Although it took quite awhile to get here, the winter chill appears to be hitting central PA. I was perfectly content with continuing to wear my fall jacket and lightweight sweaters, but the twenties seem to be sticking around now for now.
Through these cold months there is one thing that is never too far out of my reach....a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Every sip on a snowy day takes me back to childhood with memories of building snowmen and digging tunnels through the snow while my dad cleared the driveway. Not being too much of a fan of the cold, those activities never lasted long before I was ready to go inside and get warmed up with hot cocoa.
A few years ago, I picked up a can of peanut butter hot chocolate mix from Target and became a little addicted. And then, as is normally the case when I find something I love, they quit selling it. This year I was determined to find a way to make my own version of the hot beverage to satisfy my craving.
There are many recipes out there for homemade cocoa mix involving heavy cream and I'm sure they are delicious. But I was searching for something I could store all winter long in my cupboard and pull out when the desire hits. Heavy cream is not something that normally resides in my refrigerator.
This recipe is a combination of a couple different Martha Stewart versions that create the perfect Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate for these cold winter days. It is easy to prepare and takes just a few ingredients, all of which you probably have on hand.
A few things to consider before whipping up a batch of this mix....
This recipe can be doubled or tripled depending on how much you believe you'll use through the season. It will last all winter long if stored in an airtight container.
The flavor of your hot chocolate depends on the flavor of the cocoa powder and peanut butter that you use. Use a good quality cocoa powder and your favorite peanut butter for the most flavorful results.
Also, you may want to add more or less sugar depending on the taste you prefer.
Alright.....are we ready begin mixing up our cold weather treat?
PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
Whole milk for serving
4 teaspoons peanut butter for every cup of milk (optional)
Combine the sugar, cocoa, and salt with a whisk (or sifter). Be sure to eliminate all of the lumps of cocoa powder. Store this mixture in an airtight container.
When you are ready to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, heat one cup of whole milk just until hot over medium-low heat. Be sure not to let the milk boil. Add 2 Tablespoons of the cocoa mix to the milk and stir to dissolve. Then whisk in 4 teaspoons of peanut butter if desired and stir until the beverage is smooth.
Pour your hot chocolate into a mug and top with some whipped cream, mini marshmallows and shavings of chocolate for a perfectly indulgent cold weather drink!
The mix that I made is being stored in a glass canister from Goodwill. I tied a tag with baker's twine to the outside so that I don't have to refer back to the recipe every time I want to make hot chocolate. There is a second tag underneath the first with the instructions for the Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. If you'd like to do the same, I've put together a free printable tag that you can make yourself. Print it out on cardstock so that it is durable.
So what do you think friends? Will you be whipping up a mug of this later today?
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