Hot Chocolate Tablets

This article first appeared in Simply Hers Magazine, in the November/December 2019. If you haven’t picked up a copy of this FREE local publication you’re really missing out! The magazine is ran by a great bunch of women! You can find them in all of your favorite local stores.

Ever since my favorite drinking chocolate mix stopped being made I’ve been on a quest to find a replacement. I had tried all name and number of dry powdered hot chocolate mixes, I even made a few of my own but nothing compared to the creamy texture and rich chocolate flavor of my drinking chocolate. One day I stumbled upon Abuelita’s Mexican hot chocolate drinking tablets in the grocery store and I had finally found what I had been searching for! It got me to thinking about making my own with different flavors and chocolates. I just love it when an idea pans out in real life and I am very excited to share with you my recipe for hot chocolate tablets. I’ve included 4 flavors below but really the combinations are as endless as your palette. These little guys make a wonderful gift for friends and family around the holidays and recipients will love them not to mention they are super quick and easy to make with ingredients and tools you already have!

Special Equipment:

double boiler – If you don’t have one no problem! Simply sit a glass bowl on top of a small saucepan of water. Boom! Instant double boiler.

You will need some sort of mold to pour the melted chocolate mixture into. A muffin tin with cupcake liners yields the perfect size tablet. Silicone molds would work perfectly as well just make sure they hold about much as a muffin cup. An ice cube tray can be used as well for smaller portions.

Mocha

  • 3 TBS instant coffee (or 1 heaping TBS espresso powder)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup sugar

In a double boiler melt chocolate over medium/low heat, stir in instant coffee and sugar. Pour into prepared molds to the top, then lightly tap pan on the counter to release any air bubbles and allow to harden.

This recipe will yield 3 tablets.

– An entire bag of chips will yield 6 tablets. Simply double the other ingredients if using the whole bag.

To use: Add 4 cups of your favorite milk (works great with alternative milks as well) into a small sauce pan and drop in one tablet. Then warm milk over medium heat and whisk until no chocolate chunks remain, stirring constantly bring mixture to a gentle boil then immediately remove from heat. Some specks of chocolate will still remain giving it a beautiful rustic appearance. Pour into mugs and enjoy! – Tablets can but cut in half or quartered to make smaller batches- Here are some more great flavors to try! (we LOVE the Cinnamon Bun!)

All dolled up and ready for gifting.

White Chocolate Peppermint

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 crushed up candy canes

Cinnamon Bun

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Spicy Hot Chocolate

  • 1 cup semisweet chips
  • 1/3 dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper

The Very Best Rhubarb Pie

Confession time: Until this year I’ve never eaten or made a rhubarb pie. Feels really good to have that sin off my chest. I really don’t know what the reason is for it, other than I always ate rhubarb raw and maybe the thought of it in a pie was kind of a turn off? Well, whatever the reason my heart or my shoes, I’d always hated rhubarb pie. Completely without cause too, since I had never even tried it. Then Last year I made some amazing strawberry rhubarb jam and that was the turning point, I immediately regretted all the wasted years. I had a bag of frozen rhubarb tucked away in the freezer and I busted it out to create a masterpiece. I think I have made this pie the most so far this year, my husband loves it and so does everyone I share it with, so I’d like to share it with you too!

Crust: (make two)

1 ½ cup flour

2Tbs sugar

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup cold lard cubed +2Tbs

¼ cup ice cold water

+ 1 beaten egg for brushing the top

pulse all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, slowly drizzle in ice water until a slightly crumbly dough is formed. Chill dough for at least 3 hours before rolling on a floured surface.

Filling:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 Tbs lemon juice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 8oz jar strawberry jam

3 Tbs minute tapioca

Tip: if you are working with frozen rhubarb, measure while it is still frozen, then allow it to thaw. Drain excess water, then use in recipe as directed.

Stir all ingredients in a large bowl, pour into prepared pie crust and add top crust in lattice style. Brush Top crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with course sugar. Cover top with foil. Preheat oven to 425, bake for 20 minutes, change temperature to 375 and continue to bake for 45-60 min (until filling is bubbly) , remove foil with 20 min remaining. Cool and serve with ice cream.

