Hot Chocolate Mix

I woke up this morning to find a heavy dusting of snow on the ground and I couldn’t have been happier. It’s been cold here for weeks, but not a single snowflake dropped until last night.I miss the snow we had growing up. We had big storms that would dump inches upon inches of the white stuff providing inspiration for all kinds of snowy fun. My brothers and I would bundle up in our snow pants, parkas and moon boots to make the journey to a hill that offered perfect sledding conditions. My two brothers, both older than me, led the way on their cross country skis while I brought up the rear on foot pulling my red plastic sled behind me. Looking back I’m pretty sure that walk was a short one, but at that time it felt like an epic journey.And the reward after arriving home? It was always a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate Mix
Adapted from The Epicurious Cookbook

This mix makes approximately 24 servings and can be kept in the pantry in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

Cut open the vanilla bean and scrap out the seeds. In a bowl combine the sugar with the seeds — it works best to use your hands to work the seeds through the sugar to distribute. There shouldn’t be any lumps of vanilla. Toss the pod in and cover with plastic wrap. Leave the sugar and vanilla out at room temperature overnight.

Process the milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate in a food processor until finely ground. Depending on the size of your food processor you may need to do this in batches. In a large bowl combine the ground chocolate with the baking cocoa and sugar (remove the vanilla pod). To get it thoroughly combined I think it’s easiest to pour it all into a large zip-lock bag, seal and then shake to combine. Store in an airtight container.

To make a single serving, warm 8 ounces of milk until scalded and add in approximately 1/4 cup of the mix whisking until the chocolate is melted. Serve with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.

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