Friday, December 4, 2015

Easy-to-make gift (no special skills required): Decadent drinking chocolate ornament balls


A very quick gift to make. Decadent Peppermint Drinking Chocolate packaged in plastic ornament balls. All four of these took me about 30 minutes, total, and cost about $5.50 to make. These could be made with a less expensive cocoa mix, which would reduce the price substantially. I'm giving these to a family. But a single ball would make a nice, affordable teacher gift.


I bought the fillable ornament balls 50% off at Michael's, for 50cents each. I know Hobby Lobby has also carried these. The balls come in several sizes. For a ball which makes 1 mug of drinking chocolate, the 2.5-inch diameter ball is the right size.


There are several brands of premium, sweetened drinking chocolate on the market now. Ghirardelli has one that you can buy in the supermarket. I bought Trader Joe's version for $3.99 a tin (enough to make 7 of these balls). The drinking chocolate does not have milk in it, just sugar and chocolate or cocoa. They're meant to be mixed with milk (as opposed to something like a Swiss Miss instant cocoa). So, I added instant powdered milk, some crushed candy canes, and a little bit of finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips to the drinking chocolate powder.

Here's how I made them.


First, I washed the insides of the plastic balls with hot, soapy water. I turned them upside and supported each on the handle end of a plastic fork, so they could drain and dry out completely. I allowed them to dry overnight.


The next day, I began to fill the balls. I set the uncapped balls in an open egg carton, and used a plastic funnel.


I spooned the amount of drinking chocolate powder, that the tin called for, to make 3/4 cup of beverage (in this case, it was 3 tablespoons). I gently shook the ball, to level the chocolate powder.

Next, I measured in 5 tablespoons of instant powdered milk, leveling each ball after.

I crushed 1  1/2 tiny candy canes in a plastic baggie, for each ball. I shook 1/2 tablespoon of additional milk powder, with the crushed candy canes, to help keep the crushed candy dry.

I topped each of the balls with 1 tablespoon of finely chopped, semi-sweet chocolate chips (poured through the funnel slowly, to prevent clogs), and 1 more tablespoon of drinking chocolate powder.

After wiping the exterior of each ball clean, I put the ornament cap back in place, and tied a little ribbon to the top of each ornament ball.

To make 1 mug of drinking chocolate, pour the contents of 1 ball into a 12-oz mug, add 1 cup of very hot water to the mug and stir.


These are to be sent to my brother's family. I'll include a little card with instructions on how to make each cup of drinking chocolate. I think they're awfully cute, and personally would find them delightful to receive.

18 comments:

  1. Do have problems with the chocolate chip pieces clogging when you pour the mix out?

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      it shouldn't be too difficult to get the contents out. Mixing in 1 extra tablespoon of drinking chocolate mix should help keep the contents pouring out. I did chop the chocolate pieces pretty fine. They would pack together in the funnel as I used a utensil to poke it all through. And I imagine that as the contents are poured back out, all of the ingredients will begin to mix and help keep the more clump-able ingredients separate. Plus, the opening to the ornaments is larger than the funnel that I used, allowing ingredients to flow even better going out, than in.

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  2. What a clever idea! Too bad I've already purchased hot chocolate packets and chocolate stirrers for the kids in my Sunday School class ... you and I are definitely on the same wavelength for inexpensive but thoughtful gifts!

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    1. Hi Kris,
      I know very few people who wouldn't love some good hot chocolate! So your Sunday School class will be very happy with your thoughtful gift to them!

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  3. I am definitely going to do this! I think they would look lovely as place settings for our Christmas dinner!!! Thanks for the awesome idea!

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    1. Hi Traycee,
      what a great idea, to put them at each place setting for Christmas dinner!

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  4. They are really cute, Lili. I would love to receive one of these as a gift. And I know several people who would like to receive one. You could even do one of those cakes in a mug in one of these. The possibilities are endless.

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    1. Hi Belinda,
      Oh, a cake in a mug mix would be a fun-to-receive gift, as well. I've also thought about handmade bath salts in these ornaments.

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  5. Love the idea. And is that Portmeirion pottery I see in the background of pictures 5 & 6?

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    1. Hi there,
      yep, those are some Portmeirion Botanic Garden canisters in the background. Having a few things that I love to look at, makes me happy!

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  6. What a delight to see... hanging on one's tree until the appointed time...beckoning Christmas morning. Such a nice, warm wish to send. At first I couldn't understand why not send a box of hot chocolate mix...but definitely not the same!!

    YHF

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    1. Hi YHF,
      This just sort of dresses up the gift of hot chocolate mix. I've also seen some beautiful jars of hot chocolate, given as gifts.

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  7. Hi Lili,
    That is such a great idea! I think anyone would love to receive that as a gift. Homemade gifts like that are always appreciated because of the effort & thought put into them.
    Rhonda

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    1. Hi Rhonda,
      I think they're awfully cute. And I agree, homemade is so nice to receive.

      I happened to be at Michael's last night getting supplies for my daughter's project, and saw they had those plastic ornament balls for 75% off, making them 25 cents a piece. I wasn't thinking, and didn't buy any more. I should have, but we were focused on getting my daughter's supplies, and it was nearly 11 PM (Michael's was open until 11 last night, who knew?).

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  8. That's a very fun way of giving a hot chocolate gift, Lili. I'll have to remember it for the future. Peppermint hot chocolate--yum!
    Mary

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    1. Hi Mary,
      I hope my brother's family likes them! Yes! I love mint and chocolate combined, too!

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  9. Very cute :) I love to receive personal gifts. What a fun gift.
    Patti

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    1. Hi Patti,
      Thank you. I love receiving handmade gifts. It's fun to see what other people make!

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I'm so glad that you stopped by today. Please comment, and let me know what you're thinking.