When the time of the year that calls for sweaters and football rolls around, most people are thinking about pumpkins and other fun fall events.
Being the foodie that I am, I think about pumpkin foods and drinks, cookies, Thanksgiving preparation, and hot chocolate. For me, this treat is something I drink at night to calm my soul before bed.
As I plan for the holidays, I have also seen them creeping up as great gifts to give my family and friends. I figured in this post, I would combine these two sweet smile makers of mine and show you some great gift ideas that other people have come up with.
Delicious Hot Chocolate Recipes
1. Chocolate Spoons
This is the perfect way to start the hot chocolate post. Way back when our oldest daughter was eight she read a magazine that called for a recipe similar to this and we made it for ourselves.
The fun part of this is that you can take a coffee mug (the dollar store is a great place to find them for super cheap) and add the spoon to it for a simple and elegant gift. Giustina over at Domestically Blissful made these spoons and the reason I chose her spoons as she made several different flavors, showing you the creativity you can have when making this gift. If you know what your friends like, add that to the chocolate. All they have to do is add the warm milk. Simple and delicious!
2. Pink, It's My Favorite Color
I love the fact that she uses chocolate chips. While most people flavor their coffee with sugar and creamer, I choose to use chips of some sort – be it chocolate, white chocolate, or more unique varieties. She also uses pudding, dry milk, and strawberry Nesquick.
She used this as a Valentine's Day recipe but I think that a person who really likes pink would love this as a gift. Or a person who does their kitchen in a Candyland theme for the holidays. I am one of those people! Having pink hot chocolate would make me feel extra cozy while I am sitting in my kitchen/dining room area.
This very interesting recipe comes from Megan over at Homemade Ginger. Be sure to read the entire article as she also has a great recipe for Funfetti hot chocolate!
3. Reindeer Gifts
Chrysa over at Thrifty Jinxy made this cute little reindeer. And, of course, I really like this recipe because she uses chocolate chips. The googly eyes mean that it would be perfect to go in little one's stockings. Adding the directions makes it easier for moms and dads to help their little ones make the recipe.
The only complaint I have for this recipe is that she uses Swiss Miss to make the hot chocolate in the recipe. Since I have been making my own hot chocolate for so long I do not like the taste of Swiss Miss or just about any other hot chocolate mix on the market (though, there are a few exceptions to that rule). What I would do then is just use my own hot chocolate mix and add the rest of the greatness she puts in the reindeer. Wa-La! Easy enough.
4. Upscaled Reindeer
The author over at Project Nursery came up with this cute idea that uses some of the same ideas from number three, but just kicks it up a notch.
Instead of making the hot chocolate itself a reindeer, she makes the cup the reindeer by adding a sleeve. She adds in some really cute extras including marshmallows, mints that melt quickly, and spoons. I am not really sure why the straws were added because they would get soft very quickly if used in a hot drink. As it is they start to get soft within an hour of being in a cold drink. I do love their cuteness though!
5. Keeping with the Theme- Melted Snowman Hot Chocolate
How delicious are these cute melted snowmen made by Camille over at Growing Up Gabel? This is a pretty easy recipe to make. You can use your own hot chocolate mix and add it about three-fourths of the way to the top and then add large marshmallows. Once you have the seal on, use a permanent marker and add the decorations to make the snowman.
I recommend adding the drink making recipe on the bottom of the topper that was added. It would be a shame to leave the receiver guessing on how to make your fabulous drink.
6. Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate Truffles
I couldn't get over how cool these are. Elizabeth over at Sugar Hero made these by combining chocolate chips, pumpkin spice creamer, cocoa powder, and a few more trinkets. She takes you through the process of taking the ingredients and turning them into pumpkins to make the chocolate portion of the hot chocolate. All you or the receiver has to do is warm up a cup of milk, add the pumpkin, stir, and watch it dissolve.
I dare say – these truffles are probably my favorite on the list. So unique and it sounds so delicious.
7. Host the Party – Hot Chocolate Bar
Brandie over at Home Cooking Memories came up with this cute idea and I absolutely love it. Instead of giving a physical gift, you could give the gift of time and memories. Hence the name of her blog!
A couple of years ago, I had the idea of hosting a party where kids drew on brown wrapping paper. There was a hot chocolate bar similar to this one, and everyone brought a container filled with cookies. We exchanged cookies and everyone- adults and kids alike- had a great time. Afterwards, we turned a movie on in the game room and made a pallet on the floor for the little ones while the parents got the gifts for their children. We wrapped them together using the paper that had just been decorated by their little ones, listened to Christmas music and enjoyed each others' company.
