Patricia Heaton's Best Hot Cocoa Mix

One of the coziest moments in life is waking up on a cold morning to a cup of hot cocoa and Patricia Heaton wanted to include this tradition in her family-oriented cookbook. She recommends sending your guests off with this simple, yet very sweet gift after a party to keep them warm. This recipe makes 4 1-pint gift jars, each of which will make about 8 cups of cocoa. Find more recipes like this one here.

From Food for Family and Friends: 100 Favorite Recipes for a Busy, Happy Lifeby Patricia Heaton. Copyright © 2018. Reprinted by permission of Morrow Cookbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Four 1-pint mason jars
1 1/2 cups Cocoa powder
1 cup Vanilla sugar (see DIY instructions)
pinch Sea salt
2 cups Mini marshmallows

Make your own DIY vanilla sugar by scraping out the seeds of the vanilla beans and then tucking the pod into a jar of granulated sugar. After 1 week, the sugar will be fragrant and add a vanilla flavor to anything you use it in. No need to discard the pod; it can stay in the sugar jar indefinitely. If you don't have time to make your own vanilla sugar, however, use granulated sugar and instruct your guests, on the label, to add a splash of vanilla extract to their cocoa right before serving.

Whisk the cocoa, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.

Divide the mix among the mason jars. Top each with 1/2 cup marshmallows. Make labels or decorative tags for each that read: To make hot cocoa, give the jar a shake to mix in the marshmallows, and stir 2 tablespoons of mix into 1 cup of hot milk.