As you may have discovered on my website, I absolutely love making homemade gifts for people! When you make sweets and treats, you get to sample some yourself, which is always nice.
I recently tried a new recipe: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix.
The directions include making the caramel from scratch, but the result is well worth the extra effort. The flavor of this hot chocolate mix is like no other hot chocolate I’ve encountered. It is divine… if I do say so myself. Please allow yourself to splurge on a little homemade whipped cream! They make a perfect pair.
Ingredients for the Caramel:
* 2 1/2 cups sugar
* 3 tablespoons pure vanilla
How to Make the Caramel:
1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (Wax paper will stick.), set aside.
2. Place the sugar in a large heavy pan or large skillet, nonstick if possible.
3. Melt the sugar without stirring over medium heat.
4. Once the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan a bit to melt the sugar melt and not burn. It will become a deep amber color after about 15 or 20 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla slowly.
6. Whisk the mixture until the caramel is smooth again.
7. Immediately and quickly pour the caramel onto the lined baking sheet and allow it to spread without touching. Set aside and let the caramel harden—at least 1 hour.
When you are ready to make the mix, use the back of a large spoon to tap the caramel several times into small broken pieces, small enough to fit into the tube of a large food processor. Turn the processor on, and while running, feed the caramel pieces into the tube so the processor pulverizes the caramel into a fine powder. Keep adding a few pieces at a time until it is all powder. Once it is done processing, turn it off and follow the steps below to make the mix.
Chocolate Mix Ingredients:
* 1 1/2 cups good quality Dutch cocoa powder
* 1 tablespoon sea salt
* 1 cup dry milk powder
* 1 cup packed light brown sugar
* 10 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
Instructions for Making the Mix:
1. Add all the ingredients, except the chocolate, to the food processor.
2. Process the mixture until smooth.
3. Add the chocolate to the bowl and turn the processor back on.
4. Let it run until the chocolate has been ground into a fine powder mixed with everything else.
To mix the drink, add 3 tablespoons of mix to 1 cup of hot milk. Stir or whisk well. Serve with marshmallows or top with whipped cream (my favorite!).
Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
If giving as a gift, a half-pint size canning jar will fit about 5 ounces of mix. This recipe makes 2 1/2 lbs of mix, so it’s enough for 8 jars.
This recipe has been adapted from the original recipe at phenomemom.com
Katie Winn is a stay at home mom and author of the blog, The Creative Bubble where she shares recipes, crafts, and homemade gift ideas. She lives in Chattanooga, TN with her husband and one year old son.