Food + Travel Writing

Travel and food writing by Christina Crisostomo. New York/Toronto-based.

Recipe: Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Despite spending many of my formative years in Canada, I have never fallen in love with winter. Perhaps it’s actually more Canadian of me to feel totally “over it” once the snow hits the ground (and the dreaded slush puddles form).

The one silver lining of the whole ordeal is that the freezing temps completely justify the mindless, excessive consumption of hot chocolate all winter long.

This hot chocolate mix is so easy to throw together. It’s just a few steps more than buying hot chocolate mix at the store, but unlike the store mix, you know exactly what ingredients are going into your cup. If you’re a baker, you likely have everything you need in your house already.

It makes a cute gift, packaged in mason jars with a little twine, greenery, and a gift tag. (I used the free tags they give out at Fishs Eddy, where I bought the jars. But if I was a fancier woman, I would buy fancy gift tags.)

That being said, I wouldn’t blame you if you kept a batch for yourself.

The mix lasts two months, long enough to keep you and yours warm through the dreary months to come the holiday season!

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix (via Smitten Kitchen, via Cook’s Illustrated)
Yields just under 1 3/4 cups mix, enough for 9 cups of cocoa

One recipe will fit in a 1 pint/2 cup jar. I doubled this recipe and divided into three 1/2 pint/1 cup jars. The mix will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two months. The links above provide variations if you’re a flavored hot chocolate person (I am not.)

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 oz semi- or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cocoa powder, any kind (but I’d go for the best you can find!)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from a small segment of fresh vanilla bean
1/8 tsp fine sea salt or 1/4 tsp kosher salt

1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until powdery (this will take a matter of seconds). If you don’t have a food processor, you can also chop or grate the chocolate as finely as you can and combine with the other ingredients. That’s it!
2. Heat one cup milk (I use whole, but you can use any milk you like, including coconut or nut milk) in a saucepan over medium heat until steamy. Add 3 tbsp mix and whisk over heat for another minute until dissolved. Pour into a mug and enjoy.