Here in southern Minnesota the leaves are starting to turn color. The nights are sliding closer to freezing temperatures and the days rarely are above 60 degrees. One of these days I will glance out my window and see those flakes of white in the air. It is time to make hot chocolate mix.
Every fall I make a large container of cocoa mix. Other years I have used this recipe:
Malted Hot Cocoa Mix
1 (25.6 ounce) box nonfat dry milk powder
1 (16 ounce) container instant chocolate milk mix
1 (13 ounce) jar malted milk powder
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 (6 ounce) jar powdered nondairy creamer
1/2 teaspoon salt
In large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until well blended. Store in an airtight container. Keep in a cool place.
To serve: In mug, pour 6 ounces of hot water over 1/3 cup cocoa mix, and stir until well blended.
Although this makes a delicious cup of hot chocolate, I am thinking a bit differently about the ingredients I use. Other years I have bought Nestle's Quick and powdered sugar and malt powder just for this purpose. But I feel the need to be a bit more frugal. Grocery prices across the board have increased substantially over the last year. I can find other uses for my money than to buy fairly expensive ingredients. So I tried this recipe using mostly what I already have on hand:
2 cups nonfat dry milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup non dairy creamer
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
Mix ingredients together well and store in an airtight container.
To make a cup: put 3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa mix into a mug and add 1 cup of hot water. Stir to mix well.
This made a small amount for taste testing purposes. It is good. It tastes more like the cocoa we made when we were young before microwaves and packets of Swiss Miss - the kind where we heated the milk in a pan on the stove and added sugar and cocoa powder. The only thing I don't normally keep on hand is the non dairy creamer. You can't leave that out. The recipe won't work without it. But better to buy just one ingredient than several. I will add Creamora to my food storage list.
I, along with many others, live on a fixed income. If I can save a dollar here and there, so much the better. Comfort foods are an important part of food storage. They help keep up morale during hard times. And hot chocolate is one of those things that make me smile, especially when the wind is blowing and the snow is falling and I am watching it, cup of cocoa in hand, from my rocking chair by my living room window. Which, in my opinion, is the best way to experience winter.