Monday, December 7, 2009

If I can do this, you can too!

I love showing my friends how much I care for them by making gifts for them.

This year, I am feeling pretty overwhelmed with a busy schedule that having three young kids gives you, in addition to settling into our new house, which is an ongoing process.

A freind emailed me last week to ask for my peppermint mocha recipe. It reminded me that DO have time to whip up some love in a jar for my friends.

Here are two ideas for gifts that are quick, easy and will be happily received. They can be made up in advance and then live in your pantry for spur-of-the-moment giving.

Peppermint mocha mix (click to link) Put this in a mason jar, tie a spoon on to it and paste the instructions in a pretty card. I gave this to a friend last year and she said it was better than Starbucks.
I use icing sugar in the recipe as it mixes with the cocoa powder better than granulated sugar. Use candy canes to give it festive green and red flecks.

Chocolate popcorn mix
In a large bowl stir together:
1-1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

and, if you are feeling brave, a dash of cayenne pepper.

Print out the following directions to give with a jar:
Chocolate popcorn: Melt 1/4 cup butter in the microwave or a small saucepan. Stir in 1/4 cup mix. Pour over 6 - 12 cups of popped popcorn and toss to coat well.

Give this gift with a gift card for movie rental and I am sure it will be well recieved!
Oh, and I actually mix one batch of this into 12 cups of popped popcorn and it still has a lot of sweetness and more crunch.

Make sure you save some of the mixes for yourself too!

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