For the final giftable recipe in this series, I decided on a beautiful, seasonal creation that people of all ages can enjoy. Layer the ingredients for this homemade candy cane hot chocolate in a jar and add some fun decorative touches like a fresh clipping of evergreen, wrap fabric over the lid, tie twine or ribbon and add a pretty tag. It not only looks beautiful, but it is so tasty, too! The bonus is this hot cocoa mix is vegan and gluten-free and depending on the ingredients you use, low in refined sugars as well. I listed two options, one which includes powdered non-dairy milk, like soy or rice (powdered dairy milk works, too) or if you cannot get your hands on any powdered non-dairy milk or you are unsure what the recipient prefers, then leave it out and just alter the directions. On it’s own or with a nice mug to compliment it, this simple DIY gift is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face!
Vegan Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Mix
Fills a 1 quart jar, makes 12 servings
1 cup powdered non-dairy milk, such as soy or rice (or powdered dairy milk, if you aren’t vegan)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (be sure it is vegan)
3/4 cup coconut sugar (or raw cane sugar)*
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed vegan peppermint candy (these particular candy canes are great – no GMOs, no HFCS, no artificial dyes, etc – http://www.trujoysweets.com/index.php)
1/2 cup vegan mini marshmallows
A few additional mini or full-sized candy canes
Layer the powdered non-dairy milk, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, salt, chocolate chips, and peppermint candy. If you’d like, you can add mini marshmallows to the top of the jar, if there is room or attach a plastic bag full to the jar. On the back of the gift tag, write:
“Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. For each serving, place 1/4 to 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water or non-dairy milk. Mix keeps in airtight container at room temperature for up to six months.”
If you wish to leave the powdered milk out, shake all of the remaining ingredients together (you may want to increase the ingredients by 25-50% to fill up the jar without the powdered non-dairy milk). Once fully mixed, add it to the jar and layer marshmallows on top, if there is room. Change the directions on the gift tag to read:
“For each serving, heat 8 ounces of your favorite non-dairy milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot (alternatively, microwave 2-1/2 minutes at full power). Whisk in 1/4 to 1/3 cup hot chocolate mix. Mix keeps in airtight container at room temperature for up to six months.”
*Consider making a homemade vanilla sugar first, using my recipe for vanilla sea salt http://blog.freepeople.com/2012/12/giftable-recipes-flavored-finishing-sea-salts/, replacing the salt with sugar. Use an equal amount of the vanilla sugar instead of plain sugar in in this recipe and it takes it to a whole new level!!
**Note: if your container is a different size, just keep the ratio of ingredients constant.**
For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.
More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog!