Posts Tagged ‘marshmallow’
Holiday gifts are such a challenge for crafters. It seems like a no-brainer to make a gift but in the end it’s an expensive, time-consuming, soul-crushing experience. Sobs between sips of heavily-spiked eggnog, fingers crooked and bleeding after hours and hours of work. It’s not worth it. Sorry, family and friends. You’re all lovely people and you deserve great gifts but it’s just not possible.
My mom’s family is diverse and pretty large. I can’t afford to buy the kind of presents that they deserve for each and every one of them and I like to think that, since they are all grown adults, they buy themselves the things that they really want. I try to give everyone the same gift (so it’s equal) which presents another challenge. It’s really difficult to find something that they would all like and use or put in their homes. I refuse to give weird pieces of crap also known as “decorations” or “tchotchkies” because I don’t think I’d like to receive any. We don’t have the same taste and that’s ok, let’s just not pretend that we do.
So I like to gift them with food. Everybody likes to eat and generally everyone cooks or bakes at least enough to get by. Buying food gifts can get expensive (gift baskets, fancy chocolates, liquor) so I try to keep everything DIY. I’ll be the first person to tell you that DIY gifts do not mean free or cheap but when it comes to food, you can keep it relatively inexpensive while staying fun and thoughtful. Besides, DIY gifts are like a present for the gifter as much as they are the giftee. Making gifts is fun and rewarding even when it’s exhausting and all of your hair has fallen out.
Last year I put together these hot chocolate mugs. They were really fun and adorable and probably cost less than $5 for each mug. If you cut the marshmallows as I suggest below (using a biscuit cutter that’s just slightly smaller than the opening of the mug), you’ll be able to sip the cocoa through the marshmallow the way you would with whipped cream. It’ll be like a cloud keeping it hot and yummy. This is my favorite part.
While packaging everything up in this “I thought of you and hope you enjoy a cozy evening courtesy of me!” kind of way is lovely and gifty, the key to this present is the marshmallows. People that have never made marshmallows before think that they are witchcraft. They’ve never given any thought to where marshmallows come from (marshmallow trees?). They will be very impressed with you.
Here’s how to do it!
1. Make your marshmallows. While they’re setting up, put together the hot chocolate mix.
2. Line the mug with one of the little gift bags. Pour in hot chocolate mix to fill about 3/4 of the mug.
3. Now that the marshmallows have set, use the biscuit cutter to cut them into circles. Dust them lightly in confectioners sugar and place two or three over the hot chocolate mix. Close the bag and secure with ribbon.
4. Add a gift tag with instructions for the cocoa mix and maybe even include a recipe in case they want more.
Ta da! Merry Christmas!
Next week, I’ll be sharing a few more quick and inexpensive DIY gifts so stay tuned!
What’s your favorite DIY gift to give? How do you gift food?
* The mugs are the most expensive part of the gift. You can pick up adorable Christmas themed mugs at the dollar store or you can go all out and buy a hand-thrown piece on Etsy. Let your budget be your guide. (I used these CB2 mugs because I loved that they came with a little spoon. I believe they’ve been discontinued but here they are on ebay. $3 per mug! ) But this mug will become your relative’s new hot chocolate mug and when you see them next Christmas they will say, “Every time I drink hot chocolate in that mug I think of you!” Awww! Choose wisely.
Oh my I have big news! I’ve dropped right off the face of the earth but it’s because I have so much fun stuff brewing. I had big plans for gift guides and I’ve got so many FOs to share but that will all have to wait. Because we are moving! Jon and I have finally found a really amazing apartment for ourselves and no more sharing! Nothing is more stressful than moving so add that to the chaos of the holidays and I’m just slightly incoherent right now.
Anyway, I’m going to have so much after the New Year. And I can’t wait to share our first grown up apartment with you all. 2012 is going to be a very exciting year!
Hopefully I can squeeze in a few more posts before the holidays but you can find me on Twitter if you want to read a live feed of me losing my mind.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Jon gave me that adorable sweater mug for Chanukah. How cozy is it with a gigantic homemade marshmallow floating in hot chocolate?!
What do you give the girl that has everything (in boxes)? I wanted to bring my friend Ashley something special to welcome her into her new apartment. Wine is a classic and always appreciated but I like to think that I am less conventional. Last year, Ashley gave me a really beautiful flower when I moved. I went with a new recipe I found and made these hot chocolate cookies from Baked Bree. They certainly didn’t turn out as beautiful as Bree’s but they taste amazing!
Ashley’s got a great little studio that her cat is just loving. What a great space, you lucky girl!
These cookies were a great double whammy because I brought half of the batch to Chanukah dinner with Jon’s family. I think they were a hit…even though there were leftovers, his mom asked to keep them. I hate to see a great cookie go to waste, don’t you?
What do you give for housewarming gifts?
By the way, don’t these cookie pictures look fantastic. I think it’s time to start using a real camera and leave my iPhone to the snapshots!