repurposing cocoa mixes
November 26, 2019 8:01 AM   Subscribe

I got some Trader Joe's powdered salted caramel flavored hot cocoa and some of their powdered sipping chocolate, and I'm not that excited about either one. How else can I use them if I don't want to drink them?

I thought the caramel flavored stuff might work well on ice cream, but I'm not sure how to turn it into something I could pour over ice cream.

What are some good ways I can use these up? Is there any way to turn them into sauces or desserts or something?

Minor difficulty: the sipping chocolate has no powdered milk solids, so the directions call for adding milk; I don't usually keep cow milk on hand, and I don't like the taste of other milks (almond or soy) in cocoa-like beverages, so adding water or butter is fine, but options that call for milk may not work as well for me.

posted by kristi to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by phunniemee at 8:07 AM on November 26, 2019

You can mix most cocoa mixes with a small amount of milk or cream to make sauces. If you don't keep milk on hand, a can of evaporated milk would work and make a relatively small amount of sauce -- I wouldn't use sweetened condensed milk because there is already a lot of sugar in the powder. You can do this with water, too, but you get a thinner, less nice sauce.

Doing it over the stovetop with lots of stirring makes for a better sauce than using the microwave, but it involves more dishes and standing over a hot stove stirring, so usually I just do this in the microwave using a ramekin.

I also sometimes use hot chocolate powder in custard to make chocolate pudding, but that also requires milk.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:08 AM on November 26, 2019

I used to pour hot cocoa mix onto vanilla ice cream when I was a kid, no other ingredients necessary. Just mash it together and mix it up a little bit.
posted by something something at 8:15 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

You can return them! Trader Joe's is awesome that way.
posted by Miss Viola Swamp at 8:17 AM on November 26, 2019 [7 favorites]

Maybe as a substitute for cocoa and some of the sugar in a mug cake? There are some recipes that don't call for milk.
posted by dywypi at 8:27 AM on November 26, 2019

Return them, or use them to dust truffles, or mix into homemade ice cream.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:52 AM on November 26, 2019

Yes! spoon the powder over ice cream. Gives it that yummy chocolate malt powder texture...bliss.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:03 AM on November 26, 2019

My grandfather used to mix Nesquick with a little bit of water and pour it over vanilla ice cream. Was it the best chocolate sauce in the world? No? Was it better than plain vanilla ice cream to this chocolate loving kid? Yes!
posted by natabat at 9:27 AM on November 26, 2019

Hot chocolate cookie cups!
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:32 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nthing that you can return them - TJ's actually uses those metrics to determine what products to reorder and which ones to stop carrying, so all you have to say is "didn't like 'em" and they'll refund all your money.

But they'd probably be great to roll cookie dough in before baking.
posted by Mchelly at 9:38 AM on November 26, 2019

Sprinkle on ice cream (their chocolate coconut milk ice cream is wonderful) or their incredibly decadent Belgian chocolate pudding.
posted by jgirl at 10:12 AM on November 26, 2019

I use the cocoa for mug cakes. It works perfectly.
posted by Gray Duck at 10:12 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I came across a recipe a couple years ago for “healthy” popsicles: 2 tbsp hot chocolate mix, 1 banana, 1/2 can coconut milk. Blend and freeze. Not great winter food, but delicious! We used up a number of old hot chocolate mixes at our house this way.
posted by Maarika at 10:18 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

The sipping chocolate is mostly cocoa powder and sugar. Add a little hot water and you’ll get a decent chocolate sauce. I’ve drizzled something similar over ice cream. It will stay liquid when cool, so you could dip fruit in it as well.

The coconut creamer in the caramel mix might be a little strange in a sauce, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. Throw a couple spoonfuls in a mug, stir in a splash of hot water, and make sure you taste it before pouring it on perfectly good ice cream.
posted by catalytics at 1:28 PM on November 26, 2019

I cannot believe I didn't think of just applying it directly to ice cream. But you all did, so now I can do that!

Also the mug cake ideas sound great.

These are all terrific answers (including returning them to Trader Joe's, which I don't think I'll do but it's always good to be reminded that that's an option). My thanks to everyone who offered one of these great suggestions!
posted by kristi at 9:14 AM on November 27, 2019

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