Thursday, December 26, 2013

Handmade Christmas: Hot Chocolate

Baby, it's cold outside! Why not come sit by the fire and drink some chocolatey yumminess?
Having recently discovered the joy of real hot chocolate, I thought it would be good to give some of the men in my family a home-made, real, hot chocolate kit. You can buy this kind of package in any grocery store or gift boutique these days.

I decided to make mine special by using the more expensive, rich, dark, red cocoa. I also included a bag of mini marshmallows and a candy cane.

I put the mix in a supersized CorningWare mug that comes with a vented lid for microwave use. I saw other cute mugs at the grocery store, but I'm not excited about seasonal mugs, and guys who were receiving these mugs are not excited about cutesie things. Also, many of cute, festive mugs were not microwave or dishwasher safe! I've had ceramics like that before, and they just don't bear up. The paint chips off, and the mugs themselves are fragile. Check the fine print!

Here are the proportions I used to make four bags of mix:

2 cups cocoa (unsweetened)
4 cups granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients, stirring thoroughly. Scoop into food storage container. Include instructions (below) with the gift.

This gift is great for anyone with food allergies or sensitivities. They can simply choose a milk substitute that works for them. (Preferably an unsweetened milk substitute as this mixture is already sweet enough.)

Don't forget to include the instructions!

Instructions for using this mix to make 6 oz. beverage:

To make the hot beverage, put three spoonfuls of the mixture in a "standard"-sized mug. Add two spoonfuls of milk.

Stir until it forms a paste. Add a couple more spoonfuls of milk until it is a relatively homogeneous liquid. It should be a dark, deep, reddish chocolate brown.

Add milk to fill the mug.

Heat the milk mixture:
In a saucepan, heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Watch for steam to start rising.

In the microwave, set it for one minute, then stir it. Add 30-second increments of heating until you find out what works best in your microwave.
Garnish with marshmallows, a candy cane, or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Drink up!

This was actually the easiest of all the handmade Christmas presents. Cost was only $9 each, including the mugs, and it only  took me about 10 minutes to pull everything together.  I call that a WIN!

To read more in this series, visit my Handmade Christmas page.

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