Last week, after a walk around the neighborhood on a chilly afternoon, I made hot cocoa for my kids. While I was waiting for the water to heat up, I flipped over the package of the instant hot cocoa mix and was surprised with what I saw: a whole bunch of ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to give my kids preservatives and unnecessary dyes if I don’t need to. So, I set out on a quest to find a suitable substitute and was pleasantly surprised with the results – yummy, instant hot cocoa! Not only do my kids love it (and can’t tell the difference from the pre-packaged kind), it’s a cinch to whip up and makes great holiday gifts for friends and neighbors. Leave it to Food Network’s Alton Brown to come through for this health-conscious mama. Here’s his fantastic recipe for hot cocoa. Enjoy!
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
- 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- Hot water
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water. Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry. This also works great with warm milk.