serves 10-12 people.
For the basic peppermint hot chocolate:
--3 cups nonfat dried milk
--1 cup powdered sugar
--3/4 cup cocoa powder
--1/4 tsp salt
--1/2 cup chocolate syrup
--1 to 2 tsp peppermint extract (my kids thought 2tsp was too strong.)
--7 cups water
--marshmallows and candy canes for garnish
for a "mocha":
--pour the cooked hot chocolate over a shot of espresso or a half-cup of very strong coffee
for an "adult drink":
--omit the peppermint extract and pour the hot chocolate over a shot of Peppermint Schnapps
I used a 4 quart crockpot.
Combine the dry ingredients into your crockpot and stir with a spoon. Squeeze in a half-cup of chocolate sauce, and add the peppermint extract. Add the water, a cup at a time, and stir well. The chocolatey mixture will be bubbly and look powdery. It's okay---it will cook together.
Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or until completely hot. Serve with marshmallows and candy canes. If serving to guests, keep the pot on low with the lid off, and provide a ladle. If kept on warm, the hot chocolate will not stay warm enough.