Gift Jars- Mayan Hot Chocolate

mayan cocoa gifts

I saw these cute little jars when I was looking at canning equipment the other day.  I didn’t buy them the first time I saw them because I didn’t think I was going to be doing any canning this year.  But then I saw them again later at another store and I couldn’t resist.  I thought maybe I would just do a few jams or jellies to put in the fridge or give as gifts but then I thought about doing something else entirely more easy, with ingredients I already had in the house.

ball jars

This year I have really been paying attention to how different foods compliment each other.  One of the greatest discoveries I have made in the kitchen this year is how chocolate and hot spice interact with each other.  Hot spices are a great way to bring out the flavor of chocolate and also gives you a nice “after effect”.  For this little recipe I suggest you leave instructions with the receiver of your gift to actually cut into the pepper if you include whole peppers.  If they give you a funny look, just tell them to live a little!

What you need:

-These cute jars or any other jar

-Spice of some kind (For appearance I included dried whole Thai peppers I grew in my garden last year.  You could also use a tad bit of crushed cayenne or other red pepper.)

-Sugar (1/4 cup per jar)

-Baking cocoa (use Fair Trade whenever possible- 1/4 cup per jar)

-2 large marshmallows per jar


baking cocoa

You can make a fancy label and attach it to your jars.  I made a quickie one here, but if I were to give these as gifts and make several, I would print some fancy stickers and put a little more work into it.  Unfortunately many of the ideas I have can be seriously improved upon but the wrangling of the 2 kids under 3 keeps me a little busy.  Fortunately I have super formulas like this that keep me going all day long!


The instructions you include should tell the receiver to add to 2 cups of warm milk.  I had some today since it got down into the ’40’s last night here in Minnesota.  A great excuse for hot cocoa!

yum cocoa

A shout out to my alma mater!  There are a lot of variations to this type of gift.  Obviously the pepper can be left out, but it really does add to the flavor and the uniqueness of this gift.  Consider adding cinnamon or other spices to your gift jars as well.  Each jar is to make 2 servings.  The perfect gift for 2 lovebirds soon to be stuck indoors for a long cold winter.


  1. Posted October 27, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    eeps! i bought those jars because they were just too darn cute!! now you have given mee a good use for them 😉

  2. Jami Martinson
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I love this, and love the little jars. I am looking for an inexpensive gift this year for friends and this is awesome. Do you have to do anything special with the pepper? Like cut the end off or anything? It adds so much spice to the look and I’m sure the taste too! I am really excited for Christmas now!