Hot Cocoa Mix and Vanilla Marshmallows

Guys! The world totes didn’t end, so if you’ve maybe put off your holiday gifts I have this super easy Hot Cocoa Mix with Vanilla Marshmallows for ya.

I always try to put together gifts that I would like to receive–since I’m kind of picky, I’m my own holiday litmus test. One of my favorite wintertime gifts is a new mug. Just a mug though seems a little wan to me, so I like to add a little something homemade to make it personal and sweet. This hot cocoa mix comes together in about 2 minutes, while the marshmallows take a little longer, but if you have a mixer it will do a bulk of the work for you. To make the marshmallows extra special and glitzy, I like to add about 1/4 teaspoon luster dust (found with cake decorating supplies) into the dusting mixture  It makes the ‘mallows shimmer a bit and takes them into gifting territory. Certain people in my life are receiving this exact gift. I’m hoping they love it as much as I love them.

Speaking of love, Happy Holidays! You are amazing and thank you for reading my crazy ramblings, peeping at my pictures, and being generally awesome.

Love and Peace to you all! XO!

Hot Cocoa Mix and Vanilla Marshmallows

Since this cocoa mix relies mainly on 2 ingredients, use a cocoa powder you really love. I used Valrhona–which is my favorite of favorites. I think a little espresso powder would be a nice addition as well. The marshmallows can be flavored however you’d like–peppermint would be super fun and appropriate, I think.

Cocoa Mix:

Adapted from Martha Stewart

3 cups sugar

1 vanilla bean (optional)

2 cups cocoa powder

Whole Milk to serve.

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and in a bowl, rub the vanilla seeds into the sugar until fragrant and well dispersed. Add the cocoa powder and whisk to combine.

For Cocoa: Stir 1-2 Tablespoons cocoa mix with 8 ounces of hot milk. Top with marshmallows.

Vanilla Marshmallows:

Adapted from this recipe. 

2/3 cup cold water

4 teaspoons powdered gelatin

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 vanilla bean

1/2 cup water

scant teaspoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons each powdered sugar and cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon luster dust–optional

In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the 2/3 cup water and set aside to soften.

Spray a 9X13inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a gallon bag, shake together the powdered sugar, cornstarch, and luster dust. Set aside.

Scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean and in a bowl rub seeds into the sugar until fragrant and well dispersed. In a medium saucepan combine sugar with water and stir gently to moisten. Heat the sugar and water over medium heat without stirring, until sugar dissolves and comes to a boil, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin and vanilla to combine.

Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the syrup until it becomes light in color, voluminous, and holds a medium-stiff peak. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and dust the top with powdered sugar. Allow to set up several hours before cutting and shaking the pieces in the powdered sugar mix to coat well. Can be kept in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.