Homemade Marshmallows and Alcoholic Hot Chocolate

I warned you in my last post that the recipes included here could induce a full-on sugar attack. I mean, it’s not like I was under some kind of assumption that marshmallows were good for me. I knew they were basically sugar, but holy moly, this was a lot of sugar (3 kinds to be exact!). And the hot chocolate? More sugar and lots o’ fat. And rum, too. But it’s cold and snowy outside and you need something to warm your bones, right? Just say yes. Don’t worry, I promise my next recipe won’t be just throwing a pound of sugar in a bowl and telling you to eat it. I mean, I’d at least make a syrup out of it first.

I’ve never really considered making my own marshmallows until I saw Martha Stewart’s recipe. And then I decided it could be fun, especially in alcoholic hot chocolate. And honestly, if you like marshmallows, you HAVE to make these. They’re so much better than what you get in a bag. Very similar (I couldn’t believe how authentic they were!), but less airy and more full-flavored. And the process was pretty easy; they came out near perfect on my first try.

Of course, you can make either of these hot chocolates without alcohol, but you should probably include it. At least a touch. I’m not trying to peer pressure you or anything, but it’s so nice to just relax and sip on this hot drink. The weather outside may be frightful, but we’re in the middle of a major sugar high and absolutely loving life! Just hurry up and get out there to shovel before you crash :)

Homemade Marshmallows (makes 24):

• Vegetable oil
• 4 envelopes unflavored Gelatin (3 T, plus 1.5 t)
• 3 C granulated sugar
• 1 1/4 C light corn syrup
• 1/4 t salt
• 2 t pure vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 C confectioners’ sugar

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First, grease a 9-by-13 glass baking dish with vegetable oil. Line it with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides. Brush parchment with more oil and set aside. This is important since you don’t want your marshmallows getting stuck to the paper!

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Now, put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 C of water into a medium saucepan. Here’s where Chris walked in the kitchen and thought I made a mistake. He just assumed there was no recipe in the world that would require putting that much sugar in a pan. I will now spend my life in various attempts to prove him wrong.

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Bring mixture to boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve all the sugar.

Continue to cook (without stirring) until mixture reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer. Don’t be impatient- Martha says this could take 9 minutes. And it probably will (It could take a lot longer if you start by accidentally reading the Celsius side… not that I would do that).

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Put 3/4 C cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle the water with the gelatin and let sit for about 5 minutes to soften.

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Using the whisk attachment, set the mixer on low and beat the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture.

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Now, gradually raise the speed of the mixer to high and beat for about 12 minutes, until the mixture is stiff. It will start to look like fluff! OMG now I know how to make my own fluff. SO exciting.

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Beat in the vanilla.

And then pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. But make sure you work quickly here. I was being a bit of a slow poke and the mixture started to harden, making it tougher to get it out of the bowl and to smooth it out.

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I have to take a break here to quote Smitten Kitchen in her first attempt at making marshmallows:

“The paddle was gunked to the bowl and the scraper was glued to the paddle and then — and it is my duty to implore you not to do this at home — you think, ‘well, I’ll just wipe off the paddle with my index finger’ and then your index finger gets knit to the scraper and then you think ‘well, let me use my other finger to wipe this one off’ and all of a sudden, you’ve got strands of marshmallow strung from each finger to the bowl, the mixer, the paddle, the scraper, each corner of the pan, your shirt, the floor.”

It’s true. Don’t let it happen to you. I was basically covered in marshmallow by the time it was all in the dish.

Anyway, let the marshmallows sit uncovered for about 3 hours (up to overnight), until it firms up.

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Now you’re ready to form your marshmallows. Sift 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface and tip the dish upside down, so the marshmallow “sheet” falls onto the sugar, parchment side up. Remove the parchment paper.

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Brush a knife or pizza cutter with oil (this is important or your knife will get stuck) and cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares. Or whatever size you want. Really, I wanted to make little heart shapes, but I couldn’t find a mini heart-shaped cookie cutter anywhere.

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You’ll probably have to keep dipping your knife into the oil to make cutting these easier.

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Put the remaining 1/2 C of powdered sugar in a bowl and roll each of the marshmallows into the sugar to coat. It may sound excessive, but it’s totally necessary. After all, it gives them the marshmallow “finish” and stops them from being so sticky. And assists in heightening your sugar high.

You can store these marshmallows in an airtight container for about 3 days. If they last that long. Which they should. Especially if you live alone. Eeek. I won’t tell, though.