How Our Days Actually Start, Plus Easy Morning Muffins

Every morning at 6:30 AM on the dot our youngest son wakes the whole house up crying for milk. Then it begins. Our older twin boys wake up. They too begin crying for milk. While I’m warming the milk of the first crying boy, the second boy says that he has to go potty. I tell him to go potty. He whines that he can’t unzip his jammies, so while holding the first crying boy, I kneel down and attempt to unzip the jammies without dropping the first boy that’s yelling “Mewk! Mewk!” that he can plainly see is ready from his vantage on my hip. Finally the jammies are off and the milk is handed off to the first boy. The third boy comes out of the bedroom half asleep and asks for his sippy cup of milk. I attempt to put the first boy down on the floor, he is having none of it and insists on laying in our bed. I pour one milk with one hand and I’m screwing the lid back on when the second boy yells “Mommy I need heeeeeeewp” from the bathroom. I hand the milk to the third boy, yell “hang on!” to the second boy, plop the first boy down on the couch and throw a blanket on him and go find out what could possibly be going wrong in the bathroom. The second boy is stuck on the toilet because the stool wasn’t pushed up correctly, I rescue him and while I’m helping him put on his undies the third boy comes in asking to watch a “show show show”. I put in The Land Before Time, while I’m skipping through all of the previews the second boy comes up to me and say that he needs milk, I push play. I’m pouring the milk when the third boy runs up to me shouting “potty!”. I hand the milk off to the second boy and tell him to watch the show, I help the third boy go potty. I’m helping him put his undies on when the second boy comes to me and says “mom….I can’t watch this” to which I reply “tough”. Crying ensues. I point out that the show has a t-Rex in it and all is well. I go back to the bedroom shake my husband to wake up, he gets up and gets around for the day (we take turns doing morning) and I get dressed, I shut both bedroom doors. I manage to have my bra on just in time before the first boy busts in the room and shouts “MOM! BOOBS!” I realize I forgot to lock the door. He climbs up on the bed and the stench of a morning diaper deuce hits my nostrils. I finish getting dressed and take care of the first boys dirty butt.

Blueberry Muffin

With mornings like this, I like really simple breakfasts with even simpler clean up. If the breakfast is hand-held and I don’t have to pick up and wash plates even better! For a while now I have been taking our families favorite recipes dissecting them and storing them for quick assembly. One of my favorites in the morning is muffins of any flavor or size. They’re sweet so the kids love them and I can sneak all kinds of fruits and veggies into them to make myself feel like a mom that’s got it together. I mix the dry ingredients in a wide mouth quart jar, write “muffin mix” on the top along with the cook temperature and time. On the underside of the lid I write the dry ingredients, so I can re-fill the mix without having to dig through my recipe cards. I realize coming from the “Jiffy Mix” state, this isn’t really earth-shattering new information here, everyone can make a muffin mix. It’s what I do with the muffin mix that makes it amazing. If I think about it the night before I will get out a 2 cup package of the pumpkin puree I have in the freezer and get it thawing. In the morning I can whip up a pan of spectacular pumpkin muffins. Want blueberry? Add 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, or whatever fruit you’ve got that’s muffinable.

The Mix:

2 Cups All purpose flour

2 tsp. Baking powder

½ tsp. Salt

¾ Cup sugar

Store in an air tight container (a quart jar works nicely)

When you’re ready to muffin preheat your oven to 375 and add:

½ cup melted butter

2 eggs

½ cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups fruit/berries of choice

Bake for 20-25 min

Makes 12 + regular sized muffins

Some of our favorite variations:

Pumpkin Spice Muffins– Omit milk and add ¼ cup maple syrup, 2 cups pumpkin puree, 1 tsp pumpkin spice.

Cranberry Orange Muffins– Add ¼ cup orange juice, 2 Tbs orange zest, 1 Tbs honey, 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries. Sprinkle with raw sugar before putting batter in the oven.

Honey Oat– 1 cup rolled oats pulsed in food processor about 5 times, 1 cup chopped nuts if desired, ¼ cup honey, 2 Tbs ground flax, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg. Sprinkle with oats, nuts, & brown sugar before putting batter in the oven.

Chocolate Zucchini: ¼ cup cocoa powder, 2 cups grated zucchini, 1 cup chocolate chips + more for tops.

Banana: 3 smashed ripe bananas, 1 tsp cinnamon.