One of the best ways to enjoy an overcast, chilly day in December is to curl up with a book and a hot cup of cocoa.
And for all those who join me in the anti-hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup brigade, that’s exactly what I did yesterday while testing a hot cocoa recipe that can be made just as quick as those evil little packets.
Didn’t know instant hot chocolate contained hydrogenated oils? Let’s take a peek at the labels of the two leading instant hot chocolates manufacturers.
corn syrup, sugar, cocoa (processed with alkali), hydrogenated coconut oil, nonfat milk, salt, less than 2% of: dipotassium phosphate, dextrose, mono- and diglycerides, acesulfame potassium, carrageenan, natural and artifical flavor, sucralose.
Those are the ingredients straight from a box of Swiss Miss Original Hot Cocoa. MANY ingredients are raising red flags here… obviously the hydrogenated oil but there’s also carrageenan and FIVE types of sweetener?! Can’t we have hot chocolate without all the processed junk?!
Yes we can! Making our own instant hot chocolate is SO easy to do, and it’s so good! I made an entire jar of this in just a few minutes, and now it’s handy anytime we want a warming cup of deliciousness.
- 1 Tbsp baking cocoa
- 2 Tbsp granulated sweetener
- ⅛ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- less than a pinch of salt
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- Combine all of the above in a mug and enjoy.
The best part about this instant hot chocolate is that it makes a GREAT homemade gift idea. Plus you probably already have everything needed for the gift!
These 8 oz glass jars are a perfect fit, but you can also serve it inside a new mug. My favorite mugs are from Dayspring. They’re not only BEAUTIFUL, but affordable! As low as $5 in their clearance section!
Whether you go the jar route or the mug route, it’s an easy gift for a hostess, the mailman or anyone else who enjoys hot chocolate!
- 4 Tbsp baking cocoa
- 8 Tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- Pour all ingredients into an empty glass jar, seal and shake well to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients.
- Enclose a note with the following instructions: "Scoop two heaping tablespoons of hot cocoa mix into a mug and fill with one cup of very warm milk. Stir and enjoy!"
Additional Recipe Notes
- The vanilla extract is optional, but recommended. It’s not included in the gift jar recipe because putting myself in the place of the recipient, the less I have to add to my own gift the better.
- Salt enhances the flavor of cocoa. Unless you’re on a salt-restricted diet, do not omit.
- Any baking cocoa will suffice for this recipe, but read the labels before purchasing. “Cocoa” should be the only ingredient listed.
- If making the gift jar with a sugar substitute, please adjust the recommended scoop size accordingly.
- Each gift jar recipe costs 41¢ (not including the jar). A single serving would cost 10¢.