|Do you have to steam your milk for hot cocoa? No. Can you? Absolutely.|
I've seen pictures all over my Instagram feed as of late talking about the Best Hot Chocolate Kansas City has to offer. I am a huge fan of hot chocolate, and a fancy cup of hot chocolate (especially with a little bit of brandy or rum stirred in) is my favorite winter indulgence. I don't always have chocolate bars available in my house, because I have a husband that loves to just eat them before I can get my hands on them, but I can always make my own hot cocoa from mix. What's the trouble with most mixes? Well, let's see...
So many mixes I've experimented with get really chalky, chunky, and just aren't chocolatey enough. I always end up making adjustments and adding to the stuff no matter what kind I buy. I think the only kind I don't mess around with would be the kind with the ever-trendy hot cocoa bombs! Oh, and where to get those? Well...
Of course, you can get these in the store, and they have a lovely seasonal selection. What I really love about Succotash is their food options, but that doesn't stop them from creating excellent coffee drinks that titillate and delight. Yes, I'm aware I sound like a jackass when I write that. No, I don't care.
Andre's Confisserie Suisse
I would be drawn and quartered if I did not mention these giants of the chocolate arts! The Andre's Hot Chocolate is so decadent and delicious that it cannot even properly be described in text. Rumor on the street says you can't really order one of these during the lunch rush...it takes too long to make and each one is a labor of love! Now I don't know about that, since I always go in the mornings after my walk in Loose Park with the baby. I think it's best in the morning, anyway, for a cold-weather treat.
Now, I've mentioned these two true institutions of Kansas City...but they've been here for a long time and have a tried and true tested way of doing it. Let's now wrap up my Top 3 with a personal favorite, a relative newcomer on the block, that's just right down the street from me...
I love this amazing little place! Everything from the decor to the unique flavors of the coffee and pastries is wonderful. The best part about them is their sense of humor with their seasonal lattes. They clearly have a lot of fun here, and their hot chocolate is my favorite because it's not too thick, not too chalky, always hot...frankly, it's just right for this Goldilocks!
But what if you don't live in Kansas City? That's okay! You can make amazing hot chocolate at home with this mix, and what's even better is that you can make a large amount and divvy it up into smaller jars for gifts. The best part about hot chocolate is that you can make it in different flavors once you have a good base recipe to go off of. Add a little cardamom and mint for something exotic to one jar....add a little dried orange zest and chili powder and cinnamon for a Central American flavor? That's just one example. I invite you to add your own flavors and spices to your own hot cocoa jars and decide for yourself what your own perfect cup will be! In the meantime, here's how to make the big bulk recipe of hot cocoa mix which I store in jars until needed.
My Favorite Homemade Cocoa Mix
- 1 1/2 c black cocoa
- 1 c brown sugar
- 1 c granulated sugar
- 1 c coconut milk powder
- 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 5 dried mint leaves
- 1/4 tsp dried chilies
- a dash of mace
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp dried peppermint leaves
- 1 peppermint candy, crushed with a rolling pin
- 3 Tbsp chopped dark chocolate
- A handful of mini marshmallows
- 1 hard toffee candy, crushed with a rolling pin