Whenever I make hot cocoa for dinner guests or visiting friends, I make it the old fashioned way with whole milk and heavy cream blended with high quality chopped chocolate. It simmers on the stove-top until steamy and then it’s poured into extra-large mugs. An obscene amount of whipped cream is usually the finishing touch.
Without guests to serve, I’m more likely to make myself a cup of instant hot cocoa. I’m the only one in the house who drinks it regularly, and I find it’s more convenient to make (and there’s no pot to clean!). I’ve developed a powdered formula that can be poured into a mug and roused into a satisfying treat with just the addition of hot water or hot milk.
You can package the powdered mixture in four 8 ounce mason jars, but when I found these gumball tubes, I thought they’d make the niftiest stocking stuffers! A tube filled to the brim with the cocoa mixture yields about 2 servings prepared – or! You can also get creative by filling the tubes halfway with cocoa and then topping it with crushed peppermint, chocolate chips (for double hot chocolate) or tiny marshmallows. The latter is my favorite because it looks pretty and makes one large cup of souped-up cocoa!
I always use dark cocoa powder in this recipe because the chocolate flavor is more pronounced. It is sold at most grocery stores, but if you’re coming up empty-handed then regular cocoa powder is an acceptable substitution. I also use a little espresso powder in this recipe, which punctuates the chocolate flavor. If you don’t have espresso powder on hand, try using instant coffee granules. Those sensitive to caffeine may choose to omit the coffee completely.
The powdered creamer makes this cocoa creamy when prepared with hot water, but for an extra-indulgent treat make it with hot milk.
Want more giftable goodies?
Last year’s eighth day advent recipe was
Instant Hot Cocoa Mix
- 2 1/4 cups 10 oz. powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cups 125g unsweet dark cocoa powder
- 1 cup 110g vanilla non-dairy coffee creamer
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder optional
- chocolate chips
- crushed peppermint candies
- mini marshmallows
- Combine all the ingredients for the hot cocoa in a large bowl and whisk together until well incorporated. Divvy the mixture between four 8 oz. jars and top with add-ins. Alternatively, fill six gumball tubes with the mixture, or in twelve tubes, a mixture of cocoa mixture and add-ins.
- Add a label to jars or tubes with the instructions.
- For jars of cocoa: For one serving, add 2-3 tablespoons cocoa mix with 6 ounces of hot water or hot milk..
- For tubes of cocoa: For one serving, add half the tube of cocoa mix to 6 ounces of hot water or hot milk.
- For tubes of cocoa with mix-ins: Add entire contents of tube to an extra-large (15 oz.) mug and fill with hot water or hot milk.