Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa

(printable label at the bottom of this post)

This is easier than it sounds.  Trust me.  The post is really long only because I typed out the steps the way I actually do this - placing ingredients in the right areas so I do not forget anything (I once forgot the vanilla) and so that I'm not wandering to the pantry and getting sidetracked, then forgetting what I have already added and what I still need to do.  (Sadly, this has been known to happen on many occasions, with many recipes, in my kitchen...)

Ingredients Needed:
5 C sugar 
6 T vanilla 
3 C cocoa powder
4 T  sea salt 
2 C dry milk 
1 1/2 C packed brown sugar
2.5 C chocolate chips

Materials Needed:
Baking sheet with sides (not a flat cookie sheet)
parchment paper
food processor or blender
Large pan (I used a nonstick dutch oven)
whisk (I sprayed mine with non stick baking spray)

Step One:
-Measure out sugar, placing in a saucepan.  
- Measure out vanilla - leave in a measuring cup or cup to the side of your stove
- Line a cookie sheet or baking pan (the kind with a rim, not a completely flat sheet - you don't want the caramel to run off the sides) with parchment paper

Make the Caramel

5 cups sugar
6 T Vanilla

Heat the sugar in a saucepan - do not stir.  When it is all melted, occassionally life the pan and swirl it - still not stirring, but moving the sugar around.  Leave it cook for about 15 minutes, the sugar will melt into a deep amber color.
 The first time I swirled the sugar 
a few minutes later 
almost done

Remove the pan from the heat, and slowly add in the vanilla (it will pop and fizz & splatter - be careful) whisking the sugar until it is smooth again

Dump the mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet with sides.  Let it sit to harden - it will take an hour or more to completely harden.

Now breathe a sigh of relief - the hard part is over.  All that is left is to mix things together.

Step Two:
measure out the other ingredients, set them beside your blender or food processor.

Break the hardened caramel into pieces, then place in the food processor and pulverize.
Add the salt, pulverize some more
Add the brown sugar and powdered milk, mix thoroughly into a powder
(I have a LARGE food processor, if you make this full recipe - you can cut in half - you may need to mix in a large bowl)
Dump all of the now powdered, mixed together, ingredients into a large bowl.

Place the chocolate chips in the food processor.  Add 2 cups of the mixed powders, and pulverize the chocolate chips.  

Mix everything together well.

This is the label I used.  It is not round, and ideally I would have cut it out and glued it to card stock, then attached it to the jar lid.  But instead I placed it on the insert, then placed the jar ring over top.  It was quick and easy.  Simply right click on the photo, save it, then you can paste it into a word, or google doc.  Paste it a few times, to print as many as you need on one page.

To see more 
24 Days Of Simple Christmas Projects