day eighteen :: guest post :: homemade hot cocoa mix & homemade marshmallows
Today’s adorable post is from Julie at A Sweeter Thing. She’s adorable, hilarious, and a wife, and a mom of two (both of whom are soooo cute!), and a blogger who writes about the Sweeter Things. You can find her here. You should probably go check out her blog immediately. Well, immediately after reading this. And making hot chocolate and marshmallows because you’re going to need to do that immediately also.
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix & Homemade Marshmallows
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to guest post today on Cass’ fabulous blog! I love Christmas time for all its wonder and magic and perhaps most of all for the excuse to go crazy in the kitchen making homemade gifts. 2013 has officially been deemed the year of marshmallows and hot cocoa mix in our house. They make such fun treats and when matched with a beautiful mug, fantastic gifts for the teachers, pastors, friends, neighbors, etc. in your life. If the idea of making your own marshmallows seems daunting to you, you’ll be happy to know that it’s the easiest candy you’ll ever make. You’ll definitely want a candy thermometer and if you have one, a stand mixer. You can definitely do this with a hand mixer but you might have carpel tunnel when you’re done.
Let’s start with marshmallows. Start by pouring ½ cup cold water into the bowl of your mixer and sprinkling 2 ½ tablespoons of unflavored gelatin over the top. Let this sit while you work on the sugar syrup.
The sugar syrup is easy. Simply combine ½ cup cold water, 1 cup light corn syrup, 1 ½ cups white sugar, and ¼ tsp. salt in a small saucepan. Bring this mixture to a boil while stirring frequently. Let the mixture cook until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit on your candy thermometer.
When your mixture reaches 240 degrees, turn your mixer on low and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture, turn your mixture on high and let it whip your marshmallow mixture for 12-15 minutes until the mixture is lukewarm and big and fluffy.
Pour the mixture into a 9X13 baking dish or a cookie sheet that has been lightly greased and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The cookie sheet makes the perfect thickness for cutting your marshmallows into adorable shapes with a cookie cutter. Use a lightly greased spatula to spread the mixture evenly in whichever sized pan you chose, sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and let sit for at least 4 hours. When your marshmallows have set, remove them from the pan and either cut into squares with a pizza cutter or cut into shapes using small cookie cutters.
Dip each marshmallow in more powdered sugar to keep the newly exposed sides from sticking together. Dip in melted chocolate and adorn with sprinkles to give them an extra special touch.
Let your chocolate set and voila! You’re done!
Onto the hot cocoa mix. This is even easier. Simply combine instant nonfat milk powder, dutch processed or regular cocoa powder, powdered sugar, salt, and white chocolate chips in a blender or food processor and pulse until everything is powder.
If you don’t have a large capacity food processor or blender, mix everything together in a large bowl first and then process ½ of the mixture at a time. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from http://www.annies-eats.com
• 1 cup cold water, divided
• 2½ tbsp. (3 packets) unflavored gelatin
• 1½ cups (12 oz.) granulated sugar
• 1 cup light corn syrup
• ¼ tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• ¼ cup cornstarch
• Place ½ cup of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface to soften. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan with a candy thermometer attached combine the remaining ½ cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches 240˚ F. When this temperature is reached, immediately remove the pan from the heat.
• With the whisk attachment on the mixer moving at low speed, slowly add the syrup to the bowl with the gelatin in a drizzle down the side of the pan. Once all of the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is very thick and lukewarm, about 12-15 minutes. Blend in the vanilla during the final minute of mixing.
• Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk to blend. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Coat the bottom and sides of the pan well with a dusting of the sugar cornstarch mixture, reserving the rest. Once the marshmallow mixture is finished whipping, use a lightly greased spatula to spread it into an even layer in the prepared pan. Sprinkle a layer of the sugar mixture over the top to coat lightly. Let stand uncovered at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
• Remove the marshmallow slab to a cutting board. Cut into desired shape with a pizza cutter or cookie cutter (dip in the sugar mixture as needed to prevent sticking.) Add the marshmallows to a container with the remaining sugar mixture and toss to coat and prevent them from sticking together. Store in a ziploc bag or tupperware at room temp for a couple weeks.
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
Recipe adapted from http://www.seedatthetable.com
• 3 cups instant nonfat milk powder
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 (12 oz.) bag white chocolate chips
• ¼ tsp. salt
• 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
• Combine everything in a bowl and stir well to combine. Process half the mixture at a time in a food processor or blender until everything resembles powder.
• Use 1/3 cup cocoa mix for every 8 oz. mug of hot water or milk and stir well.