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Peppermint Hot Chocolate & Homemade Marshmallows

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This is the second time I’m writing this post. Something went wrong while using the WordPress app on my phone and my published post went back to it’s first. Draft. Stage. *le sigh*

Ah well, what can ya do. I’m sure this happens to plenty of people. Right???

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The other day, I was spending an unhealthy amount of time watching Youtube videos and stumbled upon one for homemade marshmallows. One thing led to another and suddenly I was up to my elbows in powdered sugar and sticky marshmallow fluff–and loads and loads of sticky dishes (note: soak/rinse the dishes in hot water and the marshmallowness will dissolve away).

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Have any of you ever tried making marshmallows at home? As a kid, I assumed that this was an impossible task only to be done by magical people working in a magical factory. But I assure you, it is so simple. The most difficult thing about making marshmallows is that after creating the fluff, you have to wait overnight, or 4-6 hours minimum, before you can taste test it. But there is no feeling more satisfying than biting into a magical fluffy mallow that you made in your own kitchen. It’s worth fighting the overwhelming desire to poke and prod at the them while they’re set in their container.

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We all know what becomes inevitable when you make marshmallows on a chilly day. Though I’m proud to say I’ve lasted five days of December without making hot chocolate. On the last day of rain and cold, I caved. When I was younger, I believed there were only two ways to make hot chocolate at home: (1) melt a bar of chocolate and mix it with milk, and (2) use hot cocoa mix, basically.

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The story of the first time I ever attempted to make hot cocoa, as an unsupervised adolescent in my Grandma’s kitchen, goes like this: I microwaved one of those bite size Hershey’s bars and then dropped it into an ice cold glass of milk which I poured straight from the fridge.

The glass instantly shattered (because SCIENCE) and to this day I am still wary of mixing anything hot and cold together.

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So it really wasn’t until today that I tried making hot chocolate without the use of a packaged powder. To be honest, this process too is so easy and requires very few ingredients. Both homemade marshmallows and hot chocolate make great recipes to try regardless of what level your cooking skills might be at! Plus it’s a million times deliciousness.

P.s. I’m obsessed with our little apartment Christmas tree it’s 4 ft of awkward angles and too few ornaments but I love it all the same!!

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Homemade Marshmallows

1 1/2 packages gelatin
1 cup cold water
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
powdered sugar for dusting

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the gelatin with 1/2 a cup of the cold water. Let bloom.
2. In a saucepan over the stove, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt together over medium heat. Once the sugar dissolves completely, turn the heat to high. Using a candy thermometer, keep the sugar mixture cooking until it reaches 240 degrees fahrenheit.
3. Remove from the heat and slowly pour the sugar mixture into the gelatin, keeping the stand mixer on a low speed.
4. Once everything is fully incorporated, increase the mixer to whip on high until the marshmallow batter becomes thick, white, and gooey (about 15 minutes).
5. Pour the fluff into a pan or baking dish lined with parchment paper and a generous coating of powdered sugar. Spread the fluff out as evenly as possible. Dust another coat of powdered sugar on top and let sit at room temperature for 4-6 hours (preferably overnight).
6. When it has set, remove the marshmallows from the pan. Use scissors to cut it into squares and dust them all again with powdered sugar to get rid of the stickiness around the sides.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao or more), use either chips or cut into pieces
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
crushed candy cane pieces for decoration

1. In a saucepan, whisk the heavy cream and whole milk together over high heat. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat.
2. Mix in the chocolate until completely dissolved. Add in the peppermint extract.
3. Serve while hot in a mug or glass. Garnish with whipped cream, your homemade marshmallows, and candy cane pieces.

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