Hot Chocolate – Two Ways

I’m cheap.  Have I mentioned this before?  I guess I should explain.  It’s more that I’ve lived serving shift to serving shift in my life and when Christmas rolls around I didn’t always have money to spend on each niece and nephew (count them all, 5 at the time).  I would make “family” presents.  My favorite being cookie plates. 

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A few years ago in an effort to save money and make something I thought everyone would like, I gave each of my sisters’ (and friends’) families homemade hot chocolate mix.  Who doesn’t like hot chocolate during winter?  It was super easy to make and a million times better than the store bought packets with freeze dried marshmallows.  Those sad sad little marshmallows. 
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While everyone politely smiled, I think my mom was the only one who actually use any of the mix, besides me.  Their loss.  I thought the cocoa was wonderful!
I had packed the cocoa mix in mason jars, placed a swatch of Christmas fabric over the top of the lid, and secured the fabric with the lid ring.  The last time I was at my friend Treena’s I noticed the jar of cocoa mix sitting on top of her cabinet (3 years later).  I reminded her it probably wasn’t any good to drink now, but she told me it was decorative and she liked the way it looked in her kitchen.  Good enough for me.  
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I’m making AB’s Hot Cocoa Mix again this year, but this time I’m keeping it for myself.  I love hot cocoa and so does Thing 1.  I can’t wait to make us each a cup and snuggle on the couch watching Christmas shows.  I wanted to gift some Hot Chocolate too and when I saw these Truffle Hot Chocolate Balls from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe I knew I had found my vessel.
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Hot Chocolate ~ Two Ways
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
Hot Cocoa Mix:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa (Dutch-processed preferred)
  • 1½ cups powdered milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper,or more to taste, optional
Hot Chocolate Truffle Balls:
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Instructions
Hot Cocoa Mix:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly.
  2. *For gifting: Attach a tag that says, “For the perfect cup of cocoa, fill your mug half full with mix and top with hot water to fill mug. Stir and enjoy!”
Hot Chocolate Truffle Balls:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Microwave for 1 minutes intervals, stirring often, until the mixture is combined and very smooth and silky. When you first start stirring, after the first minute or so, you’ll wonder if this mixture will ever come together. It will look grainy and messy, but after it heats thoroughly and is whisked to combine, it will magically become beautifully smooth. Be careful not to overheat as the chocolate can seize. The trick is to stir often since the mixture will blend together even when it look like the chocolate chips haven’t melted completely.
  2. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until the ganache mixture is firm and scoopable, about 2-3 hours.
  3. Scoop out about ¼ cup spoonfuls of the mixture and place them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and let the mounds harden slightly, about 15-20 minutes. Roll the chilled mounds into balls and place on squares of plastic wrap (4″ x 4″). Pull the sides of the plastic wrap over to cover the ball and place the balls in the freezer until ready to use.
  4. Instructions for gifting: Pour 1¼ to 1½ cups milk into a mug. Carefully drop one unwrapped truffle ball in the milk. Microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir well until the chocolate is combine with the milk. Serve nice and warm!


 

Want to have something a little extra fancy with your yummy Hot Chocolate? 
Yes, you do.
 
from Kristan at Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. 
 

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