If peppermints aren't your thing... keep reading, there's something for you too.
In South Alabama, 11 degrees is cold - too cold. Now, I know our friends in colder climates think "that's nothing" because my great uncle in Fargo says they are expecting -35 and he is OK with that. Well, I'm not. I hate being cold. I am wearing wool socks as I type this. It is not unusual for our temps to reach 105 in the summer... That's what I'm talking about. A nice dip in the pool just cools us right down, but it is hard to warm up!
Well, since our weather forecasters say that we will be below freezing for at least 64 hours, we need something to help warm our bones. I think this hot peppermint cocoa is just the thing! It is so easy to make too.
I searched and searched the Internet for a recipe that we liked. I eventually made up my own, so now I'll share it with you. Please feel free to comment and share your recipes and ideas.
You will need:
1 1/2 cups powered cocoa
3 cups dry milk powder
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups crushed peppermints
1 teaspoon table salt
Airtight container for storing
Large mixing bowl
Whole peppermints for garnish (optional)
First, "peel" (take the wrapper off) and crush up enough peppermints to make 1 1/2 cups. I used my food processor to crush the peppermints, but I think they came out too powdery. That wasn't what I was going for. I think next time I will just put them in a large plastic zippy bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Having larger pieces will probably cause me to omit the whole peppermints for garnish.
I actually just put everything in my food processor. Probably because I
am addicted to using "gadgets" as my father says, but I think it is
easier and faster.
Measure out the cocoa, dry milk powder, sugar, and salt. Place in mixing bowl or food processor :) with the crushed peppermints and blend well.
How easy is that?
As for the cocoa powder, I live in a small town, so I use the only brand our grocery store sells. There's a lot of gourmet cocoa out there, which is a plus if you can get your hands on some. Use whatever brand you like.
You can use milk or water (there's milk powder in it) to make your hot cocoa. We prefer milk because it makes it really creamy and will make a nice froth on top.
Heat your milk or water on the stove or in the microwave until hot. Stir in about 3 tablespoons cocoa mix per coffee mug (8oz-16oz). Adjust your measurements for your taste. Don't forget to add a whole peppermint, if you desire. Mine usually melts by the time I get to the bottom of the mug.
If peppermint's aren't your thing, just omit them. They can even be substituted with mini chocolate chips, caramel chips, toffee chips, dried raspberry pieces, marshmallows, or anything else you can dream up that goes well in hot chocolate.