Dec 14 2012
I love a good theme gift, no matter what the holiday. There’s just something about a package of related gifts that seems so much more thoughtful than a bunch of random things. For my siblings, I assembled a breakfast gift basket around the main gift of an electric griddle. Pancake mix, jam, cute mugs and hot cocoa mix.
I had never made hot cocoa mix but the packet stuff tastes so fake to me and Alton Brown makes DIY seem so easy! In fact, it’s really just a matter of grabbing a few things at the grocery store and mixing them together. Seriously. I picked up some small-ish containers at Macy’s and tied on a tag with prep instructions and I was done!
And I had enough mix left over to fill my own mug a few times but I’ve already made a second batch, it was so good! The chocolate flavor is deep and you can control the sweetness so easily–I found this recipe to be perfect but you may wish to lessen the powdered sugar. The Dutch process cocoa not only has a nice flavor but it dissolves much more easily than regular cocoa powder does. This time of year, I find it hard to snag a tub of Dutch process but the first store I went to had Hershey’s “Special Dark” which is a blend of Dutch process and regular and it worked just fine. For the powdered milk, try to go with a premium brand for gifts–I chose Carnation over the store brand at first and it had a much finer texture, giving a prettier and more uniform powder since it matched more closely with the sugar and cocoa. For my own batch, I tried the store brand and the actual drink was just as good but the powder had big granules of milk in it.
If you’re going through the trouble of making a homemade theme gift, you might as well make it as pretty as possible!