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Handmade Holidays: Cocoa Mix

Last week I shared how to make hand-rolled beeswax candles. This week I offer recipes for spice rub and cocoa mix in addition to the many jarred recipes at the bottom of this post. The series will conclude next Monday with ideas for perfectly packaging your handmade gifts. Have you ever read the ingredients on a box of commercial hot cocoa mix? Very often they are full of unpronounceable additives and artificial flavors.

cocoa mix made at home handmade cocoa mix gift

Cocoa mix is stunningly easy to make at home without all that icky stuff. The final quality will only be as good as the quality of the individual ingredients, so I use organic milk and sugar, fair trade cocoa powder and fresh spices in this recipe.

Package some hot cocoa mix in a vintage jar with a personalized top and you'll have a soul warming present in a matter of minutes. For a truly gourmet gift, add in a waxed paper envelope of homemade marshmallows!

Hot Cocoa Mix fills approximately 5 half pint jars from Alton Brown's foodtv recipe

2 cups powdered sugar (or regular sugar pulsed in the food processor until very fine) 2 1/2 cups powdered milk 1 cup cocoa powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1 pinch cayenne powder (or cinnamon or chili powder)

1. Mix all ingredients together. Whisk to remove caked bits or pulse in the food processor. 2. Pour into containers. 3. Clean up. This is a messy mix to make! 4. Use 2 tablespoons to one mug (8 oz) of hot water.

Other handmade food gift ideas: Liqueur Fruit Jam (apple, peach, or strawberry) Applesauce a loaf of bread (no-knead or cranberry) Sugared cranberries