This year I’m doing an advent calendar with Gwendolyn, and yesterday’s activity was to make homemade marshmallows. I’ve made peppermint ones before to give with Christmas cookie trays, and it’s a simple enough process – although I am always slightly wary of any recipe in which a candy thermometer is utilized. Gwendolyn’s job was to mix the cocoa with water (then set aside to mix in at the end of the recipe); pour water, vanilla, and gelatin into another bowl; add water, sugar, and corn syrup to a pan on the stove; and let’s not forget the most important task: licking the beaters. Before it sets into chewy marshmallow, it’s like marshmallow fluff. Heavenly.
The recipe I used this time around is a chocolate swirl variation of the Basic Vanilla Marshmallows from Brownie Points Blog. I am not a huge fan of plain marshmallows, but love putting them in hot cocoa, s’mores, and other recipes. I am dying to try some of the other varieties, like strawberry, or substituting brown sugar for white to give it a caramel flavor. Some of the readers suggested toasted coconut, which sounds divine. *sigh* Why did I give up sugar?
Anyhoo, today’s advent calendar activity is “Drink hot chocolate,” and I decided to make homemade hot chocolate to go along with the homemade marshmallows. I opened up my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and made a variation of their simple recipe for hot chocolate. I halved the ingredients since I didn’t want to end up drinking all the leftovers myself.
1/3c semi-sweet chocolate chips
4c milk (I used mainly unsweetended coconut milk)
In a medium saucepan combine chocolate chips, sugar, and 1/2 cup of the milk. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture just comes to boiling.
Stir in remaining milk; heat through. Do not boil. Remove from heat. I didn’t do this, but you can also beat the mixture with a rotary beater till frothy. Other variations include Hot Mocha in which you add 1T instant coffee crystals to the chocholate mixture, Spiced Hot Chocolate in which you add 1/2t ground cinnamon and 1/4t ground nutmeg to the chocolate mixture, and Low-Fat Hot Cocoa in which you substitute 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder for the chocolate and use skim milk.