Hot Cocoa Bar + Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

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With the Holiday Season in full swing, so many of us have entertaining on our minds. A really fun, simple, and interactive way to add to your event is with a Hot Cocoa Bar! I set mine up this past weekend for a Holiday/Housewarming party!

We kept our Hot Cocoa Bar very simple but you can add as many elements as you like. Ours included hot cocoa kept warm in a carafe, Baileys to spike it with, homemade marshmallows (recipe below), white chocolate chips, crushed candy canes and chocolate wafer straws. We also found some to go cups with lids at our local grocery store which kept us from doing dishes (yay!).

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Who doesn’t love a cup of hot cocoa around the holidays? One way of really making it special is with homemade marshmallows, they are just so much better than store bought, people are always amazed that you made them yourself, and best yet, they are really easy! Here’s my favourite recipe.

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HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS:

(Recipe adapted from Butter’s Famous Marshmallows)

1 cup water
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Generous amount of icing sugar to coat the marshmallows, about 1 cup

YOU WILL NEED: (9- × 13-inch) baking pan, buttered

STEP 1 : In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, pour in 1⁄2 cup of the water and sprinkle with the gelatin.  Set aside to allow the gelatin to absorb the water.

STEP 2 : In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1⁄2 cup of water.  Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

STEP 3 : Turn the mixer to low and mix the gelatin once, or twice to combine it with the water.  Slowly add the hot sugar mixture, pouring it gently down the side of the bowl, and continue to mix on low. Be careful at this point because the sugar mixture is very hot.

STEP 4 : Turn the mixer to high and continue to whip for 10 to 12 minutes until the marshmallow batter almost triples in size and becomes very thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to avoid the batter overflowing. Stop the mixer, add the vanilla, and then whip briefly to combine.

STEP 5 : Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly in the pan. Work quickly, as the marshmallow becomes more difficult to work with as it sets.

STEP 6 : Grease a sheet of plastic wrap with butter and lay it across the top of the marshmallow. Press down firmly on the plastic wrap, to seal it smoothly and tightly against the mixture.

STEP 7 : Leave the marshmallow to set at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours to overnight. The longer the better, as the marshmallow will be too sticky to cut if you try too soon.

STEP 8 : Sprinkle a work surface or cutting board with the icing sugar. Run a knife along the top edge of the pan to loosen the marsh­mallow slab. Invert the pan and flip the marshmallow out onto the counter or board. Scoop up handfuls of the icing sugar and rub all over the marshmallow slab.

STEP 9 : Use a large knife to cut the slab into 1- × 1-inch squares. Roll each of the freshly cut marshmallow squares in the remaining icing sugar to coat them completely.