Every year, when the gift-giving season arrives, I find myself grappling for inspiration. The list of people who need remembering is long, and the last thing I want to do is hand out another gift card to the people in my life that need remembering in a meaningful way. I love giving gifts that come from my own two hands (or are at least arranged by my own two hands!) that show the recipient that I was really thinking about them when their gift was chosen. Gift baskets are a great way to do something a little special and use a few DIYs in with store-bought goodies. My good friend is a hot cocoa fiend and a lover of Silk Almondmilk. With her in mind, I set out to make a basket full of goodies that any cocoa lover would enjoy, and whipped up a recipe for non-dairy hot chocolate to make with the Silk Almondmilk I included in the basket.
How to Make a Non-Dairy Hot Chocolate Gift Basket
With hot chocolate as the theme, the basket can be full of all the yummy things that go with a nice hot cocoa snack. Silk Almondmilk or Silk Coconutmilk in the non-perishable box is the perfect centerpiece. A few sturdy mugs and spoons dipped in chocolate to stir into a hot cuppa are great additions. If you’re giving this basket to a lactose-intolerant recipient, be sure to dip your chocolate spoons in non-dairy chocolate. You’ll probably have to do this yourself for a non-dairy variety, but if any chocolate will do, you can purchase these already made.
In our basket is a nice big bag of homemade marshmallows to top off our non-dairy hot chocolate mugs. After you have these marshmallows, I promise you’ll never buy them from the store again! I love Alton Brown’s recipe, and the results are positively consistent every time I’ve made them.
A few gingerbread men are tucked in the basket; they’re wonderful with hot cocoa, and the chocolate, marshmallow sweet and hint of ginger smell is absolutely divine. These guys are unwrapped to have their picture taken, but be sure to have yours sealed up so they stay fresh!
The star of the show is the dairy-free hot cocoa. If you’re lactose-intolerant, it can be pretty hard to find a powdered hot cocoa mix to buy in the store, so this is sure to be appreciated. And even if dairy isn’t an issue, this cocoa mix is rich, chocolatey and oh-so-comforting. This recipe makes 3 to 3 1/2 cups, so make sure you make enough mix or just have the right size jar to fill up!
Dairy-free Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe
- 1 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
The best way to combine the cocoa powder, brown sugar and powdered sugar is to put them in the food processor for a bit. Brown sugar sometimes has chunks, and with the processor mixing everything up, you’ll get a fine powder in the end that is much more presentable as a gift. Pour your powder into a jar, and top with the chocolate chips to gift. To prepare the cocoa to drink, combine 1 cup of Almondmilk or Coconutmilk and 3 level tablespoons cocoa mix. Heat over stove, stirring occasionally until warm.
If you’re not up for mixing up cocoa or marshmallows, there are plenty of other great ideas to assemble a thoughtful handmade holiday gift basket for your loved ones. Here are a few to get you started:
- Dinner basket: Perfect for super busy people; it’s a dinner all thought out! Use a collander as the basket, add in a package of rice noodles, curry paste, Coconutmilk, and a pair of wooden serving spoons. They’ll just have to add veggies and meat to their curry stir-fry.
- Cookie basket: Fill a basket full of things to make Christmas cookies, like Almondmilk, Cookie cutters, dry cookie mix, a cookie sheet, parchment paper, a rolling pin and candies for cookie decorating.
- Baker’s Delight Basket: For the friend who loves to bake! Every baker can always use shiny new cupcake pans, a new dry cake or bread mix in a jar to try, Coconutmilk, vanilla, cupcake liners and measuring spoons. Place all your baking items into a big mixing bowl to gift.
- Smoothie basket: There are those out there that cannot imagine living without a daily smoothie; this basket is calling their name. Include a box of Silk Milk, stick blender and large glasses, fun straws and smoothie recipe book.
- Spa basket: That’s right! Silk is not just for the kitchen. Put together a spa basket with ingredients for a soothing milk bath. My Life and Kids has a great recipe! Of course, you’ll need to put in a box of Almondmilk, and include spa accessories like a sponge, eye mask a candle or two and some instructions on how to relax and enjoy your ever-so-thoughtful gift.
With all these gift basket ideas–which one would you like to receive or what’s your favorite gift basket idea?
Don’t forget to pin the dairy-free hot cocoa recipe for later!
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.