Homemade food gifts are fun to make and share, especially during the holidays. There is something so special about giving a gift that you’ve put your hands and heart into. Holiday Ho Ho Cocoa Mix is a warm, sweet way to say “Happy Holidays!” ~ that’s why it’s the star of The Recipe Box in December’s issue of Direct Magazine.
Delicious cookies and cakes, spiced nuts, and even homemade beverages and liqueurs are all the rage this time of year, and righty so; there’s no shortage of delectable holiday treats. I love gifting mixes in addition to baked goods and candies; packages of soups, pancakes, cookies and other delights can be made at a later time, extending that warm fuzzy holiday feeling long after other treats have disappeared.
Adapted from an old Girl Scout Camp recipe, this cocoa mix has been a hands-down favorite for my family. Every year we would break out our biggest mixing bowl and whisk up a huge batch to be wrapped up with chocolate-dipped spoons, candy canes, marshmallows and treats, making an extra-sweet gift for our neighbors, teachers, coaches, and Scout leaders.
You can adjust the amount of sugar and coffee creamer to suit your taste – if it’s too sweet, use less. Not sweet enough? Add a little more! If you don’t like the flavored creamers, that’s okay – but don’t omit the creamer entirely, as it will make a difference in the final product – just use plain coffee creamer. (I think that Coffee Mate gives the creamiest texture – that’s just my personal opinion; this is not a sponsored post!)
Kids can easily help with this recipe; they’ll have fun choosing flavors, mixing the cocoa, dipping and sprinkling the spoons and wrapping the goodies in bags, boxes, mugs.
Of course, taste testing is mandatory for quality control!
There are so many cute ways to package the cocoa along with chocolate-dipped spoons, marshmallows, candy canes, chocolate and peanut butter chips and even cinnamon candies.
Even a plain little brown handle bag is adorable when stuffed with all the makings of a cozy cup of cocoa!
You can portion out the mix in snack sized zip bags for individual servings so your lucky recipients don’t even have to measure it (how easy is that?!?!).
Holiday tins, burlap and cello bags, cups and mugs make great packages…or look for vintage tins and cups, measuring cups, thermoses and such.
Fun and pretty holiday ribbons will tie everything together and hold the instructions, which you can design and print out. (One year we made the greeting and directions into a poem!)
For even more holiday cheer, check out my step-by-step instructions for making your own marshmallows – they melt so softly into the hot cocoa and they are seriously fun and easy to make!
Don’t forget to fill up your favorite holiday tin with enough for your family to enjoy together as you celebrate the holiday season. In fact, I think you should go ahead and make a whole kit and keep it right on your counter for cocoa anytime…enjoy!
It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. ~ Mother Teresa
- For the cocoa mix:
- 8 cups powdered dry milk
- 2 lbs. Nestle Quik Powdered Chocolate Milk Mix
- 1 lb. box confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- 1 lb. coffee creamer, plain or flavored
- 2 (3 oz.) canisters “Mallow Bits” tiny marshmallows (mix in or package separately)
- Chocolate or other flavor candy melts
- candy canes
- chocolate chips
- peanut butter chips
- cinnamon red hot candies
- In a very large bowl, combine all the cocoa ingredients.
- Using a large whisk, mix together until everything is thoroughly blended and there are no lumps (if the powdered sugar looks lumpy in the box, sift it into the bowl).
- Store in airtight containers or zip bags. Makes about 20 cups of mix.
- To make the cocoa: combine 4 Tbsp. dry mix with 1 cup hot water and mix well. Multiply by appropriate quantities for serving in batches.
- *Top with more marshmallows or whipped cream and miniature chocolate chips.
- *For peppermint cocoa, drop a mini-candy cane into the hot cocoa and stir.
- *Dip plastic spoons in chocolate candy melts and stir in for extra rich cocoa.
- *For cinnamon cocoa, drop a few red-hot candies into the hot cocoa and stir.
- *Dip spoons into peanut butter candy melts to stir in, or drop in peanut butter baking chips for chocolate-peanut butter cocoa.
- *Try dipping spoons in different candy melt flavors – raspberry, marshmallow, eggnog, gingerbread, etc…
- *Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle the dipped spoons with holiday sprinkles, tiny marshmallows, crushed candy canes or miniature chocolate chips.