Drinks/ Featured/ FUN/DIY/ RECIPES/ Seasonal

Homemade Gifts-Peppermint Stick Cocoa

I have seen SO many great homemade gift ideas this year.   I really want to write a post featuring them all, but they are all disorganized and saved in my bookmarks, or starred somewhere on my reader. You would think I would would take the time (2 clicks!) to clip and annotate them to my Circus Ponies Notebook, but….no.  Gotta work on that!

I read so many blogs a day thanks to my Google Reader –I’ll post about this soon for those who don’t know what it is– so I come across many, many great ideas.  My head started to feel spinny whenever I would think about what I wanted to do.  I finally had to just pick one, so Peppermint Stick Cocoa it is.  I thought the layers were pretty, especially the mini-chocolate chips and the crushed peppermint candies.  Plus, I got to use a mason jar!  I like that I can do smaller jars for 1-2 people and larger jars for families.  (if you click on the link, you will see that they put it in a very cool square-ish jar.  I love it and you can buy them at wal-mart, but at almost 3 times the cost of a mason jar.  They are very cool but not THAT cool!:)

Peppermint Stick Cocoa
Layer the ingredients for homemade cocoa in a jar, add a ribbon, embellishment, and a tag, and you have a simple but cute gift.  This mix will fill a 1 quart jar (12 servings), but if your containers are different sizes, just keep the ratio of ingredients constant.  On the back of the tag, write: “Mix contents in a bowl.  For each serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in one cup boiling water.  Store remaining mix in airtight container.

1 cup powdered milk
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

Layer powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, chocolate chips, and peppermint candy.
Yeild: Makes 1 quart mix or 12 servings hot cocoa.

I used a 16 oz jar (1 pint) and halved the recipe, this serves 6.  I also made 8 oz jars (1/2 pint) and adjusted the measurements, this serves 3.

16 oz jar measurements (1 pint) serves 6
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy

8 oz jar measurements (1/2 pint) serves 3
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/8 cup crushed peppermint candies

I like giving away homemade gifts to people like co-workers, school teachers, mailman, neighbors, piano teacher, pastor, and friends.  Just a little something to let them know I am thinking of them during the Christmas season.

My oldest daughter and I made these together today, while the younger 2 watched a Christmas movie.  It was the perfect thing to do on a “school’s- out -snow- day!”  It went pretty smoothly, I do wish peppermint candies came pre-crushed!  Beating them with the rolling pin did not work, banging them with the bottom of a mason jar did not work, finally we got out the hammer and with some muscle–it worked!  Those were some hard- headed peppermints!  Once we had the candy crushed and a fun little math lesson with the measurements, we were good to go.  We made an assembly line, and got busy!

We found that with the small 8 oz jar size, we needed to change up the order so that the peppermints would show.  We did sugar, cocoa powder, mini chocolate chips, crushed peppermints, salt and powdered milk.  Much prettier that way.  In the 16 oz jars, we kept the order as stated in the recipe.

After my girls had some igloo fun in the snow, they came in and sipped on some Peppermint Stick Cocoa.  It was very chocolate-y and very good;  so good that I got impatient when I had to say no at least 9 times when they asked for more. (3 times per girl, 3 girls).  I will blame their persistence on the addictive nature of the cocoa drink, because of course, my girls would respect their mothers “no” the first time, so they must have been on a chocolate high. Ha! Um, yea–guess we gotta work on that one!

Ask Anna


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  • cheapcraftymama
    November 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Love this! Just wanted to let you know that I’m including it in my post “Top 10 Gifts in Jars” today at http://www.cheapcraftymama.com. Feel free to stop by and grab a button or link for your page to show that you are featured! Thanks!

  • rizwan
    November 12, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Absolutely wonderful it has lots of thing to choose and very entertaining blog thanks

    Send Gifts to Pakistan

  • gifts Philippines
    November 3, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Cool gift ideas! Wish someone also send me like that. Anyway, I’ve been looking for topics as interesting as this. Looking forward to your next post.


  • zafran
    October 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Excelliant post & so nice idea thank,s for amezing list post.Pakistan flowers

  • philippine gifts
    August 2, 2010 at 2:17 am

    This Homemade Gifts-Peppermint Stick Cocoa seems interesting. I never try to make a homemade gifts. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will try to make something like that.


  • gmersereau
    January 14, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Love the idea! Here’s a couple of frugal tips I’ve picked up along the way. I can fruits and veggies and don’t reuse the lids once the jars have been opened (I know people do this but I’m not taking the chance) I keep all the used lids and use them for jar gifts around the holidays since the jars don’t have to be sealed. Also, an obvious tip maybe, look for jars throughout the summer at garage sales and thrift stores. Finally, there are alot of blog postings about repurposing sauce jars and such, paint the lids, decorate the outside (wrap layers of scrapbooking paper around the outside), etc. Super super cheap!!

  • Amy
    January 14, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Sarah-how fun to have a blogger neighbor! Do you follow any other blogs in the Nebraska area?

    Gmerseruau- thanks for all the great tips. I would love to try canning. Jars are great for so many things!

  • Sarah
    December 17, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    I LOVE homemade hot chocolate and seeing the layers in the mason jars (also one of my very favorite things! We use them all the time in my home!) makes a lovely gift. How fun!

    And that trail mix looks pretty amazing to me too . . . I’ve been thinking about making up some chewy popcorn squares (like Rice Krispy squares, but with popcorn) and your picture re-inspired me. Maybe this afternoon . . .


    PS – I just stumbled across your blog a few days ago and it looks like we have a lot in common! I’d love to know where you live in Nebraska as it appears we’re neighbors! 🙂

  • Amy
    December 14, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    These look amazing Amy….

    Have a great day.
    Stopping by From Jen’s


  • jennykate77
    December 14, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I posted a homemade hot chocolate recipe too! I love yours…the layers are really pretty in the mason jars! Sounds yummy!!

    Merry Christmas!♥

  • Jamie
    December 14, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Those are so cute! Great gift idea.

  • An Almost Unschooling Mom
    December 14, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I like the addition of pepperment – it makes it more festive. I’m bookmarking 🙂 this project to do with my girls – thanks.

  • Liz @ Sugarplum Creations
    December 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Yummy! Those look like a great project to do with the kids!

  • Amy
    December 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Peggy-they really are! I was eyeing them again, yesterday! I have never seen them on sale, you got quite the deal!!

  • Peggy
    December 11, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Aren’t those square jars so cool! Two years ago I “won” a Walmart gift certicate at the squadron Christmas party. After Christmas we went in and those very jars were on clearance for 1/2 off plus I had a coupon Ball mason jars! So I got a few of boxes! Some have been used for gifts but the others still grace my shelves… P.S. I would never have bought them if not for the sale/coupon/gift certificate.

    Thanks for the ideas! I am now something to finish up my Christmas baskets to teachers and church friends!

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