Friday, January 06, 2012

Christmas gift ideas

Am I jumping the gun by getting ready for next Christmas at the beginning of the year?  I don't think so, especially since starting now will save me money in December.  I stopped in at Goodwill tonight where all their remaining Christmas items are 50% off.

Aren't these mugs cute?  I bought mugs that I filled with homemade treats for gifts this past Christmas and I paid about $4 each for the mugs, which I thought was an ok price.  But these mugs?  Only 25 cents each!  And much cuter than the ones I bought.  I don't feel bad about buying used mugs since they're in perfect condition and I plan on filling them with candies or cocoa, like this recipe:

World's Best Hot Chocolate
Recipe from Short Stop


8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (I use mini-chocolate chips)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Store mix in an airtight container.

For 4 servings:

2/3 cup cocoa mix
1/4 cup water
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large pan on low heat, stir cocoa mix and water until melted. Add milk and beat with whisk until smooth. Heat on low until hot. Add vanilla. Serve.

*For a single serving, add 2 heaping tablespoons of mix in the bottom of a mug. Pour 1/8 cup boiling water (don't measure - just add enough to cover the chocolate) and stir until the chocolate melts. Add milk to the top of your mug and add a splash of vanilla. Microwave until heated.

Now, I love me some Land O' Lakes mint hot chocolate, but this is a close second and pretty economical to make for a gift.  Enjoy!

Edit:  I made the recipe again because I thought it was a bit sweet and now I really do think its the best hot chocolate I've ever had!  I reduced the sugar to 1/2 a cup and substituted 4 oz of chopped mint Hershey's kisses for half of the chocolate chips.  The mint gives a subtle mint taste to the cocoa.  Oh, and do try this with whole milk at least once!  And it doesn't hurt to add a dollop of whipped cream to the top of your mug.  :-)

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