A bad gift is quite possibly worse than no gift at all, emphasizing a lack of concern, understanding, or knowledge of the person receiving it. I obviously have a little gift giving anxiety. Hot Cocoa Mix is the balm to my Christmas wounds. It's easy, delicious, and does not taste like it came from a mix. So pass along the tasty cheer in lieu of gift cards this year, enjoy!
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate, either small chips or finely chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vanilla sugar (I bought the crystalized kind because it creates a lovely sparkle, but you and always do white sugar plus a scraped vanilla bean.)
1 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whisk the ingredients together. To make an 8 oz cup (which is honestly enough for 2-3 people), mix 3 tablespoons of the mix with a dash of milk to form a paste. Gently heat the paste over medium-low heat until the chocolate bits start to melt. Add an additional cup of milk and stir until hot and steaming. Pour into cups and top off with a dash of heavy cream. Enjoy!
For the wrapping...
1 large sheet festive wrapping paper (I used Snow and Graham's Hot Cocoa Pattern)
several sheets white vellum paper
ribbon and trim
hot glue gun (optional)
Hot Cocoa Mix
These are great to put together assembly line style, so make a bunch at a time. First, spray the wrapping paper with spray mount and press the tags and the can lids onto it. Once the paper has dried (this will be a few minutes), cut the tags and lids out using the x-acto knife. Cut the hole out of the tags and lace some colored twine through: your tags are done! Next, print out the hot cocoa directions on a piece of vellum paper. Lay it face down and spray the back with spray mount. Center the lids over the directions and press. Wait another few minutes and cut out with an x-acto knife. Fill your jars with hot cocoa mix and seal with lids.
Measure out your ribbon (I found my ribbons at May Arts, and used pewter velvet and silver silk snowflake cut outs). I like to secure the ribbon with a little hot glue on the lid because I will otherwise wrestle with ribbon slipping down and then drop the jar, breaking cocoa mix everywhere, and hurtle the crushed jar shouting "Bah Humbug!" Tie the ribbon however you like, tie on the tag, and you're done!