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November 15, 2009

Hot Cocoa & Marshmallows...




Ok so it's officially cold in KS now! (39 on my computer at the moment and expecting snow this week!) During the colder months our family tends to go through hot cocoa mix a lot -- as in a cup or two every night (x5 or 6!). So hubby and I were looking at buying it today when at the store and I decided I'm sure I can find a recipe online with ingredients I can pronounce! (every one at the store had hydrogenated something...) Now some of you may not consider this healthy at all but I figure at least I know what it is so it's got to be better than the others! Plus I'm sure if you REALLY wanted to you could make it sans sugar and add stevia to your taste and with dutch process cocoa etc (which would of course change the price). I've made homemade mallows before and am including that recipe for you too. (De Etta if you have one that's better please let me know. Oh by the way our local cocoa conniseur (aka Jessica) has prononuced it fine. There are several out there that include non-dairy creamer which I didn't want so just look through them!.... one caveat is that this is still not as good as the kind made with sugar, milk and cocoa on the stove but it is just as good as the powdered stuff.




Cocoa


This recipe is off the Food Channel and I found it just by entering hot cocoa mix recipe into my search engine! (those in parenthesis are the measurements I used which = 4 times)


3/4 cup powdered milk (7 C)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (1 Tb)
3/4 cup sugar (6C)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (4C)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (2 packages of mint chocolate chips -- opt)


This came out to $10.00 for 115 oz (7lbs of mix/1 gallon jar) - which is 18c/cup (2oz/cup-1/4cup)

without the chocolate chips it would be $6.00- 9.5c/cup


to give you an idea our local store brand was $3.00/30 oz -- $20c cup

and Swiss Miss at our store was $5.00/28 oz -- which is 32c cup


So it is cheaper and better for you to make your own, with the organic ingredients it would probably cost more but still be better in the long run!


Here's the marshmallows:

(I have made these before and they are yummy, make a BIG batch - one is more than enough for a cup of cocoa! Again some may not find these truly healthy but they are still better than store bought unless you can find/have your own marshmallow plant! This recipe is from Mary Janes Ideabook*Cookbook*Lifebook but you can find them on the Food Channel site as well)


9 packets of Chill Over Powder (I used regular gelatin and like 8 packs)

1 1/4 C Water 2 1/2 C Sugar 1 C light corn syrup

1/2 tsp salt 2 Tb Vanilla 2 egg whites

1/4 tsp cream of tarter


In a small saucepan dissolve gelatin in 3/4 C of cold water. (sprinkle over water and whisk). Place over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes (DO NOT go longer!) . Set aside -- will be thick paste.

In a 3 qt saucepan blen together 1/2 C water with sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to slow boil Continue to cook unstirred until candy thermometer reaches 240 F -- don't over cook or they'll be tough. Remove from heat, whisk in gelatin paste until dissolved and stir in vanilla.

In large mixer beat egg whites until frothy and add cream of tarter. Continue beating until soft peaks form. On low speed add sugar mixture in steady stream. After all the syrup is added, turn mixer to high and beat for 15 minutes (yes that's righ 15!)

Spread into a 9X13 pan that's been heavily dusted with powdered sugar. Dust top. Let dry overnight - or for 8 hours. Loosen mixture from pan by lifting around edges with knife (I ran mine under hot water). Turn out onto powdered sugar dusted cutting board. Dust bottom with powdered sugar again, cut into squares with a knife dipped in powdered sugar. Dust edges completely so they don't stick together. (It's not as much powdered sugar as it seems).... great with smores or cocoa!



Enjoy!



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Thoughts

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)