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Holiday Cocoa to Gift or Keep

Make a bunch, but keep one for yourself.

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Everyone loves to gift and be gifted around the holidays, but there’s always something special about getting a gift made in the kitchen of someone you love. Ashley is the force behind the poetic and inspiring home and cooking blog, Not Without Salt, which tells stories of her family and friends, all tied together by one common thread: food.

I stumbled upon her Maple Hot Cocoa recipe while looking for holiday hostess gift ideas. This mix is so simple to make that kids could even have a hand in jarring up the chocolaty goodness. Ashley emphasizes that the maple sugar in this recipe is key. It sweetens the hot cocoa just enough and adds interest in flavor that’s perfect for an adult palate. A few marshmallows on top and any kid would love this cocoa just the same.

The fun in making your own hot cocoa mix is that it allows for creative freedom. You can layer the ingredients into jars of your choice in any order. As Ashley notes, you can slip a slender vanilla bean down along the side of the jar. It will flavor and perfume the cocoa mix, while looking elegant and luxurious all at the same time. Remember to leave a little bit of room at the top of the jar so that your recipients can shake all the ingredients together just before they’re ready to warm up a mug. 

To dress them up, adorn the jars with ribbons, bows and other festive touches, and definitely make an extra one for yourself. These cocoa jars are also lovely table or countertop decorations that you can use throughout the house. If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, consider making this recipe instead. All it will take is a trip to the supermarket.

Drink up, and happy holidays!


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  • User avater
    alex_tillotson | 12/19/2011

    What are some of your favorite holiday hostess gifts?

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