added kick in their cocoa. Adult or kid cocoa drinker. It’s reason enough to put down the Sunday paper, or comics, and help make a snowman.

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