Monday, December 8, 2008

Another gift idea..

If vinegar is not your thing, but you're still interested in a different homemade gift idea, why not try this simple gift - hot chocolate mix! It's the perfect time of the year to warm up with this yummy treat. Who doesn't equate the winter with a time to snuggle up with a hot mug next to the fireplace?

Here's a basic starter recipe -

Hot Cocoa Mix by Earla Taylor


10 cups dry milk powder
4 3/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups powdered non-dairy creamer


In a large mixing bowl, combine milk powder, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and creamer. Stir till thoroughly combined. Store cocoa mixture in an airtight container. Makes about 15 cups mix, or enough for about 45 servings.

For 1 serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mixture in a coffee cup or mug, and add 3/4 cup boiling water or milk. Stir to dissolve.

Variation, tips and ideas:

  • If you use Hershey's powdered cocoa, you'll probably need to add more sugar, as it seems to be a darker cocoa taste.

  • Sifting the ingredients will help to give it a smoother consistency and help decrease the 'Mug Mud" leftover at the bottom of your cup.

  • Try some of the new flavored non-dairy creamers for a special blend. (Hazelnut, cinnamon, etc...)

Play around with it until you achieve your "perfect" recipe. We all have slightly different taste, so you may prefer a darker, richer flavor and your neighbor may like a lighter sweet mixture.

Now for packaging ideas!

A canning jar can be decorated with a doily, swatch of fabric remnant or simply adorned with some raffia or ribbon and a direction tag.

Or, try a plastic bag approach. Not just any plastic bag, mind you. Make it a little something different. Perhaps a disposable pastry bag (the kind you use for piping icing onto cakes). They're conical and can fit into a stocking or be decorative by themselves. Theses can be found at most any craft store or online. They come in packs of 10, 25, or even 100.

Consider layering them as follows:

Cocoa Mix

Chocolate Chips


This provides the recipient for a truly decadent treat in one bag! Seal the bag with raffia or ribbon and a direction tag and your in business.

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