8. For the Health Nut in Your Life
The next few hot chocolate recipes cater to those who think outside the box when it comes to food and drink- no matter if it's for health reasons or personal reasons. This recipe is for those who are possibly low carb and high protein. I am sure that it tastes good because Arman is known for making delicious desserts that are healthier than the average sweet tooth cure. If that intrigues you be sure to check out his blog The Big Man's World.
9. For the Vegan/Gluten Free Person in Your Life
This one really excites me because I have a student who is allergic to gluten. Some people say they are gluten intolerant but have never been diagnosed, going based on what is popular right now. My student, however, truly is. She breaks out in hives and swells up. Very scary! I make sure to adjust our recipes the best I can to accommodate her and this is one way that I can.
Plus it still looks delicious! Margaret over at the Plant Strong Vegan came up with this recipe that is perfect for those who are Paleo, Gluten Free, and Dairy Free.
10. Italian Hot Chocolate
This thick hot chocolate looks so good. Her original recipe is a powdered mix. It has a secret ingredient that makes it extra thick- cornstarch. The great thing about cornstarch is it is gluten free as well. Recently we substituted cornstarch for flour in a soup recipe at school.
The great thing for the receiver of the Italian hot chocolate is that they only need three tablespoons of milk to make it. Be sure to check out Elana's blog at As Easy As Pie.
11. Cute Container
I can't get over how cute these Blendtec containers that Amy over at Organized Mom uses as a gift. Blendtec has to be one of the best blenders out there, and to see that they have containers and other utensils that we can use makes me very happy. I can promise you that if their other products are anything like the blenders they make, it is a product you can rely on to hold out time after time!
Added bonus? In case I haven't said it already, these containers have the double advantage of being a product that the gift receiver can use over and over again and the hot chocolate that can be used at least a few times and in a couple of different ways. Perfect for a family who likes different things!
12. For the Masses
Although it doesn't have a post I can send you too, it seems easy enough to figure out. The author of the picture made the face using a sharpie and some googly eyes.
For the inserts, they added a Swiss Miss bag (or something similar), two candy canes and some marshmallows along with a cute little recipe poem card.
This picture had no link but would be super easy to make for a large group of people. As a teacher, I am always looking for a fun, inexpensive way to give my seventy-five or so students a gift for Christmas or the end of the year.
13. Make an Ornament
I cannot get over the cuteness of these. I know that I will have my girls make these for their teachers this year. She gives you several different recipes to choose from and, again, uses chocolate chips which always makes me happy. I like that she uses sprinkles too because it adds to the cute effect that these ornaments have going on. Not to mention, it looks adorable in the cup as well. It's just a shame we can't add whipping cream to the mix!
As with post eleven, if the receiver chooses, they can reuse the ornament for something else, be it a gift to someone or for decorating the inside in a manner that will look cute on their Christmas tree. For lots of different inspiration ideas, be sure to check out Sprinkle Some Fun‘s post.
14. Going Beyond
Jillian over at Food, Folks, and Fun came up with this creative idea that goes beyond just the average hot chocolate gift.
She gives you the recipe for gingerbread cookies and shows you how to add them to a mini candy cane in order to hang them over the edge of a mug of hot chocolate. The best part about this recipe is that the entire thing is edible.
Maybe you are going to a cookie exchange this year. This would be a perfect gift to bring along. Be sure to check out her post in order to see her step by step guide and pictures of her adorable daughter!
15. On a Stick
How cute are these chocolate coated marshmallows? Created by Jane over at Make and Takes they are a perfect treat for someone craving a sweet warmth. I have to give her mad props- she informed us very quickly in her post that the recipe was not her own. Though she did use her own homemade marshmallow recipe and I am all for that because – have you ever tried homemade marshmallows?
It started out as a recipe from King Arthur Flour and added the chocolate blocks. The sticks, bags, and ribbon are such a cute addition. I still think that it needs a cute cup (again, dollar tree, anyone) to make the perfect gift.
We all know there is a hot chocolate for everyone. Well, except those people who don't like chocolate. In which case, they don't need hot chocolate anyways. For everyone else, there are many different ways to get creative with your hot chocolate recipe and make them perfect gifts for your loved one, neighbors, teachers, and even someone needing a little extra pick me up!