I’ve moved on.
Wait! Wait! Nothing bad, but it’s true.
See, two months ago, I came to you with an outlandish declaration. I had a drink to top our favorite coffee shop holiday drink. Remember the one? Yep, the PSL (AKA: Pumpkin Spice Latte). The homemade version was a life-changer. Coffee-changer. Wallet-changer. (Literally, more change in your wallet.) Everything-changer.
I’m pretty sure Live Simply gained a following just for that drink…people were obsessed!! The very best part was that it was a drink that was 100% okay to be obsessed with. My homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte is made from real ingredients (including real pumpkin, imagine that!) and is actually healthy. Side Note: Coffee is completely healthy. Don’t believe me? You should see me without a cup!
My PSL affair lasted for two whole months, until I just couldn’t look at one more tablespoon of orange puree. Maybe it was the overdose of pumpkin everything on Pinterest or the fact that I took every chance to make my favorite pumpkin drink. Whatever it was, I moved on. I’m sorry, pumpkin. I promise I’ll want you again next year. We just need a good ten month break from each other.
So, that’s the story. It’s clean and wholesome, in the very best form of moving on in a relationship.
Over the last couple of weeks, with the polar vortex outside my Florida door, I’ve been snuggled in my warmest Florida sweater and socks. Snuggling calls for a new favorite warm drink. A drink that’s simple and classic, yet sophisticated: homemade hot chocolate.
I’m all for making homemade hot chocolate on the stove-top, but life during this cold holiday season is busy, which means I don’t always have time to find multiple ingredients in my cupboard for just one cup of chocolatey satisfaction. To accommodate the busyness of the season and my deep need for a warm chocolate drink, I make a large batch of homemade hot chocolate mix.
My homemade hot chocolate mix is made without white, refined sugar and milk powder (something deeply disturbs me about “milk powder”). The simple, healthier-than-store-bought ingredients come together in just seconds, making enough hot chocolate mix to enjoy over and over again on busy, cold days.
Homemade hot chocolate mix also makes the perfect gift. Yes, it seems like a very simple gift, but friends and family go crazy (really, I’m not over exaggerating) for a homemade bottle of hot chocolate. I like to use milk bottles which can be found at Michael’s Craft Stores, Target, or Amazon, and then tie a homemade gift tag (printable found here) for the perfect homemade gift.
DIY Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
- 1 cup sucanat or organic cane sugar
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 vanilla bean scraped
- food processor
- mason jar or a storage jar of choice
- In a food processor, pulse the sucanat for 40 seconds until fine. Add the chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and the vanilla beans (split the bean in half and scrap out the tiny seeds inside using a spoon or butter knife). Pulse for 30-45 seconds until the chocolate chips have been ground into a fine powder.
- Pour the mix into an air-tight jar (such as a Mason jar). Store the mix for up to 6 months at room temperature.
To Make Hot Chocolate:
- Warm 1 cup of milk. Add 3 tablespoons of hot chocolate mix to the warm milk and stir until fully dissolved.
Tip: Don’t throw out the long vanilla bean (the exterior). Add the long vanilla bean pod to the jar of the hot chocolate. The bean pod can also be added to a jar of vodka for making homemade vanilla extract.
This recipe was outrageously delicious!
Yay, Teresa! So glad you enjoyed it!
What do you think about using date sugar in this recipe, and would it be subbed equally?
Hey Chris, I think that’s a great idea. I haven’t tested it, but it should sub equally. You could always do a bit less, taste, and adjust.
Can I use Monkfruit instead of the cane sugar? Or is that a sugar replacement that you don’t recommend?
Hey Amy, I’ve never worked with Monkfruit, so I don’t know if it will be a 1:1 sub. You can try a bit and add more if you need.
Thank you. I will try that.
OMG ! Just made this recipe and it’s so delicious! Creamy, smooth and just sweet enough! Will be making more for gifting.
So happy you loved it, Maire. It’s great for gifting!
I want to include directions on the gift tag… so how much mix do you put in for each serving ?
2-3 tablespoons per 1 cup of milk.
This looks so lovely – any chance I could leave out the vanilla bean or vanilla bean powder? It is super expensive!
Yes, just add a splash of vanilla extract when you make a cup.
I was looking for a recipe for family movie night…this was perfect. I used cacao and organic raw sugar plus powdered vanilla, it was delicious!
Yay, Lois! So glad you all enjoyed it.
What do you think about adding cinnamon or cayenne pepper for a little spice?
Definitely, Sarah! Both would be amazing.
Can you make this without the vanilla?
Hey Rhonda, Yes, you can :).
I will be making these for Christmas gifts this weekend. And many other of your recipes too. Thank you so much! You mention that the gift tags are available in your holiday ebook. Is the ebook still available? It doesn’t appear to be on the linked page.
Awesome, Loraine! The holiday eBook isn’t available this year, but you can still download the gift tags (I’ll update the post): https://livesimply.me/2015/11/21/homemade-granola-gift-ideas/
Approximately how many cups of the hot chocolate mix does one recipe make?
Hey Kat, About 2 cups of hot chocolate mix.
Love this idea. I do a Christmas basket for neighbors and friends and this would be a nice addition. Thanks for the inspiration . . . love that it has heathy ingredients, too, of course!
Awesome, Lori! Enjoy!!