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In Search of the Perfect Marshmallow + Hot Cocoa Mix Recipes

The blog community is pretty amazing (that means YOU) and I feel like I'm often marvelling at just how connected and inspiring a group of likeminded people (who have never even met in real life) can be! Isn't it amazing!

Anyhow, in addition to the awesomeness of this blog community, I am also a big Twitter fan. I have discovered so many new things through my Twitter friends, received help almost instantaneously when I've asked for it, and again it is just such a great community that I love being a part of.

In any case...all this rambling leads me to a recent tweet I sent out asking for recommendations on yummy homemade hot cocoa mix recipes, as well as the ins and outs of making your own marshmallows. The response was great and I thought it would be fun to share the results with you all here.

Thanks to these guys for helping me out: Splendidblog recommended this recipe, Tenthings recommended wrapping this up with cinnamon sticks, cwkessle and Bandersen both recommended this recipe, Theseawithin suggested the recipe found in The Joy of Cooking cookbook, Niceetc recommended this one from Daily Candy, HammocksHighTea shared her own recipe, and CarlaFelix suggested a recipe from a past issue of Real Simple. I also had help with a few marshmallow questions from: Mrsmeringue, Engineerbaker, Christeno, PepperGlenn, Melissapher, fayeandco, lisaverdi, and Splendidblog.

I ended up choosing the hot cocoa mix recipe recommended by Caitlin Holcomb because it looked simple (the video really helped), yummy, and I've secretly always wanted to make something using real vanilla beans. It was as easy as can be and the end result was ridiculously delicious (even without the addition of alcohol). Next I made up a batch of Alton Brown's Homemade Marshmallows which were as scrumptious as they sound. I don't own a stand mixer and used a hand-held mixer in its place. My adaptation worked, but was quite challenging - as the mixture thickened and expanded it began clumping up and almost ate the underside of my machine. But as they say: "All is well that ends well"...and they most certainly did (end well that is).

To make them gift-ready we measured out equal portions of cocoa mix into cellophane treat bags (purchased at our local craft store) and then divided the marshmallows up into separate bags as well. Both mix and marshmallows were then placed inside some kraft coffee bags left over from Marichelle and my Nice Package shop days, and attached a little tag with directions for making up the hot cocoa on the back.

My tags are specific to the kind of mix I made, but I've created a little printable tag for you to use on a Hot Cocoa gift of your own (there are also non-food specific versions you can use) if you'd like. Just download, print on heavy-weight paper, and hang on your gifts.

There might not be enough time left before Christmas to whip up many more batches of homemade marshmallows, but the hot cocoa mix is incredibly easy and would make a perfect last minute holiday gift or stocking stuffer. Adding store-bought marshmallows in place of homemade is still really tasty (that's what we did for my daughter's teachers), and the addition of a candy cane makes the presentation minty sweet!

{Image from Ruffled Blog}

Ruffled Blog (for example) has a simple tutorial on making up charming Hot Cocoa Favors that would suit this season perfectly. Enjoy! xo Ez

Reader Comments (7)

oh man, haha so happy to have helped! i've tried a lot of so-so cocoa mixes and was pleasantly surprised by this one! we made it the first few times without liquor and it was sooo good. the addition of bailey's made is even creamier and mmmm but i love that this mix is just as good on it's own!
i've yet to try to make my own marshmallows and so i'll be bookmarking this! :) happy holidays to you and your loved ones, ez!

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercaitlin / nice-etc

Wow you really have perfect timing my dear! I've been working on hot cocoa mix too (i'm making peppermint mocha hot chocolate) & was just about to do the arduous task of making the tags all from scratch ... something which I must be honest, at this point I wasn't looking forward too (I'm tired! LOL) So your tags are just perfect & a welcomed surprise.... THANKS! THANKS! THANKS!!!


December 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterashleylynnfry

As a late-deafened woman i'm disappointed to see that there's no transcription of the recipe, either here or on DailyCandy.

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFelicity

Thanks for your comments guys!

Felicity - You've made a great point. I'm sorry to see that there is no transcription either. Here is a text version (that still includes all the important details). Enjoy!

Hot Cocoa Mix by Tribeca Treats for Daily Candy
Makes 8 oz of mix

Making the Cocoa Mix:
2 C. granulated sugar
1 C. high quality cocoa powder
1 vanilla bean
Handful of milk chocolate chips

First you'll take the vanilla bean and using a pairing knife split it length-wise. Then peel open the sides of the vanilla pod and using the side of your knife, scrape the seeds into the granulated sugar. Take a whisk and gently whisk it through. Add your cocoa power and start whisking in with the sugar and vanilla bean. Toss in a handful of the chocolate chips and stir until they are dispersed.
I like to package it with the vanilla bean inside the mix because it continues to impart more of the vanilla flavor.

Making the actual Hot Cocoa:
When you'r ready to make the hot cocoa you'll need 2 Tablespoons of dry cocoa mix to every 1 cup of milk.
I'm using 2 cups of milk right now so I'll use 4 Tablespoons of cocoa mix. You can add your cocoa mix at any point and continue to whisk it so that the cocoa powder mixes in with the milk and the milk chocolate chips begin to melt. When the milk is just reaching a simmer take it off immediately. You don't want it to boil and start to burn. You're ready to serve. At the end you can add a shot of Baileys or bourbon for an added kick. Cheers!

December 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterEz

it's the simplest of pleasures hot cocoa is - I LOVE to make ours from scratch. I will enjoy these new inspirations :) thank you so much for sharing them Ez ;)


December 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarigold

Yay! so happy to come across some other good recipes. I just gave some to my family and friends inside re-usable jars!
Thanks for the roundup!


December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIn Honor Of Design

GORGEOUS! This is lovely of you to post the recipe, the idea and the lovely little tags.

I came across this blog because I actually wanted to see how easily I could make my own hot chocolate mix to give as gifts, so naturally this popped up!

I actually want to try a mix made from finely grated dark chocolate and try adding some spices or flavours like peppermint - have you tried that?

Thanks again!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

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