As a kid, December was always the time when my grandmother would begin to make batches of hot cocoa for the grandkids. Even in a seasonably warm climate like Mississippi, sipping on a cup of cocoa would start me obsessing on the holidays, and the imminent arrival of good ol' St. Nick.
I'm not discriminatory against any cup of hot chocolate. Whether it's made from a package – microscopic marshmallows floating aimlessly on the top, – or some fancy upscale flavored cocoa, I just love it.
And I also love making it. I've had homemade hot cocoa mix on my To-Do list for quite awhile, but after receiving some amazing peppermint cocoa mix from @BritneyUkelele at a recent food swap, I was determined to create some to give as teacher's gifts.
It's pretty simple, fairly inexpensive, and when all is said and done, it tastes amazing and looks fabulous.
Check out @BritanyUkelele's adorable cocoa mix:
Twinkle's Spicy Peppermint Cocoa Mix:
- 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- ¼ cup espresso powder or finely ground coffee
- 2 cups mini marshmallows or specialty marshmallows
- 1 cup powdered milk
- ½ cup chocolate, chopped in small chunks
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. white pepper
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground cardamom
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 4- peppermint sticks
- 4 - 9 oz. jars with lids (jelly jars)
- Paper for making tags
Whisk cocoa, espresso and spices together in a medium bowl.
Begin layering ingredients into your jars in this order:
- Cocoa/Spice mix – 1/3 cup each jar
- Powdered milk – ¼ cup each jar
- Sugar – 1/3 cup each jar
- Chopped chocolate – 2 tbs. each jar
- Marshmallows – fill up rest of jar
Each jar makes 2 large servings.
Mix 1/2 of jar with 12 oz. of milk or water and heat. :) Stir with peppermint stick.
For decorating, you can hot glue ribbon around the ring of the jar lid and tie in a bow to attach a personalized tag. You can print it or hand draw on it what you like.
Write instructions or ingredients on one side of the tag and who the cocoa is to on the other. It's really up to you what you want to write.
You can also use a small circle of scrap material to cover the lid. Cut out your circle and place inside the jar ring, then press the lid part up. It's a simple addition that can really add extra spice to your cocoa.
Twinkle VanWinkle was born in a small town in Mississippi. A life-long lover of music, media and food, she grew up following those three things along her path. She has almost 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks while working in restaurants and bakeries in Oxford, Miss. She baked 300 apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and appeared on "The Best Of..." in the same year. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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