Kathy Cano-Murillo of The Crafty Chica has added a Latino twist to a fun Christmas treat.

Hot Chocolate Bombs
Courtesy of Kathy Cano-Murillo

Hot chocolate has leveled up in the past year. Forget about the paper packets of cocoa—we’re talking about hot chocolate bombs! These chocolate spheres, which are plopped into steaming hot cups of milk and explode with a mix of cocoa, marshmallows, and other festive flavors, might have been on your Instagram feed this season. As an added element to the fad, we’re bringing you a Latin American twist from a Mexican American craft queen. So grab your fuzzy socks and a bag of marshmallows because we’re learning how to create Mexican hot chocolate bombs.

Some may call her Kathy, but to her online community of crafters, she is known as the Crafty Chica. Kathy Cano-Murillo first started crafting as a kitchen hobby after the kids fell asleep. Now her crafts and creativity have turned into a widespread phenomenon of Latino-centric craft tutorials and culture. After 20 years as a creative entrepreneur, she has published 11 books on Latino craft, culture, and icons with her 12th book releasing this month. Her national product line debuted in 2008 and became the first Latino-centric line in a major craft retail chain when it debuted in Michaels.

Cano-Murillo started Crafty Chica in 2001 when she noticed the lack of representation of Latino culture in crafts. “At the time, in the early 2000s, you could only find fine art or souvenirs. You couldn’t find home decor or jewelry” that represented Latin American culture, she says. “I noticed the gap in the market so I started aiming toward that, and turned out to be right because my business just took off so fast.”

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It was second nature for the Crafty Chica to apply her own culture and creative techniques to crafting. “When there’s a trend everyone is doing in the general market, I think it’s fun to try it with my own twist,” says Cano-Murillo. She is already fully stocked and prepped for creations at all times. “Because I’m Mexican American, I have a lot of beloved food already in my pantry. It’s a way to celebrate my culture even more by doing these fun things with it,” she says.

Headshot

Courtesy of Kathy Cano-Murillo

It’s not just the crafting that makes Cano-Murillo’s business model so successful. For her, it’s the people and tight-knit craft community, which even led to a number of cruises. “I loved meeting people online and creating an online community but I wanted to get everyone together so I started doing craft cruises.” The cruises were held from 2006 to 2016 and the itineraries included five days of crafting and sightseeing in historic towns in Mexico. Talk about a dream craftcation!

Recently Cano-Murillo shifted her events to be more landlocked. Her last few included retreats to places like Mexico City and Phoenix, where Cano-Murillo currently resides. “I am always evolving,” says Cano-Murillo. No matter if she’s sailing with crafters through the Gulf of Mexico or strolling the streets of Mexico City, the Crafty Chica is pulling inspiration from her heritage and culture to create an authentic representation of Latino-centric crafts.

We sat down with the Crafty Chica to discuss her takes on one of the season’s most fun and delicious DIYs: hot chocolate bombs. Cano-Murillo has taken the popular treat and given it a makeover to create Mexican Hot Chocolate Bombs. What she loves about these hot chocolate bombs is their versatility. You can gift them to a friend by packaging them in paper liners in a box. Or even better, create a gift basket with a mug, milk, marshmallows, and a set of hot chocolate bombs.

We share Cano-Murillo’s own take on these bombs below for anyone wanting to try, but she advises others to pull from their own creativity and palates to add their own twist to their favorite sweet treats. “Fuse other chocolate or fondant shapes or drizzle whichever toppings you please on top and stuff the bombs with your favorite hot chocolate mix,” says the Crafty Chica. In this recipe, Cano-Murillo is using Abuelita Hot Chocolate Mix. She also loves to add a dash of cinnamon for a hint of spice.


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