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Now, on to the hot chocolate! I made two different kinds and both were pretty awesome. The first, banana hot chocolate was SUPER rich and creamy. You can totally change this recipe around to make it suit you. I thought I knew exactly what I was doing until my hot chocolate turned out to be like chocolate syrup, so I kept adding more milk to thin it out a bit. You can always follow my recipe and then add whatever you feel is needed. Really, you can probably omit the half and half all together if you want!

Banana Hot Chocolate (serves 2-3)

• 2 C skim milk
• 1/2 C half and half
• 1 small banana
• 4 oz. milk chocolate
• 2 oz. rum

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Put the banana, milk, and half and half in a blender and blend on high until the mixture is as smooth as you can get it.

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Then, strain mixture into a saucepan, over medium heat.

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Cook the milk mixture for about 3-4 minutes, until it starts simmering.

In the meantime, make sure your chocolate is chopped.

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Now, add the chocolate to the milk and mix it until it’s melted and well-incorporated.

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Pour into a glass or mug, add in rum, and top with some marshmallows!

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Talk about perfection! The hot chocolate was so rich, with just a subtle banana taste. I love the way the marshmallows started melting a bit as they sat in the hot drink.

This is totally my new snow-watching necessity.

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I also made a coconut white hot chocolate (not on the same day, I swear!). If you like white chocolate (and coconut), this is a must-make! It was creamy and delicious- almost a little tropical, which was really nice for a cold winter evening.

Coconut White Hot Chocolate (serves 2-3):

• 2 C skim milk
• 1 C light coconut milk
• 4 oz. white chocolate, chopped
• 50 ml coconut flavored rum
• coconut for topping

(you can ignore the giant bottle of Bacardi in this photo. I thought I’d need to add more rum… But I was wrong. Surprisingly).

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This one is super easy. Just put the milk and coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.

Then, put the heat on low and stir in the white chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

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Pour into a glass or mug and stir in coconut rum. Top with marshmallows and some shredded coconut.

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This one actually tasted super buttery, kind of like what I would expect Harry Potter’s Butterbeer to taste like! Next time I kind of want to drizzle some chocolate syrup over the top.

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So, I just supplied you with everything you need for the most wonderful snow day ever. Or snow evening. And since I’ve been hearing it’s going to be snowing even more this weekend (at least in Boston), these recipes could totally come in handy.

Homemade marshmallow and alcoholic hot chocolate (doesn’t calling it that make it seem like the alcohol has a problem?) could also be the perfect way to end your Super Bowl party. You can make the marshmallows the day before and have the hot chocolate ingredients ready to go.

And I successfully proved to Chris that yes, a recipe that calls for putting 3 cups of sugar in a saucepan is a real recipe. And a wonderful one at that.

I can honestly tell you I never want to buy another bag of marshmallows again. If only these could stay fresh for more than 3 days, I’d always have some on hand. But then, I guess that would get dangerous. I can’t even tell you how tough it’s been to have this pan of marshmallows sitting in the kitchen. Every time I walk by… one more won’t hurt, right?

What’s your favorite kind of hot chocolate or winter warm-up drink?

[Sues]

32 Comments

  • Chris said:

    Mmmmmm…. I think I’m still in a sugar coma! So good.

    February 3, 2011 12:11 pm
  • Elle said:

    Oh yes–coconut, please. With extra marshmallows! I have always wanted t make marshmallows, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I totally need to, so I can have this!

    February 3, 2011 12:13 pm
  • Mmm, snack time!

    February 3, 2011 12:17 pm
  • So, when I make marshmallows, I roll them in toasted coconut… they’re completely addictive!

    February 3, 2011 12:26 pm
  • Oh woah. Knowing how to make fluff alone would be dangerous. I had an Irish Whisky and Hot Chocolate last night and it was heavenly – but definitely could have used a homemade marshmellow or five.

    February 3, 2011 12:28 pm
  • tbella said:

    Booze, hot chocolate, coconut, bananas, marshmallows… GREATEST POST EVER.

    February 3, 2011 12:29 pm
  • Monique said:

    Good Lord! holy Recipe madness!
    I posted my marshmallow recipe yesterday! i love when we post similar things… means we are equally awesome.
    i love the hot cocoa, so perfect because this month is the hot chocolate festival at City Bakery!

    February 3, 2011 1:08 pm
  • Rebecca_C said:

    Darn you Sues! Now I’m actually wishing I was still in Chicago! I use this exact same marshmallow recipe (thank you Martha!) and its divine though you’re totally right about the sticky disaster that is you, your kitchen and every dish by the time you’re done (found fluff in my eyebrows last time??). And that coconut concoction looks like delicious maddness.

    February 3, 2011 1:10 pm
  • Katie said:

    i’ve been wanting to make my own marshmallows but i was afraid of all the stickiness that would be going on. i think making the hot chocolate too would motivate me though, sounds delicious!

