Growing up my mom was a very handy mom. In the summer she grew a vegetable garden and pickled her own pickles, she made the best sweet pickles! In the fall we picked apples and she made the best apple sauce I’ve ever tasted. But my most favorite thing she made was a HUGE tub of homemade hot cocoa mix. It was so creamy and chocolaty, I was a huge cocoa snob. Instant cocoa mix? Ew, that stuff never compared to my mom’s. As a teenager I remember my friend and I drinking cup after cup, in fact I think we drank the whole thing by ourselves. When I got married I asked my mom for the recipe so I could make the cocoa for my little ones. She promised she would look for it and get it to me, a week later and nothing. I asked again, but still nothing. Finally a few weeks later I came home to find my own tub of cocoa mix on the porch. How sweet I thought she made it for us, but we quickly ran out. I began pestering her for this most sought after recipe. I imagined it held all sorts of secret ingredients, possibly the cure for cancer or world peace. For Christmas that year she gave me the recipe and another tub of cocoa, and I was shocked. The secret ingredient? Instant chocolate mix, yeah the container with the bunny on it! Well and a few other ingredients. Just goes to show you mom’s make the best of everything, even when it’s not completely homemade. Over the years I’ve come to add a few extra ingredients into the simple recipe my mom gave to me.
I usually make at least a double batch, because we go through a lot of cocoa! I use it for my morning coffee and I have to hide it from the kids or it goes even quicker. Every batch is different depending upon my mood or what we have on hand. This batch, I made a double batch with a bag of mini chocolate chips mixed in. I also added in two extra cups of cocoa powder and an extra cup of powder sugar. Add 1/4 cup mix to one cup of hot water or milk, top with whipped cream or marshmallows. Mmmm delish! It makes a great Christmas present and is a very versatile recipe.