DIY Mason Jar Holiday Gifts: Homemade Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows

By Lauren Wells / Photography By Cayla Zahoran | Last Updated December 01, 2013
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Homemade Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows

Edible Holidays: Reach for the Jars

If beverages symbolized memories, hot chocolate would be at the forefront of youth; the nostalgia of childhood brimming in each rich, frothy cup. Timeless, simple, and universally delicious, hot cocoa serves as a “comfort drink” of sorts — a reminder to unwind, to appreciate the little things, and to savor every last drop. As we embark on the snowfalls and holidays surrounding the winter months, avoiding stress and maintaining clarity of mind often become arduous tasks. Memory is powerful, though — and sometimes, just a sip of hot chocolate can warm the heart, awaken the mind, and restore simplicity. Here, incorporating easy-to-make recipes from three hot chocolate connoisseurs, we’ve paved the path for you to spread some Mason jar magic this season. Comprised of equal parts decorative ribbon and thoughtfulness, these do-it-yourself gifts offer a tasty, homemade treat and an invitation to relax, bundled up into personalized packages for your favorite recipients. After all, the finished products are as sweet as…well, chocolate.

Ready, Set, Get Crafty

It’s time to jazz up those Mason jars, and who better to consult for decorating advice than the experts at LOOM Exquisite Textiles? The Strip District shop is known for its bountiful fabrics, pretty ribbons, and various crafting supplies, ensuring you won’t leave empty-handed. Designer and Visual Merchandiser John Gurman believes the more you can personalize a gift, the better. “Personally, I love tying a beautiful wired or doubled-faced satin ribbon around Champagne bottles as host or hostess gifts,” he shares.

Mix it Up!

Your jars have been customized to perfection. Now, all that’s missing are a few spoonfuls of sweetness. Start with Cafe Raymond’s classic hot chocolate mix recipe, which incorporates vanilla bean to “give the cocoa a little something extra,” according to owner and chef Raymond Mikesell. Not feeling hot chocolate? Chai tea is an excellent alternative — and Prestogeorge Coffee & Tea happens to whip up a delicious chai mix.

Next on the list: marshmallows. Gooey, light, and flavorful, homemade marshmallows will be a welcomed surprise in your Mason jar gifts — and are actually quite simple to make. Enjoy them over hot cocoa, or by themselves! Meghann Walsh, pastry chef at Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar, suggests dipping marshmallows in chocolate for a special treat. “You can never go wrong with chocolate,” she says.

Of course, the ideal finishing touch to any dessert is — you guessed it — whipped cream. To integrate the fluffy goodness into these gifts, we recommend attaching a decorative tag, complete with recipe instructions, to the jar. Turner Dairy Farms Marketing Director Nicholas Yon shares his recipe here, noting: “Making whipped cream at home is a great way to get children involved in the kitchen.”

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