How to completely complicate a mug of hot cocoa


Ok, to be honest, I didn’t set out to turn hot chocolate into an ordeal comparable to writing the Declaration of Independence.  I was planning to make peanut brittle and didn’t realize I had already bought corn syrup and so there I was with two bottles of what I generally refer to as “kid poison” sitting on my counter when I ran across a blog post about making marshmallows.  At first I was all, who would make marshmallows–they are dirt cheap, have nothing redeeming nutritionally and I don’t even like them that much.    Then I eyed the bottles of corn syrup and reframed it as a fun project.

The kids like helping me in the kitchen, but there is something extra fun about cooking something that goes through an amazing transformation.  Melting sugar and making candy-meh, been there done that, but melting the sugar and then whipping it into a giant white sticky fluff ball?    High rankings on the kid fun scale.      Word of caution: Don’t let the kids loose (even if they are technically adult kids) with the mixer blade afterwards.  I had to assist in cleaning sticky bits of marshmallow out of hair, off the couch….. It made me nostalgic for the general neatness of toddlers.

We followed the recipe on the post above but once the marshmallows  had set we took cookie cutters and cut them into shapes.    This left us lots of scraps to snack on — and even I indulged because these weren’t like any store bought marshmallow.

I made my standard hot cocoa:

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Heat to scalding and plopped in our peppermint marshmallows.   The mint in the marshmallows blended perfectly with the cocoa and it was a yummy, if needlessly complicated and time consuming, treat.   The next time I went to the grocery store I noticed an entire box of self serve packets of hot cocoa with miniature marshmallows for $1.   Yes, I bought it.


I love that you bought the instant stuff after all that. Your kids are really getting a wide breadth of exposure to, um, all sorts of things. I saw Alton Brown make marshmallows once, and have wanted to try it ever since. I don’t think I ever will, but I can guarantee that I’ll be making some hot cocoa with mint very soon.

These marshmallows were really good. I snagged one when Lara brought them to a cookie/treat swap at my house. Worth the work! Well, worth her doing the work and me eating them. Not sure they’re worth me doing the work.


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