You can’t have hot chocolate without marshmallows. Simple as that. I decided to test out my wife-skills on Christmas morning and make homemade marshmallows to go along with my mom’s infamous hot cocoa. I hit up Pintrest and found many of the same recipes, or close to the same for marshmallows (thanks to all!) If you are looking for a healthier option, you’ve come to the wrong place. I very quickly found out that marshmallows are straight up sugar. Well, sugar corn syrup and vanilla.. tossed in sugar. Considering it’s a Pintrest thing, there is lots of room (in my opinion) to fail. HOWEVER I found that they were pretty simple. Here is a hybrid of several recipes I have found that seemed to work for me.
Makes about 20-40 medium sized marshmallows
Cook time: 10-15 mins
Prep Time: 8+ hours
- electric mixer
- sauce pan
- candy thermometer (not necessary!)
- pan or deep cookie sheet
- tin foil
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp (or 3 packages) of unflavored gelatin
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- powdered sugar ( for dusting after)
- olive oil, non- stick spray (like Pam) or coconut oil spray
- Combine your gelatin with 1/2 cup of cold water into your mixing bowl. Let it sit while you heat up the sugar!
- In a medium sized sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup of water, corn syrup, granulated sugar and salt. Place over low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
- Once sugar has dissolved, increase heat to medium. Let sugar mixture boil until it read 240° on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have one, let it boil without stirring for about 12-15 mins. DON’T TOUCH IT! IT IS LIKE LAVA. Remove from heat, but don’t let it sit too long before moving to the next step.
- On low speed on your stand or hand-held mixer, break up the gelatin mixture, then slowly add your molten sugar. Be super careful with this sugar mixture because it’s hot and really hurts if you touch it. (Can you tell I’ve had a bad experience with boiling hot sugar?)
- Once mixture is added, add vanilla and increase speed to high for about 15 minutes. Your mixture will turn a nice creamy white color!
- While your whipping, prepare your dish. Line your pan with tin foil and spray very generously with your non-stick spray of choice. (Here is where I made a mistake.. Not enough! I used oil.. Next time will try coconut spray) Once greased, dust powdered sugar over oiled foil.
- While your mallow mixture is still warm, pour it into your greased pan. Do this FAST because it gets messy and hard to deal with. Don’t stress about getting all the marshmallow mixture because you’ve got bigger fish to fry. It is thickening and getting harder to work with by the second. I also suggest greasing your hands and your spatula to avoid total chaos.
- Spread out your mallow mixture evenly and dust a generous amount of powdered sugar on top. Let sit for several hours then cut with either a greased pizza slicer, greased cookie cutter or a greased knife. Key Word: GREASED.
- Once cut, toss mallows in more icing sugar to prevent sticky marshmallows.
Here’s some things I learned: Work fast, use lots of oil, and wait until fully set before cutting (hence the odd marshmallow shapes) Be patient, unlike me who cut into them right off the get go to see how they looked. I wish I got more pictures during the process but my hands were too sticky and my sister was tired of taking pictures of me LOL. Honestly though, way easier than I expected, and the fact that I came home to one marshmallow tells me that they were good!
Now for some Hot Cocoa..
Love hot cocoa but can’t stomach the dairy? Me too. I grew up drinking my mom’s hot cocoa from scratch.. Drool. It’s rich, creamy and full of warmth. The unfortunate thing is that I am now lactose intolerant. That means straight up heated milk and cocoa is a no no. This year I took my mom’s recipe and tweaked it to fit me and my sisters high maintenance stomachs. Side note: I’m not vegan- but this hot chocolate just happen to be vegan friendly and a bit more healthy than regular milk.
Rich and Creamy Vegan Hot Cocoa
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10-15 mins
- 2 cups or 1 can of coconut milk
- 4 cups 2 cans of water
- 1/2 100% cocoa powder
- 1/4 of sugar (or honey)
- Pour your coconut milk and water into a medium saucepan. Leave about 1/4-1/2 of the liquid mixture to the side for the next step. Turn your stove to medium to heat up the milk. Do not boil.
- In a separate bowl, add your cocoa and the left over coconut milk/water- mix well! Should be a creamy consistency like fondue. You may need to add more liquid, no biggie. (don’t skip this step.. it turns messy if you don’t do it.)
- Once you have your mixture, gradually add in your sugar. I suggest about 1/4 of a cup of sugar, but the sweetness is to taste so it’s your call! Taste along the way to be sure. Stir well.
- Now that your milk is heated (and not boiling) slowly whisk in the cocoa mixture. Whisk away to make sure it is combined.
- Taste test and add more sugar for sweetness or more water to thin it out.
- Pop in one (or two) of you’re tasty homemade marshmallows, add crushed candy cane or a fancy cookie straw and enjoy!
That huge, sweet, creamy marshmallow melting in the rich, and somewhat bitter hot cocoa makes for the perfect balance. Safe to say both recipes are parent, sibling, and fiance approved. Test them out at home and let me know how it goes in your house!
Now, time for me to sit in my bed with white linens (yeah, I’m brave) watch Grey’s Anatomy and practice my hand lettering with my new calligraphy pen from my sister (again, brave with white linens)