There’s just something magical about a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter’s day, especially around Christmas time. I don’t know about you, but my favorite way to enjoy hot cocoa is with a little bit of whipped cream on top. Lately I’ve been trying all different kinds, though – some with marshmallows, some with extra chocolate, and I’ve even stirred in a bit of salted caramel sauce from Trader Joe’s (amazing). It dawned on me that little jars of homemade hot cocoa mix would make a perfect and easy, last-minute gift, so I went to work whipping up my own. The best part is that you can customize your mix by adding anything you like, such as chopped white or dark chocolate, a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little more heat, or a sprinkling of sea salt for those sweet/salty combo lovers. I packaged up my mix in eight-ounce canning jars tied with ribbon, and I included a candy cane and two chocolate-dipped spoons in treat bags with each jar for stirring. I printed out the directions for making the cocoa on card stock, punched a hole in the corner, and attached them to the jars with twine, but you can always hand-write them for an even more personal touch!
For the hot cocoa mix:
- 3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
For the chocolate-dipped spoons:
- 4 ounces semisweet or white chocolate, melted
- 8 plastic spoons
- Sprinkles and crushed candy canes
For the mix, whisk together all the ingredients except the marshmallows in a large bowl.
Spoon into jars, where it can be stored for up to 3 months. Sprinkle marshmallows over the top, and then top with lids and rings. Fills 4 eight-ounce jars, with some left over.
For the spoons, dip each plastic spoon into the melted chocolate and let dry a minute or two.
Dip the spoons into the sprinkles and/or candy canes. Let sit until completely dry; I stuck mine in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help them firm up faster.
To make the hot cocoa from the mix, spoon 4 Tbsp of the hot cocoa mix into a mug, and then stir in 1 cup of hot water or milk. Top with the miniature marshmallows. Stir with a chocolate-dipped spoon and enjoy!