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Hot Cocoa & Marshmallow | homemade gifts – Part 1

Who doesn’t love a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows?  If you follow me on Pinterest you know how much I do.  Last year for Christmas I made a salted caramel hot cocoa mix for gifts.  This year I decided to take it to the next level with homemade marshmallows.

And that’s where we will start today.  It’s super simple, but you’ll want to make these in advance. But first, lets put our shopping list together.

Complete Shopping List:

  • Unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes)
  • Granulated sugar (at least 2-3 lbs.)
  • Light corn syrup
  • Salt
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Hershey Cocoa Special Dark (2 – 16oz)
  • Hershey Special Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Brown sugar
  • Non-Dairy powdered creamer
  • Sea salt

Kitchen tools you’ll need:

  • Kitchen aid style mixer and whisk attachment (result with hand mixer may vary)
  • Medium sauce pan
  • Spatula
  • Cake pan/cookie sheet (depending on how thick you want your mallows)
  • Wax paper
  • Cutting sheet/surface
  • Clean edge knife



Adapted from a recipe by Rosie Daykin from Butter Baked Goods

(makes roughly 80, 1 in. square marshmallows)

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla
  • Generous amount of icing sugar to coat the marshmallows, about 2 cups

YOU WILL NEED: (8 x 12-inch) baking pan, buttered/organic coconut oil

Pour 1⁄2 cup of the water and sprinkle with the gelatin into a standing mixer with whisk attachment.  Set aside.

Add sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1⁄2 cup of water to a medium sauce pan at high heat.  Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Once gelatin is soaked in turn mixer to low and slowly add hot sugar mixture, pour gently down the side of the bowl, continue to mix on low. Sugar mixture is smoking hot! BE CAREFUL.

Turn mixer on high. Continue to whip for 10 to 12 minutes until the marshmallow batter has tripled in size and is very thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to avoid the batter overflowing as it grows.

Stop mixer, add vanilla, then whip to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and use a spatula or bench scraper to spread evenly in pan. Work quickly, the marshmallow becomes difficult to manipulate as it sets.

Grease a sheet of wax paper with butter/coconut oil and lay it across the top of the marshmallow. Press down firmly on the plastic wrap, seal it smoothly and tightly against the mixture.

Leave marshmallow to set at room temperature for at least 3 hours or overnight. The marshmallow will be too sticky and soft to cut if you try too soon.

Sprinkle work surface or cutting board with powdered sugar. Run a knife along the top edge of pan to loosen marshmallow. Invert pan and flip out onto work surface or cutting board. Scoop up handfuls of powdered sugar and rub all over the marshmallow slab.

Use a large knife to cut slab into 1 × 1-inch squares. Roll each cut marshmallow square in remaining powdered sugar to coat them completely.

If you follow the link you will find variations including: toasted coconut, raspberry, mint, coffee, and cinnamon.


Homemade Hot Cocoa

Shopping List:

  • Hershey Cocoa Special Dark
  • Hershey Special Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Brown sugar
  • Non-Dairy powdered creamer
  • Sea salt

Salted Caramel Dark Hot Cocoa

  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Hersheys Special Dark cocoa
  • 1 1/2 Tbs sea salt
  • 1 cup Non-Dairy powdered creamer
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 10 ounces Hersheys – Special Dark chocolate chips

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Heat the 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar in a large heavy pan, over medium heat, without stirring. When the sugar begins to melt, take the handle of the pan and swirl it to melt without burning. The sugar might seem to crystallize, but it will eventually melt to a deep amber color. (Can take 15-20 minutes, so be patient.)

Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vanilla. Whisk the caramel until smooth again, then immediately pour it onto the lined baking sheet. Allow it to spread without touching it. Set aside and let the caramel harden, at least 1 hour.

When ready to make the mix, use the back of a large spoon to tap the caramel several times into small broken pieces that can fit into the feeding tube of a large food processor. Turn the processor on, and while running, feed the caramel pieces into the tube so the processor pulverizes the caramel into a fine powder. Continue to add the pieces, a few at a time, until it is completely powder (a cloud of caramel dust will float out of the tube). Turn the processor off and follow the next steps to complete the mix.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate, into the food processor with the caramel powder. Replace the lid and process until smooth. Add the chocolate to the bowl and process again until the mixture is a fine powder.

Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place for up to one month. To serve, stir 3 tablespoons mix into 1 cup hot water or milk.

Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa

  • 1 cup Hersheys Special Dark cocoa
  • 1 cup Hersheys – Special Dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cup Non dairy creamer
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of sea salt

Add all ingredients, except the chocolate, into the food processor. Replace the lid and process until smooth. Add the chocolate to the bowl and process again until the mixture is a fine powder.


I’ll have packaging ideas in my next post later this week. In the meantime…

Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa!

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