Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

There’s nothing like a wrapping your hands around a steaming mug of hot chocolate on cold winter days, each sip spreading warmth through your entire body. Wrapping up in a blanket on the couch with a mug and a good book? Heaven. So why not share a little bit of happiness with those around you this holiday season?

Making your own hot chocolate mix is incredibly simple; throw all the ingredients in a bowl and stir! With most of the ingredients probably already in your pantry, in the long run making your own will save you money—one batch makes 16 servings! Plus, knowing that you’re drinking something completely homemade just makes it extra special. Top it with some homemade peppermint marshmallows and you’ve got yourself the perfect winter drink.

The marshmallows are a bit more involved, but well worth it. I’ve been eating handfuls of marshmallows by themselves! Floating on top of my cup of cocoa, they’re the perfect cool bite in my warm drink. Not a peppermint fan? Substitute the peppermint extract for the scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean, and you’ve got the perfect vanilla bean marshmallows.

Now that you’ve got the mix and the marshmallows, it’s time to share! Fill a small treat bag, disposable piping bag, or Ziploc bag with 1/3 cup of cocoa mix, top with a handful of marshmallows and tie with a pretty ribbon. Put your single serving cocoa package in a nice mug or tumbler, and you’ve got a great gift for a neighbor, boss, or teacher! Or fill a jar with cocoa and marshmallows for more than a single serving!

And don’t forget the gift tag to go with it! I made these cute printable tags just for you! Print out on cardstock, punch a hole and tie it up with festive ribbon!

Click here for downloadable and printable pdf file. (Tags will print 3-inches by 5-inches)

How do you warm up during the cold winter days?

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
Adapted from Alton Brown
Makes about 16 servings

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 ½ cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper (I used less than a pinch.)

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine all ingredients.
2. To make cocoa, mix 1/3 cup of mixture with hot water or milk. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream.

To store: Place mixture in a large airtight container, or divide into single servings, measuring out 1/3 cup of mixture and placing in zip top bags.

Peppermint Marshmallows
Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home
Makes a LOT. (I didn’t really count, but it filled a gallon Ziploc bag nearly ¾ full of 1/2-inch squares.)

½ cup cold water, divided
Three ¼-ounce packets unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Make marshmallows a day in advance: Spray an 11x17-inch baking pan (or 9x13 baking dish for thicker marshmallows) lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper and lightly spray parchment as well; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup of water. Let soften for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine remaining ¼ cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Without stirring, continue to cook until syrup reaches 236F on a candy thermometer.
4. With the mixer on low, using a whisk attachment, slowly drizzle the hot syrup into the gelatin. When mixture turns opaque, add peppermint extract. Gradually turn the mixer up to high, beating until the mixture is thick, fluffy, and sticky, about 8 to 10 minutes. (The bowl will probably still be warm to the touch.)
5. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet. (Don’t worry about trying to scrape it all out of the bowl. It’s not going to all come out, and you’ll just end up covered in marshmallow. Trust me.) With wet hands, spread the mixture to the edges and smooth the top. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper, lightly sprayed with cooking spray, and let stand overnight.
6. Once set, using a knife, a pizza cutter, or cookie cutter, cut marshmallows into squares. (Cut them as big as you want. Mine are about ½-inch squares) Toss in confectioners’ sugar to coat, tapping lightly to remove any excess.
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Rachel @ Baked by Rachel said...

Love this idea and the craft store has pretty cheap jars I could get. Might be a nice gift for teachers :) Thanks for the idea.

galit said...

That just rocks - you're rather good at this home made gift stuff... very impressive - and big thanks for the gift tags to print out as well! I think we're at less than 45 sleeps now until Christmas - best get the apron dusted off...

Laney said...

How much hot water or milk do you use to make the cocoa? It says 1/3 of the cocoa mix but not how much water or milk to use.
Thank you!

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

I just fill one of my mugs with hot water or milk to measure--it's usually about a cup to a cup and a half.

Kelley Olsen said...

Okay, full disclosure...

When I grew up my mom would make hot chocolate by the vat. She would start with one of those giant boxes of powdered milk and mix away. This tastes exactly like hers.

She would expect the cocoa powder to last through the winter. But, she didn't quite understand why it didn't make it through a couple of months. Until she found where I hid that missing spoon.

Thank you for the memories, Danae (and Alton)

Merry Christmas!

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

@Kelley - I love this!

Kelli Sullivan said...

Great recipe! I am doing this for gifts but can't get the printable to work. Ideas?

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

@Kelli - Sorry about that! I switched servers awhile back and didn't realize I missed a couple things! Thanks for letting me know! It should be up and working for you now. :)

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