Better Budgeting: Frugal Hot Chocolate and Mocha Mixes

Frugal Hot Chocolate and Mocha Mixes

Frugal Parenting (featured column)
by Rachel Keller

What can warm a cold winter day? Try sipping some homemade hot chocolate or a mug of mocha! Our whole family enjoys flavored hot teas, but we also like to indulge in other hot beverages. Instead of purchasing the can of ready made hot cocoa (or worse yet, those expensive prepackaged single-serve mixes), why not try creating some of your own specialty drinks? Not only will you save money, but you will know exactly what’s in your beverage.

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Hot chocolate tastes great and is so easy to make. Even children can help. Be creative in making these. You can double the recipes, use sugar substitutes, reduce or increase both the sugar and cocoa, or add marshmallows or cream to your drink. Package these in a pretty jar with a ribbon for a special gift.

Hot Chocolate Mix #1

2 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup of sugar (You can use a sugar substitute.)
1/2 cup of cocoa
1/2 cup non-dairy coffee creamer (I did not have this ingredient when I made my hot chocolate. I took some milk powder and whirled it in the blender to make it smoother. We all thought the hot chocolate tasted great even without the creamer.)

Combine all ingredients and blend well. Store in a tightly covered container in a cool, dry place.

For a 1 cup serving combine 1/4 cup dry mix and boiling water in a mug. Stir well.

Hot Chocolate (Single serving)

Mix 1/3 cup dry milk with 1 teaspoon of cocoa and sugar each. Add 1 cup of hot water. (Or you can mix with cold water and prepare in the microwave).

Hershey’s Hot Cocoa (Single serving)

2 heaping tsp. sugar
1 heaping tsp. Hershey’s cocoa
dash salt
2 tsp. cold milk
About 1 cup cold milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Combine sugar, cocoa and salt in a microwave safe mug. Add about 2 teaspoons milk; stir until smooth. Add the remainder milk and stir well. Microwave high for about a minute or until hot. Add vanilla, if desired, and stir well.

Hershey’s Hot Cocoa (6 servings)

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
dash salt
1/3 cup hot water
4 cups (1 qt.) milk
about 1 cup cold milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla

In medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa and salt; stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boil. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Add milk (stirring constantly) and heat to serving temperature. Do Not Boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Beat with whisk until foamy.

For variations add any of the following with the vanilla extract...

Cinnamon cocoa: Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Mint cocoa: 1/2 teaspoon mint extract or 3 tablespoons crushed hard peppermint candy.

Mocha cocoa: 1-2 tablespoons instant coffee.

Raspberry Hot Cocoa Mix

5 1/2 cups instant dry powder milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup powdered coffee creamer
1/2 tsp. salt
3 envelopes of unsweetened raspberry drink mix (such as KoolAid)

Sift together the powdered sugar, cocoa, creamer, and drink mix. Stir in milk powder. Store mixture in a tightly covered container.

To serve, combine 3 tablespoons of mixture with hot water. Stir well.

You can easily change the flavor of this recipe by using different drink mixes.

Yield : about 9 cups

Hot Chocolate Mix #2

2 cups dry milk
2 cups non dairy creamer
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa

Mix all together in a large container. Store airtight. To serve, combine 1/3 cup mix to 6 oz of hot water.

Hot Mocha Mix

To the recipe above, add ½ cup instant coffee powder. To serve, place 2 tablespoons mix in a cup and add 1 cup boiling water.

Yield: enough mix for about 50 (8-ounce) servings

The following recipes all make larger batches of hot chocolate. They also use a quick instant drink mix.

Hot Chocolate Mix #3 

10 2/3 cups dry powdered milk
6 ounces non dairy creamer
1 lb Nestle’s Quick
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

Mix all together in a large container. Store airtight. To serve, combine up to ½ cup mix with 1 cup hot water.

Hot Chocolate Mix #4

11 cups dry powdered milk
2 cups non dairy creamer
1 tsp. salt
2 lbs chocolate instant drink mix

Mix all together in a large container. Store airtight. To serve, combine 1/3 cup mix to 6 oz of hot water.

Hot Chocolate Mix #5

1 package nonfat dry milk (8 quart)
1 pound box Nestle's Quick Instant Cocoa Mix
1 jar nondairy coffee creamer (6-ounce)
1 1/3 cups powered sugar

Mix together in large container. Store airtight. To serve, add 2 tablespoons up to 1/3 cup mix in mug and add hot water to fill.

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Copyright © 2006 by Rachel Keller. All rights reserved.

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