Homemade Gifts for a Chocolate Lover on a Diet

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One of my favorite bloggers, Kimberly Michelle, hosted a homemade gift exchange via Elfster (a fun gift exchange site that arranges “Secret Santa” giveaways).

Elfster lets you ask anonymous questions to people in your gift exchange, so I was able to find out that my giftee, Amy, loves chocolate but is on a diet. I momentarily panicked because most things I make do not mesh with diets. Then I got creative and thought a little outside the box. I’m actually glad she is on a low-cal diet because it challenged me to get out of my comfort zone of decadent baked goods. Plus, I discovered a great (and super easy) homemade gift that I’m going to give out to friends this holiday season: sugar hand scrubs!

Sugar scrubs are an easy homemade gift that are especially great in the winter for dry, chapped hands. You can make them in a lot of different scents, so I added cocoa powder so that Amy could enjoy the scent of chocolate without actually consuming any extra calories.

Apply to wet hands and lightly rub in a circular motion. Let sit for a few minutes then rinse.

You end up with soft, moisturized hands!

I still wanted to make something edible (I am a food blogger, after all) so I went with a chocolate meringue kisses. These are fat free and low calorie, so Amy can eat them without too much guilt. I hope she enjoys my chocolate gifts. I can’t wait to see what I receive in the gift exchange!

Are you making any homemade gifts this year?




Chocolate Hand Scrub

Makes enough to fill 2 4-oz. jelly jars, plus a little extra that you can keep for yourself!

  • 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of oil of your choice (I used olive oil)

Combine cocoa powder, brown sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Mix in oil gradually until it becomes a thick paste. Pour into a jar and attach a label and the directions from below.

To use: Apply to wet hands and rub in a circular motion, concentrating on dry or rough patches. Leave on for 3 minutes then thoroughly rinse with warm water.

Chocolate Meringues Kisses

Makes around 20 2-inch cookies

  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup granulated, superfine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, sifted
Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat silicone baking mats.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer with whisk attachment on low-medium speed to beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until egg whites hold soft peaks. Switch mixer to medium-high speed and add a little sugar at a time. Beat until all sugar is incorporated and the mixture is glossy and can hold very stiff peaks. Add vanilla and cocoa and mix on low speed until combined.
Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used the jumbo closed star tip from Bake It Pretty)*. Pipe 2-inch kisses onto the prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake in the middle of the oven for 2 hours. Turn oven off and leave meringues in it for at least 2 more hours or until they are completely dry.
*If you don’t have a pastry bag or don’t want to pipe them, you can use a spoon to scoop meringue onto baking sheets and make round cookies instead.
21 Responses to “Homemade Gifts for a Chocolate Lover on a Diet”
  1. Heidi @ Food Doodles writes:

    Mmmm, that scrub sounds awesome! But I really love meringues. I can’t believe I’ve never tried a chocolate one! Yours look so pretty – I’m going to bookmark the recipe to try sometime :)

  2. Beth Michelle writes:

    LOVE that scrub! And, diet or no diet, you can not go wrong with meringues, especially chocolate ones!

  3. Stephanie writes:

    @Heidi – Thanks! It’s so easy to make meringues look pretty. They hold any shape you make them in, so you just need a piping bag and a tip. Enjoy!

  4. Stephanie writes:

    @Beth Michelle – I agree! Meringues are delicious anytime.

  5. Casey writes:

    OMG those meringues are too cute! I love that you can get your chocolate fix while not consuming a jillion calories :)

  6. Casey writes:

    P.S. that scrub would be incredible for my hands, they are right up there with sand paper right about now

  7. Stephanie writes:

    @Casey – I love it too! It’s a nice alternative to giving cookies, fudge and other calorie-rich desserts at the holidays.

  8. Stephanie writes:

    @Casey – mine too! I’ve been putting on lotion obsessively because my hands have been so dry. I kept some of the leftover scrub so I can start using it once a day. It’s so easy to make and you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen, so you should give it a try!

  9. Sasha writes:

    How long does your scrub last? Just curious if someone were not to use it too often when they should throw it out :) Thanks so much for your great ideas!!

  10. Stephanie writes:

    @Sasha – I believe it should last several months, especially stored in a dark, cool place. I would say that once the oil goes rancid you should toss it (and you would definitely be able to smell that). Enjoy! :)

  11. jules @ bananamondaes writes:

    I keep seeing these meringue kisses on all the food sites and they keep luring me in. They are just so darn pretty.

  12. Shanna writes:

    I’ve never made meringues myself, but knowing how easy they are, I’m definitely going to try them now. Quick question, will regular sugar work if I don’t have super fine sugar?
    Thanks for the recipe!!

  13. Stephanie writes:

    @Shanna – You could use regular sugar but superfine dissolves more quickly and is better for meringue. You can make superfine sugar by just processing regular sugar in a food processor for a few mins.

  14. amy writes:

    thank you. I have made some like this and it works and smells great!

  15. Stephanie writes:

    @amy – great! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  16. Chelsea writes:

    I love DIY scrubs! Can’t wait to try it – sounds great (I love chocolate!!)

  17. Christine writes:

    How far in advance can the meringues can these be made?

  18. 7 Rejuvenating DIY Hand Cosmetics As Mother’s Day Gifts writes:

    […] Scrubs are great for dry, damaged skin. They make excellent exfoliates, removing the damaged layer and leaving you with soft, smooth skin, a perfect base for further pampering. And if you like chocolate, then you’ll love this good-enough-to-eat chocolate hand scrub. […]

  19. Simple Gift/Favor Box | A Joyful Riot writes:

    […] boxes feature handmade chocolate sugar scrub, a burt’s bees chapstick, two ferrero rocher chocolates and a scroll from World Market to […]

  20. Rosalind L. Kempfer writes:

    I am so glad that one of the gifts ended up being some chocolate that she could actually eat. I couldn’t imagine using and smelling the chocolate cream and not getting at least a taste.

  21. JEN writes:

    I was just wondering how many meringues the recipie yeilds and is there a spefic way to store them afterwards?
    JEN recently posted 75 Food Bloggers’ Favorite Cookie Recipes

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