|PEMBERVILLE - Way back on Feb. 28 Debbie Krukemyer was the subject of the Cook's Corner with her yummy pizza soup. At the time we briefly alluded to another wildly popular recipe of hers for "mocha punch."
Deb Krukemyer with her mocha punch. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
For those who have been patiently waiting, today is the day to find out how to make this crowd-pleasing beverage. It creates new fans on both hot August days and nippy December nights in front of the Christmas tree.
Many Wood County residents discovered it when Krukemyer and friends served her punch at a bridal shower they were co-hosting last summer, in advance of a Fall 2007 wedding.
"The girl who was being married, her bridal colors were brown and pink. And the punch includes chocolate ice cream and coffee and hot cocoa mix. It also has white (vanilla) ice cream in it, but the chocolate will have its way!"
So that took care of the brown.
In order to introduce the pink color into the equation, Krukemyer simply tinted pink the Cool Whip dollops that float atop the punch in its pretty glass bowl. As a perfect final touch, she shaved dark chocolate bits over the whipped topping.
Too pretty to drink, the 50 shower guests present nevertheless dove right in and finished the punch in short order even though the hostesses had made enough for three punch bowls full!
"Even if you don't like coffee - like my husband doesn't ever drink coffee - but he likes this punch. Kids, too, don't seem to mind it."
Of course, cooks worried about the caffeine content are reminded that "there is a quarter cup of instant coffee granules in it."
Krukemyer's husband, like the rest of her family, does very much enjoy the punch but he can't resist teasing her: "'It's a good waste of ice cream,' my husband says of the coffee-adulturated punch!"
It's really a quite simple recipe, but the timing is the key to success.
"You bring water to a boil and you add all those dry ingredients to get them to dissolve. So you have to make it few hours ahead so it can chill."
In the next step, you add the ice cream to the mixture enough in advance that it melts some.
It's no good putting the ice cream in right over the boiled water mixture. The resulting punch would be unpleasantly milky.
"It wouldn't have the right consistency," Krukemyer explains.
"So you can't just decide an hour ahead: 'Oh, I'm going to make mocha punch.'"
Her kids do sometimes push the envelope on that one.
"They have called from college and said 'I'm bringing friends home tonight and can we have mocha punch?'"
Krukemyer reminds them, "Well, you know the lead time."
Even after adding the ice cream to the mocha base Krukemyer allows for a half hour of intermittent stirring time.
"You want the consistency of a milkshake," she explains.
Back when the Krukemyer offspring were in high school they wanted mocha punch after every Friday football game. "A group of kids would come over and mocha punch was always requested."
Not just a summer beverage, "we serve it winter, spring and fall. It's our Christmas Eve drink. We serve it year round. It's like your own little coffee shop at home."
Since the cook can't "mass produce the process," this punch is fine to serve at an event like a bridal shower, but not for a wedding. "That's too many people," said Krukemyer.
6 cups water
1/2 cup instant hot cocoa mix, dry (Swiss Miss brand)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup instant coffee granules (Maxwell House)
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream
8 oz. container Cool Whip whipped topping
Piece of dark chocolate candy*
Boil water in a pan over the stove and add the three dry ingredients: cocoa mix, powdered sugar, and instant coffee granules. Refrigerate the pan and contents overnight or until very cold.
The next day, dump the Mocha Punch base into a punch bowl one half hour before you are ready to serve it. Next, add both the vanilla and chocolate ice cream, stirring the mixture about every five minutes until all the ice cream melts - nearly half an hour.
Right before serving, drop three big dollops of Cool Whip onto the top of the mixture in the punch bowl. Shave chocolate bits from the candy bar right onto the Cool Whip. Serve.
* Hershey's dark chocolate candy bar works well, or any other piece of dark chocolate.
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