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It’s already November?! It seems like summer camp ended last week and here we are getting ready for the holiday season. I’m not complaining; I love this season. I’m just astonished how quickly we get here each year!
East Texas is finally seeing some lower temperatures (although it still isn’t quite cold enough for fires). With the chilly mornings come lots of requests for hot chocolate. FC’s hot chocolate mix is semi-famous among our retreat guests, but fairly unknown with our summer campers because we never make it when it’s hot outside. So if you have not had an opportunity to come visit us during retreat season, here’s your chance to try a little bit of FC retreat center yumminess!
FC’s Hot Chocolate Mix by Kate Rudasill
This recipe has been around for many more years than I’ve been at camp. We still have the original recipe card and make it the same way that it’s been made for 20+ years. We make gallons of this mix (the last batch took more than 20 pounds of chocolate milk powder) and have it available at all times during our retreats. The full-time staff even has a secret stash of it in the office so that they can add it to their coffee in the mornings (it’s a great alternative to flavored creamers!).
Although this is a simple recipe that does not require cooking, I want to share it with all of you for a couple of reasons: (1) this hot chocolate is super delicious; creamy and sweet, but not overly chocolaty; and (2) it makes a fantastic, inexpensive gift (see below for some fun packaging ideas).
So mix up a batch, pull up a mug, and share some with your family and friends!
Ingredients for hot chocolate mix: powdered coffee creamer, powdered sugar, chocolate milk mix (Nestle Quick), non-fat dry milk, and cinnamon.
Mix well, using a whisk or fork to break up any clumps of sugar, until completely incorporated.
Package into individual containers or store in a large air tight container. We use this large apothecary jar with a small scoop to store and serve our mix. It sits on our coffee station and is easily accessible for kids and adults.
To make a mug of hot chocolate, add 1/3 – 2/3 cup hot chocolate mix to 8-10 ozs. hot water. Adjust the amount of mix depending on your taste.
One of the great things about this mix is that it can be stored for up to a year in an airtight container in a cool, dry area (like a pantry). If the mix is a little clumpy, run it through a sifter or food processor.
Fun packaging ideas for gifts:
Hot Chocolate Mix in a Jar:
Needed supplies: ½ pint canning jars, small squares of fabric, bakers’ twine, cardstock, and hot chocolate mix.
Fill jars with hot chocolate mix. Top with the flat jar lid. Place the fabric over the top and screw on the ring. Print instructions for how to make a cup of chocolate on cardstock or thick paper and use twine to attach the labels to the jars.
Hot Chocolate Mix in Bags:
Needed supplies: small cellophane bags, bakers’ twine or twist ties, toppings (optional), and hot chocolate mix.
- We buy our cellophane bags (product #C1BC; gusset-style; 3 ½” X 2” X 7 ½”) and the colorful twist ties (product #MTTA6) from Nashville Wraps (http://www.nashvillewraps.com/). They’re inexpensive and great to use for lots of small gifts, etc. This size bag easily holds about one cup of mix with room for toppings.
Fill bags about halfway with hot chocolate mix. Add marshmallows or other toppings and close bag with twine or a twist tie. To easily include the how-to instructions in these bags, print the recipe on plain paper (sized to fit inside the bag) and slide the paper into the bags before you fill them. No need to tie the recipe/instructions to the twine on the outside!
Having a Christmas party this year with lots of kids? Need a fun activity for a school event? Have a make-and-take hot chocolate bar. Make a big batch of the mix, set out some toppings in small bowls, and let your guests make their own bag of mix to take home with them. It’s a great way to share this mix and include your kids in the fun!
We’ve had the hot chocolate mix activity at our Mother / Daughter retreats for the past few years. Everyone has fun mixing and adding different toppings to their bags of mix and love getting to take a little of FC to enjoy at home. It’s a little bit messy and sometimes the little ones need some help getting everything into their bags, but also lots of fun!
Here are some topping ideas:
- mini marshmallows
- flavored marshmallows
- French vanilla and peppermint marshmallows are available this time of year at HEB or Wal-Mart.
- We also found chocolate mint marshmallows on Amazon.
- Kraft caramel bits (small balls of caramel used for caramel apples)
- Andes mint pieces (found on the baking aisle near the chocolate chips)
- Heath toffee bits (found on the baking aisle near the chocolate chips)
- Peppermint bits (We bought soft peppermint sticks and smashed them up.)
The kitchen staff’s favorite combo: hot chocolate dressed up with a little whipped cream and chocolate syrup. It’s a delicious treat on a cold morning! We sure hope you enjoy it!
Frontier Camp’s Hot Chocolate Mix
1 cup powdered coffee creamer, original or plain
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 ¾ cups powdered chocolate milk mix (we use Nestle Quick or the off-brand from Wal-Mart)
3 cups powdered milk
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together in a large air tight container. If mixture has a lot of clumps, you can run it through a food processor or a sifter.
Hot chocolate mix can be stored for up to one year in an airtight container in a cool, dry area.
Mix 1/3 – 2/3 cup of mix with 8-10 oz. hot water. Stir well.