How about two—count ‘em TWO—recipes today? You can make just the hot chocolate mix or just the marshmallows but let’s get real. You should definitely make them both.
On the same day, to be enjoyed together, because marshmallows and hot chocolate go together like chocolate and peppermint. (Isn’t that convenient?)
Side note: do you call it hot chocolate or cocoa? I call it hot chocolate. (As you can probably tell from the numerous times you’ve read it already in this post.)
Anyway…Did you know you can make your own marshmallows? You’re smart so you probably did.
Homemade marshmallows are so much better than the store-bought ones and when you give them to your friends they’re all, What? You can MAKE marshmallows at home? Ohmigoodness my mind is blown.
And you’re like, Yep. I’m a culinary genius.
My favorite marshmallow recipe comes from the incredible Butter Baked Goods cookbook. Why is it my favorite? Because it’s hands-down the easiest marshmallow recipe I’ve ever come across. You don’t need a candy thermometer or anything.
And oh guess what??? I remembered to take a picture of an important step in the recipe. (I totally thought I’d forget.) To make the marshmallows, you first make a sugar syrup and then pour it slowly down the side of the bowl of your standing mixer, as pictured below.
Yes, it’s kind of an ugly picture. But pouring the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl prevents the gelatin from heating too quickly and the mixer from splashing you with molten sugar.
So make batches and batches of these marshmallows, and batches and batches of the hot chocolate too. You can put them in pretty packages and give them as Christmas gifts and you’ll be everyone’s best friend in the world. Just be sure to keep some for yourself. Because you deserve it.
- 1 cup water, divided
- 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar, as needed for coating marshmallows
- red food coloring, if desired
- 1 1/4 cup powdered milk
- 1/3 cup instant powdered chocolate milk mix (such as Nesquick)
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons powdered mocha mix (such as Maxwell House)*
- Grease a 9- x 9-inch baking pan.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, pour 1/2 cup of the water and sprinkle the gelatin over the water’s surface. (Try not to pour the gelatin in a big clump, as it can be difficult to get it to un-clump.) Set aside to allow gelatin to soak.
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and continue boiling for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Turn mixer to low and mix gelatin and water a couple of times. Carefully pour the sugar-corn syrup-water mixture down the side of the bowl with mixer still on low. (Do this slowly to avoid splashes.)
- Turn the mixer to high and continue beating for 10-12 minutes, until the marshmallow is very thick, glossy white, and about tripled in size.** Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary to keep batter from overflowing.
- Stop mixer and add the peppermint extract, beating to combine. Sprinkle several drops of red food coloring over the top of the mixture, then turn mixer back on low briefly to combine.
- The marshmallow will begin to set up and become difficult to work with so quickly pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Grease a sheet of plastic wrap and lay, greased-side down, across the marshmallow. Press firmly.
- Leave the marshmallows to set for at least 5 hours. Overnight is better—they need some time to dry out or they’re too difficult to cut.
- After marshmallows have dried out, sprinkle a cutting board with powdered sugar. Invert the pan onto the cutting board and cover the marshmallow with more powdered sugar. Use a large, sharp knife to cut the marshmallow into 1-inch squares and roll each square in powdered sugar to cover every side.
- Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Spoon into a pint-sized mason jar. (If you have a canning funnel it’s very helpful here.)
- To serve: mix 1/3 cup of the mix with 1 cup of hot water. Stir until chocolate chips melt.
- If you give this as a gift, be sure to make a recipe card so your gift-ees know the mix-to-water ratio!
- *Optional—the hint of coffee deepens the chocolate flavor, and I used a decaf version of the mocha mix so as not to add any extra caffeine.
- **At this point marshmallow bits may fly out of the mixer. I sometimes drape a rag over the mixer to prevent this but it isn’t necessary. Warm water and the scrubby side of a sponge dissolve any marshmallow that makes its way onto your countertops.
DIY Hot Chocolate Mix adapted (lightly) from here
This is the powdered mocha mix I used.
It’s so much better with marshmallows!