Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Homemade marshmallows and cocoa mix make great teacher gifts or neighbor gifts!


Here is an easy gift to make for teachers, neighbors or friends. Marshmallows and cocoa mix. If you've never made marshmallows, I hate to be the one to tell you that they are super simple and very impressive. I love making peppermint marshmallows to put in cocoa but you can make plain or if you just want them to eat, then try rolling them in toasted coconut or even chopped nuts.


Homemade Marshmallows:

* 3 packages unflavored gelatin
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup light corn syrup
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Sprinkle powdered sugar into 2 8"x8" pans or one 9"x13" until bottom is completely coated.
Pour the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with your whisk attachment and allow this mixture to sit while you make the syrup.

In a large saucepan, preferably one that has a spout, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Place the lid on the pan for 1 minute to wash down the sides of the pan. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. If you live at higher altitudes, reduce the final temp by 2 degrees for every 1000 feet in altitude. I live at 6000 feet so I only cook my mixture to 228 degrees. Remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer onto low speed, while mixer is going, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. The gelatin will be all chunky when you turn on the mixer. Once all of the syrup is poured in turn the mixer up to high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.





Pour the marshmallow batter into the prepared pans and smooth the top of the mixture with damp hands. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or whatever topping you are using.

For the peppermint, I removed half the marshmallows for the plain pan and then stirred in 2 drops of red food coloring and 1/2 tsp of peppermint flavoring into the remaining half. After placing this into the second pan I sprinkled crushed peppermints over the top.

Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight.

Remove the marshmallows from the pan and cut into squares. I dip a knife into very hot water before each cut then roll each strip in powdered sugar before cutting into squares. Roll the sides of each square carefully in confectioners' sugar.
 

Once they have dried for a few hours and aren't sticky, they  can be bagged up for gifts or stored in a  sealed container or sealed baggies.

Creamy Cocoa Mix
This makes 20 cups of mix or about 60 servings. I make a big batch at the beginning or the winter and we use it all season.

  • 13 cups dry milk powder
  • 6 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered non-dairy creamer (1- 15oz jar of powdered creamer)
Sift together all these ingredients into a large bowl. 
For extra chocolaty goodness I  add-
  • 2- 12 oz package of mini chocolate chips 
stir to combine the scoop into jars for gifts or store sealed in a container for storage.

Variations- You can use flavored creamer if you want flavored cocoa or try adding some cayenne pepper to the mix for a bit of spicy heat. 

To use this cocoa mix; Scoop 1/3 cup of mixture into mug and add boiling water. Stir and enjoy.

Alton Brown has a Recipe for Cocoa mix that I haven't tried just because I love the creaminess of my recipe but for those who don't want to use powdered creamer here is his recipe.
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Mix all ingredients together and store in airtight container.


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9 comments:

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

So, that looks so good. I'll send you my address :)

Angie's Recipes said...

That looks awesome! I am bookmarking the recipe! Gotta try it some day!

Jo-Jo said...

oh yummy! I think I will be giving some cocoa for Christmas!

gayle said...

I have gotten this as a gift and loved it!!

Noelle said...

i don't think i can conquer those marshmallows...but i will definitely be making the cocoa gift jars! awesome idea...thanks for sharing!

kys said...

I've always wanted to make homemade marshmallows. Looks good!

McMom said...

I love the peppermint marshmallow idea! I think my kids would eat them all before I could give any away. And since you asked, I take my photos with a Canon 40D, using either a Canon 50mm f/1.8 or a Tamron 17-50mm/2.8.

Jody said...

I could have went my entire life without the marshmallow recipe.
DO NOT let me make those no matter what. Ever!!

Why?

Because I have no self control and WILL eat the entire pan of them.

No really I will.....

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm marshmallows mmmmmmmmmmmm

JennyMac said...

I just bookmarked this...YUM YUM and YUM. Love the homemade marshmallows.