Monday, December 19, 2011

Cocoa, Canines and Cookies

So how's your Christmas prep coming along? I'm so happy to say that I'm pretty much done with Christmas shopping, Christmas cards and all that other anxiety inducing prep work! And because I'm really trying to simplify my life this year I decided I was going to cut back on the massive amounts of homemade Christmas cookies that I normally make to give as gifts and try to do something a little different: Hot cocoa mixes in pretty jars.
After much taste-testing (it was a rough job but somebodies gotta do it) and recipe tweaking I finally found what I consider to be the perfect cocoa mix. Here it is:

-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 cup powdered milk
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
-1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

You layer all of the ingredients in a pretty jar, tie it with a bow and attach a tag with the directions.
This recipe was supposed to fit in a 1 quart jar but for some reason it wouldn't fit in the 1 quart jars that I bought. I'm reallllyyyyy glad I did a test jar before I started my assembly line of cocoa jars! I would have had a major cocoa-tastrophe if I hadn't tested things first! So, for the remaining jars I just reduced the amount of each ingredient a little bit but kept the proportions the same. For my jars, I had to remove 1 tablespoon for each 1/2 cup of ingredient in the mix.

I downloaded some cute, free tags here, printed them on cardstock and wrote "Classic Hot Cocoa Mix" on the front and the directions on the back:
-Mix contents together in large bowl
-For each serving place 1/4 cup of mix and 1 cup water in saucepan and whisk together
-Heat over med-high heat for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally
-Store remaining mix in jar
You can also make this in the microwave. You just have to stir 1/4 cup mix and 1 cup water together in a mug. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir well, microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir for another minute after microwaving. It takes a while for all those mini chocolate chips to melt!

I DO NOT recommend placing the mix in a mug and pouring hot water into the mug. It turned out pretty gross and chunky when I tried it that way. It's definitely better when the mix and water are combined before heating.
And voila! I now have a bunch of adorable, semi-homemade gifts to give out. But a few warnings if you're going to attempt to do will most likely get COVERED in cocoa powder as you make these! That stuff was not agreeable about going into the jars and I had to "funnel" it in using a baggie with a corner snipped off. And if you have a Golden Retriever, please lock him/her up while you make this. Otherwise you will be pulling marshmallows out of their fur for DAYS!

And now it's time to start making some sugar cookies. I said I was cutting back on the cookie making.....not eliminating it. I haven't gone completely mad! A girls gotta have some homemade Christmas cookies every year!

Happy Sewing,


jane ann said...

what a great idea!!! and such pretty jars when full. so, emma was a good girl and nevvvahh got any marshmellows stuck to her -- just something about the goldens!

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