It’s here – the DIY gift we teased you about in our popular Simple Hot Cocoa Recipe post! Of course we timed it with tomorrow’s big calendar event – National Cocoa Day – because why not?! (We totally didn’t make that up – December 13th is truly National Cocoa Day, so let’s celebrate, shall we?)
Love is in the Making
We know it’s getting down to the wire to buy gifts before the holidays, and if your list is anything like ours, it’s growing each day. What if there was a gift that was not only favored (and savored) by many, but also beautifully crafted, and likely all within reach in your pantry?
Don’t get lost in the dream of it all, friends. There is such a gift, and this is it!
We know what you’re thinking – you barely have time to make lunch, how are you going to make presents for several people?! We’ve got you covered there too. See, if you prep all of the ingredients on this list, you can easily make a gigantic batch and then divvy it up among different jars.
This Hot Cocoa in a Mason Jar makes a lovely (quick!) gift for:
- Teachers (get your kids involved in the making and decorating!)
- Hosts/hostesses of holiday parties (gift with a mini bottle of spirits!)
- Neighbors (leave it as a sweet surprise on their doorstep!)
- Co-workers (add some instant coffee for a mocha-afternoon pick me up!)
- Your gym/yoga buddy (check out these details why cocoa is a healthy snack!)
Now, let’s discover how easy it is to whip up a couple of these tasty treats.
DIY Hot Cocoa in a Jar
Our resident baker, stylist and recipe maker, Marisa, is back to fill us in on all the essentials, supplies, and optional add-ons for these simple gifts. She’ll not only walk us through the combination of ingredients, but also give some tips of how to decorate your jar. The only challenging bit in the steps below will be not snacking on the ingredients!
What you’ll need
Ingredients for the Cocoa:
- 3/4 cup Fair Trade Unsweetened Cocoa
- 6 Tbsp Organic Cane Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Evolution Salt Co Himalayan Salt, Fine Grind
- Fair Trade Dark Chocolate Bar
- Marshmallows (store bought or homemade – I like Smash Mallow Sugar Cookie Marshmallows, as they’re yummy, made with mindful ingredients, and GMO-free!)
- 16oz Ball Mason Jar (or you can reuse any soup, sauce or jam jars that are between 8oz – 16oz)
- Measuring Spoons
- Gift Tags
- Fabric, parchment (cut in squares, about the size of a napkin – or you can actually use a festive napkin!)
- Hole puncher (if you are making your own gift tags)
- Twine or ribbon of your choice
- Sprigs of pine, holly or your choice of fresh greenery
- Mini bottles of Bailey’s or Rumple Minze
- Candy Canes
What you’ll do
1. Combine and whisk the first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. This hot cocoa blend will make enough for (1) 16oz jar or (2) 8oz jars, leaving enough room for mini marshmallows at the top. This recipe can be easily doubled if making more than 2 jars.
2. Add the cocoa blend to your jar(s). I find a tablespoon or large spoon is helpful when transferring to your jar of choice!
3. Once the jar is full of cocoa mix, take your marshmallows and use your scissors to cut them down into smaller pieces (if they aren’t already a small size!) Add them to the top of your cocoa, and if you like, you can take a piece of dark chocolate or two and grate them into shavings on top of your marshmallows or even include broken up pieces for your most serious chocoholic friends to add to their hot cocoa!
4. Be sure to include the simple directions for your recipient to prepare the hot cocoa: Combine and heat 1 cup milk of choice with 2 Tbsp cocoa mix in a saucepan over medium/high heat, serve in mug, add in a few marshmallows and enjoy! You can handwrite this on a gift tag, a piece of paper fold up or have it typed out and printed. I like to include it under the wrapping (fabric, parchment or napkin) that goes over the lid!
5. Prep your twine/ribbon by measuring it around your jar and cutting it to your desired length. Have your gift tags ready with your recipients name, and if making your gift tags, don’t forget to hole punch on the end to string your twine or ribbon through. I love a touch of fresh pine, holly or any greenery that you can tuck into your twine or ribbon once tied around the jar, so don’t forget to have sprigs on hand for some extra holiday flare.
6. Take your fabric, parchment or napkin square and cover the lid of your jar, while tying your twine or ribbon around the square to keep it secure. Add a gift tag, tie a good knot or bow, and you are ready to add a fresh cut sprig for the finishing touch! Sometimes I like to give a mug with my cocoa, so I will just place the jar of cocoa in the mug if it fits and wrap it in tissue and a gift bag. You can also attach a small cloth drawstring bag and add in a spirit of choice, like Rumple Minze or Bailey’s for them to give their cocoa an extra kick to help keep them warm on those colder nights!
Do us a favor – while making these delightful drink mixes, scoop some out and make a steaming mug for yourself. You deserve it!
One more thing that we love about this handmade gift? Each time the recipient takes it out to make a cozy cup, they will remember your thoughtfulness and toast your sweetness, all winter long.
– – – – – – – – – –
Marisa Carta Ratliff has a deeply rooted foundation in both art and food, and more specifically, styling and pastries. She is both a baker and maker, and when she’s not spending time with her husband or wrangling her wild-hearted two year old, she loves to spend her days playing with good food, and making it look how it tastes. She resides on the First Coast in Jacksonville, FL – just a hop, skip and a jump from the seafoam and salt air.