Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gourmet Mint Hot Cocoa for LESS!

The weather has turned cold, and I return to my LOVE of hot chocolate.  I adore a GOOD cup of tasty hot cocoa…of varying flavors.  To keep my guilty pleasures within my budget, I have bought Stephen’s Gourmet Hot Cocoa to mix in with my “regular” plain hot cocoa mix.   With each glass, I will add just a smidge (a spoonful) of my favorite flavor. 

HOWEVER…Stephen’s Gourmet Hot Cocoa has NOT been on a good sale for over a year now.  I have been OUT of my favorite flavors (mint & raspberry) for a LONG time. 
PLAIN hot chocolate is just not as fulfilling!!  I have tried adding different extracts….I have tried adding Italian cream soda syrup (or coffee) flavorings—such as the Toriani brand and been VERY disappointed. 
This week, on my “weekly hike” with a friend, I was lamenting about my dilemma of disappointing plain old chocolate hot cocoa.  She suggested adding a bit of crushed up candy cane to my next cup.  Tonight was heaven.  After coming home from watering a different friend’s plants while she is gone on vacation (WITH my all my children in tow), in the cold-- for an hour, hot cocoa was just what everyone needed.  I had bought candy canes on clearance last winter and decided this was the time to crack them open.  I was NOT sorry.  My cup of hot cocoa FINALLY had that sweet mint flavor I’ve been missing!!  It was just as good as Stephen’s Hot Cocoa.  I daresay that I will be making my OWN mint hot cocoa from now on.  I have enough candy canes to last a good long time…but when this winter is over, I will stock up AGAIN on candy canes.  (Last year I got them for 6 ¢ a box—both 12 count AND 24 count!!)
Mint Hot Cocoa Recipe:
1)  Pull out your plain hot cocoa mix
AND some candy canes!! 
2) Break apart the candy canes and place in a plastic baggie.  Pull out a meat tenderizor OR other hammering type device.
4) Blast those candy canes to bits!! (Store the remainder in an air tight container for your next single serving of GOURMET hot cocoa!!) 
5) Add a spoonful of candy cane bits to your cup and stir...for a while.  Give thema chance to BLEND in!!
Happy Stretching Pennies!!