I LOVE homemade gifts. I absolutely adore them. BUT they have to be done right because you want your recipients to really know that you put heart into what you’ve made.
As far as these kinds of gifts go, I think that edible stuff is one of the best. Think about it; cookies and cakes have been staple gifts around this time of year for so long. The thing is, EVERYONE now gives those kinds of things, so you want to do something different but that is sure to make people feel appreciated.
I am going to try to do a bunch of these this season, but I wanted to start with my absolute favorite; hot cocoa. It’s one of those really special seasonal treats that warms everyone’s heart, and it could not be more simple to make gift-friendly.
First things first, since it will be a gift you want to make sure you’re using a really pretty container. You have to realize that a lot of people might not reuse them, so I like to buy second hand. This also gives it an original touch. You can get really pretty old mason or jelly jars at shops for next to nothing! Since they’re glass, you know that they can withstand the test of time too… just take some extra precaution and boil or wash them really well. I also make sure to buy new lids, but they’re super cheap.
As far as the cocoa itself? Sugar and cocoa. That’s it. I can’t presume what size jar you will use so follow this ratio:
About 1/3 of the jar is cocoa and then 2/3 is sugar… leaving about an inch of space so you can shake it up. I use organic sugar because it has a less pungent, in-your-face sweetness; I don’t know how it would taste with regular refined sugar so use precaution.
If you’re not totally put off by those powdered coffee creamers, they also add really great flavor. I don’t add it to the recipe, because it’s not important and I don’t use it anymore (I did used to). But if you have some on hand, consider it an option!
Once all of your ingredients are in, just put the lid on and shake it up! That’s all there is to it.
To make it gift worthy, just throw on some pretty fabric around the lid and couple it with jar of baby marshmallows! It also helps if you add a fancy tag with instructions:
“Mix a heaping tablespoon with 8oz of scalding milk and stir”
You can say “hot” but it’s important to note that it should be VERY hot, as this will help the mixture dissolve better.
This is also really good if you got someone a new mug or something along those lines.
Keeping in tune with the hot cocoa, there’s another REALLY fun one that I totally adore: hot chocolate spoons!!
These little guys are are so fun to make and make amazing hot chocolate. And again, the ingredients are not expensive.
If you’re making a bunch, you can use plastic spoons but I found the metal ones for SUPER cheap. They aren’t holiday table worthy, but add a touch of class and make it feel really fancy.
For these, melt 1 cup of chocolate chips (makes 10 spoons) over a double boiler. When it’s really smooth, just dip your spoons right in and roll them around so they are well covered, front and back. I like dark chocolate because it gives a richer flavor, but you can use whatever you like!
I like the spoons to be just coated because you still want the concave shape to remain.
Lay them down on a sheet of wax paper, and sprinkle with your favorite toppings.
I use the holiday sprinkles for the festive look, and crushed peppermint for the a-mazing flavor.
Just let them cool until the chocolate re-hardens, then wrap them in plastic wrap and tie it off with some pretty ribbon or string.
They’re great just like this, but would be even better coupled with your homemade cocoa!
Look at that, a whole gift set for next to nothing!! If it’s for someone you really like (or totally can’t stand sober) pair it with some good chocolate liquor and create some serious #giftenvy.
Both of these, together or separate, are awesome gifts for coworkers, teachers, or hot cocoa loving family members!
I gave the whole set last year to my brother in law and his family paired with personalized mugs, so I’m definitely speaking from the heart. I don’t know if they liked it, but I felt SO good giving them something that I worked really hard on and knew they could enjoy together.
Mostly because my own kids liked it and that’s really the only thing I have to go on!