or how to thaw out on this cold winter days
Can I just say it? I am done with the cold weather. I have lived in Michigan most of my life and adore the change of seasons, but this winter is definitely one of the most frigid that I can remember. We have set records for low temps as well as snowfall this year and I am ready for the thaw! I am generally warm blooded and have been known to go the entire winter season without ever donning a sweater for fear that I would melt in the warmth. This year I have felt like I couldn't get warm no matter what I have done on multiple occasions. So yes - in case you are so unwise as to risk your life and ask - it is indeed cold enough for me. I know I will be the first to complain when the temperature goes over 80 F this summer and I feel no shame, all I am asking for is a balmy 32 F so my daughter can play in the snow that is piled up around our house. Well, enough of my rant, but I do feel a bit better getting that out.
What it comes down to is how can I possibly stay warm?! I don't drink coffee, it upsets my stomach and the caffeine is just too much. I love tea, both with and without honey, but can only drink so much. I have always liked hot chocolate but the aftertaste you get from many commercially made mixes was a big turn off. So I started looking into making my own. It can't be that hard, right? Well there are a ton of tasty recipes on the web. And no doubt the very best involve melting chocolate of various types on the stove top with milk, but that is hardly portable and they simply don't have a stove top in the office. The mix I decided on was based off of Alton Brown's recipe here. I made a couple changes but you can't really mess too much with perfection. The type of cocoa powder makes a big difference, I am happy with something like Hershey brand cocoa but it would be divine with higher end dutch cocoa. The best part of this recipe is that there is no chalky or weird aftertaste, and you can always adjust the mix by adding more or less cocoa and/or sugar to your tastes. I use a food processor or blender for this, it makes the particles smaller and they dissolve more easily, but you can simply mix by hand if you prefer. Here's how I stay warm:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups powdered whole milk
(if using granulated the food processor/blender is essential)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cornstarch
Hardware: food processor or blender
1. Pour the powdered milk into the food processor and pulse until smooth. Next add in the granulated sugar and repeat.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the processor and pulse a few times until it appears to be consistent throughout.
3. Use 2-4 tbsp per 6 oz serving depending on how strong you like the flavor. You can mix into hot water, hot milk for extra creaminess, or try my favorite - hot water with an ounce of heavy cream and a teaspoon of honey. Store remaining mix in an airtight container.