DIY Christmas Gifts -- Mexican Hot Cocoa

I have to apologize, I feel like I am the worst. I have sucked at posting this week. Things have been crazy busy at work but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Last year I made snickerdoodles for my homemade christmas gifts, which was fun for a little while, but when you triple the recipe you find yourself rolling out little cookie balls for hours. I decided to do something a little more low maintenance this year. I decided to make my own hot cocoa mix, Mexican hot cocoa to be exact. It is rich and indulgent; the heat from the cinnamon and ancho chile powder help to cut through all the chocolately goodness. I ordered chalk board labels online, from


 (It was quick, easy, and inexpensive), and put the mix into mason jars. I used 2 inch round labels. They made a very cute and easy gift for my family, friends, and coworkers!

It has taken me a little while to get on board with christmas this year. But something happened this week and I am christmas crazy! Maybe it has something to do with going to NYC this weekend to visit my sister, we are going to go to the Nutcracker and eat our way around the city. I am not a huge NYC fan (sorry NYC peeps), it just makes me so anxious. But it is pretty magical at Christmas time! My new Christmas energy could also be attributed to all of the menu planning my mom and I have been doing.

Anyway I suggest you make some of this hot cocoa this weekend, share it with someone you love (or hog it all yourself), and watch White Christmas or Home Alone (my two go to choices)!



DIY Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix

(makes 3 cups) adapted from Americas Test Kitchen

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate 
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, grind until you have a fine powder (about 1 minute). Transfer to an airtight container and keep at room temperature.

Don't like it hot? leave out the ancho chile powder, cayenne, and cinnamon! 

For one serving: heat 1 cup of milk over medium heat until it starts to steam and bubbles appear around the edge. Add 1-3 tablespoons (depending on how strong you like it) of the mix to the saucepan. Whisk constantly until simmering, pour into a mug and enjoy! 

Awesome extras

: marshmallows, khalua, boozy whipped cream, whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream.