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!