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eat it, don't 
ear it
edible gift ideas
Lindsay McElderry | 1 2 3 4 5

So you're having trouble coming up with gift ideas for those difficult people on your holiday gift-giving list -- the ones who already have everything, or those who claim they want nothing. Or you need twenty-five inexpensive gifts for your entire department at work. Maybe you're just wracking your brain to find something thoughtful but not overly sentimental for that special someone you just started dating. Whatever the case may be, edible gifts please virtually everyone.

People will be impressed that you took the time and effort to make something yourself. No need to let them in on your little secret -- these gifts are surprisingly simple and thrifty! Get creative with gift-wrap and packaging, and your homemade gifts will have a finished quality that's sure to please even the most finicky folks. I've included a few ideas with each of the recipes, but the possibilities are limited only by your imagination…

hot cocoa mix (makes about 18 cups)
This recipe makes a lot -- enough to fill about 9 pint-size jars -- so keep that in mind if you decide to make it. You might want to halve or even quarter the recipe. Since the mix already has milk in it, a little hot water is all that's needed for a big steaming mug of chocolate. Attach a card with the following directions for turning the mix into a comforting cup of Hot Cocoa: "For one serving, stir 3 tablespoons of Hot Cocoa Mix into 1 cup of hot water until dissolved."

1 box (10 2/3 cups) powdered milk
1-6 oz. jar powdered nondairy coffee creamer (you can use plain or flavored)
4 cups confectioner's sugar
2 cups cocoa powder (unsweetened)

wire whisk
large mixing bowl

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk to blend. Store in an airtight container. You can also add mini-marshmallows into the mixture, or layer them with the Hot Cocoa mix in glass jars or plastic bags for presentation.

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