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Friday, December 4, 2015

Easy-To-Make Gift (No Special Skills Required): Decadent Drinking Chocolate Filled Ornaments

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.


Live and Learn said...

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

Lili said...

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.

Kris said...

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!

Lili said...

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!

Tracy said...

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!

Lili said...

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

Belinda said...

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.

Unknown said...

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

Anonymous said...

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!!


Lili said...

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.

Lili said...

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!

Lili said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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.

Lili said...

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?).

Anonymous said...

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!

Precious People Preschool said...

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

Lili said...

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

Lili said...

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

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