Giftable Cocoa Mixes and Printable Tags

My original intention was to come here last week and tell you all about my very first television appearance.  Well, things didn't go exactly as planned. 

I arrived at the station, where I met the producer and was directed backstage to set up my display and work area.  I was scheduled near the end of the show, so there was some waiting, but eventually my table and I were taken out onto the set.  I sat in the audience for a couple of segments, then they put on my mic.  They teased my cocoa mix right before the commercial break.

I stepped forward to head to my display when none other than Bernie Sanders popped out of a side door and walked right in front of me.  Yes, that Bernie Sanders.  He was so close I nearly ran right into him.  Politics aside, it was a little surreal. Apparently he just wrote a book, and had stopped by unexpectedly for an interview.  After he passed by, I walked over and stood where I was supposed to.

After a few minutes it was pretty clear he had a lot to say and it wasn't happening for me that day, which was confirmed by the stage manager.  Mr. Sanders did his thing, posed for some photos, then walked past me and my cocoa mix and left.

Everyone couldn't have been nicer about it.  We talked about when I might be able to come back, but just as I was about to pack up they decided to film the segment and air it another day. I think it had something to do with the effort I put into making my display festive, and I'm sure there's a lesson there somewhere.

On the set of Afternoon Live

On the set of Afternoon Live

I don’t know when it will end up airing, but I didn’t want to let the holiday season go by without sharing the recipe with you. I also bought some cute holiday clipart, and got the okay from the artist to offer the tags and recipes cards for you to print!

This is the basic recipe:

Basic Cocoa Mix

1 cup dry powdered milk

3/4 cup powdered creamer

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Combine the ingredients.

For Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix add to the basic mix:

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 cup crushed caramel hard candies (I like Werther's)

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix

For Peppermint Cocoa Mix add to the basic mix:

1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy canes or peppermint disks

Peppermint Cocoa Mix

Peppermint Cocoa Mix

For Cinnamon Cocoa Mix add to the basic mix:

1/4 cup cinnamon imperials (red hots)

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix

As you can see, I tried to get a little creative with the packaging.  If you decide to make filled ornaments like these, I'd recommend going with plastic over glass.  No one wants to find a chip in their cocoa! 

I put one serving of cocoa mix in each one, then finished filling it with layers of chocolate chips, mini marshmallows (on Amazon, since I can't find them in a store close to me any more) and more of the candy used to flavor the mix. 

If you intend to hang them, pull the top off and bend a little upward hook on each end of the wire to keep them from slipping out of the ornament.  If you'd like to stand them, my husband had the smart idea of gluing a button on the bottom to keep it from rolling.

I like the idea of giving these as individual or couple servings, so I found some small containers for that.  Some of these are from the craft store, others from the dollar section at Target.

Individual and Couple Servings of Cocoa Mix

Individual and Couple Servings of Cocoa Mix

I also made some with a tiny bottle of liquor attached.  There were three of these, but the one with the peppermint schnapps disappeared the moment I got home.  Mama needed a minute after the whole Bernie Sanders thing.

Cocoa Mix with Liquor Bottles

Cocoa Mix with Liquor Bottles

Have you noticed the tags?  I bought some clip art from the talented Little Sisters Studio on Creative Market to make these, and I'm so in love.

Milk Bottle with Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix

Milk Bottle with Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix

With the artist's permission, here are the tags for you to print!  Each one has a second page of red and black buffalo check in case you'd like to print it two sided and use that for the back like I did.

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix Tags

Peppermint Cocoa Mix Tags

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix Tags

And if you're feeling generous enough to share the recipe, here's recipe cards too!

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix Recipe Cards

Peppermint Cocoa Mix Recipe Cards

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix Recipe Cards

These mixes are great for last minute gifts, and it doesn't hurt to have some around for those drop-in guests or holiday parties either.  If they don't run out the door as soon as they're done talking about their book.

Slow Cooker Blackberry Apple Cider

This recipe is pretty going into the cooker, makes your house smell amazing for a few hours, provides you with a tasty hot beverage, then later a delicious cold drink, all with just a few ingredients, and it's very easy to make.  Does it get better than that?  Well, yes it does, because you can enjoy those delicious Oregon blackberries from the freezer in the cold of winter…

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