    February 3, 2011 1:24 pm
  • There is nothing wrong with a boozy hot chocolate!

    February 3, 2011 1:28 pm
  • oooh! i made homemade marshmallows just once– got completely covered in it and pretty much stuck to the dog, too. it was bad news.

    i always add amaretto to my hot chocolate! might do a similar post next week ;-)

    February 3, 2011 1:32 pm
  • Megan said:

    I love really rich dark chocolate. I saw a recipe that called for melting down a bar of Valrhona — to me that sounds perfect. I love homemade marshmallows… they are so much better than store-bought for sure. And these are such creative hot chocolate recipes!

    Try Pampered Chef for a set of mini cutters, which include a heart one.

    February 3, 2011 2:05 pm
  • Jess said:

    I made homemade marshmallows recently and you are right… I’ll never buy them from the store again! I like your hot chocolate recipe. I wonder how bailey’s might taste…

    February 3, 2011 2:09 pm
  • Lin Ann said:

    Oh my goodness! First I saw alcohol, then I saw banana, then I look here and you made your own marshmallows! Aren’t they they best? I’ve never made my own, but I often buy homemade marshmallows at Farmstead or Whole Foods. I want to make my own, so now I have a recipe! All these look sooooo good!

    February 3, 2011 3:09 pm
  • I love the idea of banana and rum in hot cocoa! I also love the idea of shoving homemade marshmallows in my mouth :)

    I made them a few years ago (gave them with homemade hot cocoa mixes). So good. And so sugary.

    Laura

    February 3, 2011 3:09 pm
  • I’ve always been terrified of making my own marshmallows! I must try it sometime though because they look so good. Alcohol in hot chocolate is a must, isn’t it?

    February 3, 2011 3:52 pm
  • Now this is my kind of hot chocolate!!

    February 3, 2011 4:00 pm
  • semiURBAN said:

    Now this is something I really want to try out this weekend! Booze and chocolate! Perfect combo.

    February 3, 2011 4:45 pm
  • Susan said:

    Homemade marshmallows are the best! I’ve only made them once. That is some delicious hot chocolate too ;)

    February 3, 2011 4:54 pm
  • Nicole said:

    I am behind the times! I still need to make my own marshmallows and I also have to try hot chocolate with alcohol.

    February 3, 2011 5:09 pm
  • ohmygod homemade marshmallows….. GENIUS.

    February 3, 2011 6:05 pm
  • That banana hot chocolate could fix anything! You know how to handle a snow day over there:-)

    February 3, 2011 6:57 pm
  • Sharlene said:

    I’m going to try out BOTH these hot chocolates they look so good! As for the marshmallows, I’ve tried a couple times in the past, the first being a disaster and the second not producing fluffy/airy enough marshmallows for me. Perhaps the third time (and third recipe) is the charm?

    February 3, 2011 7:08 pm
  • Good God these look awesome! I’m convinced I’d end up wearing more marshmallow goop than getting any in the pan but your experience totally makes me want to give these a go!

    February 3, 2011 8:00 pm
  • Mary said:

    I’ve never made these at home, but you’ve inspired me. I’ll sip my hot chocolate as I make the marshmallows and hopefully not kill myself with hot sugar :-) . I hope you both have a great evening. Blessings…Mary

    February 3, 2011 8:30 pm
  • Oh my god, they both sound delicious!

    February 3, 2011 10:09 pm
  • Vidya said:

    My favourite hot chocolate involves dark chocolate, cinnamon, chilli powder, vanilla and a dash of rum. It’s great but I need to make it with milk only, no half and half or cream or it gets unbearably rich. As in, my teeth and tongue are brown and everything is getting cloying and I think I’m going to throw up rich. Anyway. Can’t wait to try this white hot chocolate recipe!

    February 4, 2011 12:51 am
  • So much fun to make homemade marshmallows! And your banana hot chocolate with rum sounds amazing, an excellent creation!

    February 4, 2011 1:11 am
  • Carine said:

    Going to try this tomorrow morning! Ahh…so excited!!

    February 4, 2011 12:50 pm
  • Kerstin said:

    Now this looks like the perfect way to warm up! I still need to try making homemade marshmallows :)

    February 5, 2011 3:35 pm
  • Shannon said:

    oh my gosh, perfect for all our snow days :) gah, marshmallows have been on my list forever!!

    February 5, 2011 10:29 pm
  • You are not Martha but your Dang Close wow on your site, i love it, you all Rock, Cheryl, have a lovely day,

    February 10, 2011 3:34 pm

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