Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix
Dorcas Annette Walker

An exciting part of Christmas is giving gifts. Our family tradition is to start placing gifts under the tree as soon as it is up. My youngsters loved touching, carefully counting and shaking presents to see if they could guess what was in them. By their teenage years I was using all sizes of boxes, weights, and items that would make noise in order to camouflage what was inside the wrapped gifts. Now that my kids are grown, I still like to keep them on their toes. For a couple of years I took turns choosing one to be “honored” by giving them a gag gift that involved starting with a big box with a slightly smaller wrapped present inside until they got down to a tiny final gift. Then last year instead of just selecting one person, I wrapped up all their presents that way. This year I plan to have a treasure hunt giving a clue to discover the first gift with the next clue attached to the gift etc. After all the hours spent wrapping presents it will be relaxing to sit back and watch my grown children race back and forth throughout the house searching for their Christmas gifts. I don’t want them to lose the anticipation and excitement of Christmas just because they are getting older. I am open to other suggestions to help keep the spirit of Christmas alive at my house.

Instead of just giving toys, I began when my children were little to give books by a favorite author and then to build sets of books each year. I get my practical side from my mother. When my daughter was a teenager, she would give me the size and colors of a couple carefully selected clothes within a certain price range that I would put back on lay-a-way. I initiated my son-in-law, Randy, on his first Christmas by giving him socks. It has become a family joke with everyone wildly guessing each year in which present Randy will find his socks. I always make sure not to disappoint him. In the first couple of years after my daughter was married her mother-in-law gave a large basket filled with toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap etc. each Christmas. Last year my daughter she said what she really wanted most for Christmas was a new laundry basket. Like a loving mother I made sure that my daughter got the one she desired. By sharing lists of things that are needed or wanted our family avoids the hassles of standing in long lines after Christmas to return or exchange items.

My Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix makes an ideal gift from the kitchen. This rich chocolate drink is perfect for wintertime. You can substitute a mocha-flavored creamer with one cup of instant coffee granules; add miniature marshmallows, two teaspoons of ground cinnamon, or chocolate/mint chips to the mix to make one-of-a-kind gourmet drink. Preparation time is ten minutes and this recipe makes around nineteen cups of mix.

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix

10 quarts powdered milk
1 (16 oz) coffee creamer
1 (16 oz) instant chocolate breakfast drink
1 lb powdered sugar
1 (5 oz) pkg cook & serve chocolate pudding
In a large container mix all the dry ingredients together thoroughly and store in an airtight container. Use ¼ c of mix to one c of hot water. Serve with marshmallows or peppermint candy canes!

Weekly tip: For a holiday twist dip 24 large marshmallows halfway into a mixture of: 1 c powdered sugar thinned with 4-5 teaspoons of water and then roll in crushed peppermints. Let dry for a couple of hours on wax paper and thread with wooden skewers!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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