I just love this time of year for all sorts of reasons. It’s all about spending time with family, eating, celebrating and all things cozy. Can it get more magical than that?! I beg you to argue my point 😉
So here is one of my first inspirations of the season! I love to give favors, but hate nick-nacky things that no one knows what to do with. Soooo, food is my usual go-to of choice because it can be consumed, it’s made with love, and you don’t have to feel guilty about throwing it away if needed. I digress.
I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love a warm cup of hot cocoa and fluffy marshmallows on top. But one must elevate such a humble offering, so I found some recipes online and made my own hot cocoa mix, homemade marshmallows and then whipped up coordinating printables along with some cute muslin bags (Amazon) to bring it all together in a simple yet rustic package. And the best part? There is none of that junk you find in most cocoa mixes and marshmallows. It’s perfect for a kid’s party, a casual holiday gathering or for simple neighborly gifts. Below you will find the recipes ( I can’t tell you how simple the cocoa mix is!!). And here are the links for the free printable Christmas tags and hot cocoa stickers. I hope you try these – they are super fun and cute!
For each serving, add 1/4 cup cocoa mix to 1 cup hot water, stirring well. Recipe is from Allrecipes.
3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Mix milk powder, sugar, cocoa, and salt together in a bowl. Transfer mix to an airtight container.
Recipe from Food Network
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
For regular marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
For miniature marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.
Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.