I'm just not a fan of artificial sweeteners. They are all created as a sugar alternative to be sweet but to have no (or less) calories. In the first place I don't believe it is calories per se that are the enemy to good health, and secondly if I wanted to find a replacement for sugar I would go the other direction on the processing spectrum and instead choose to replace it with honey or maple syrup.
So after returning the canister of hot chocolate to the store shelf, we returned home to revisit Alton Brown's "Art of Darkness II: cocoa" to seek out our solution, and were not disappointed. It's a yummy mug of hot cocoa very rich and dark--very un-American. It's a nice big batch that we can store in a canister for quick and easy use. A frugal replacement for something fairly overpriced in the store(especially if you buy individual packets) and one in which I can control each of the ingredients.
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
- 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (if you like that kick)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and sift together (we use a whisk). Seal in an airtight container.
To use, fill your mug one third to half full with the hot cocoa mix and pour in hot water.
Note: LDS Cannery dry milk is a little different than the "instant" powdered milk they sell at the grocery store. If you are using cannery milk use only 1 1/2 cups dry milk. Then the amount of mix you'll add to your cup will probably be on the lower end as well. Just experiment with it--we always do!