This week I woke up to snow on the ground for the first time all season. You know what that means? TIME FOR HOT BEVERAGES, FOLKS.
We all know how I go on about hot mulled cider. But today, I’m singing a different tune. The sweet, sweet song of hot cocoa, with smooth, melty marshmallows on top. (a.k.a. sugar + sugar + chocolate. How can it be bad?) And true to form, I’m gonna recommend you make these things from scratch, friends, because homemade cocoa tastes so good . . . and homemade cocoa with homemade marshmallows? It’s like a party in your mouth.
I’ll share my favorite recipes at the bottom of this post, but first: a few things you need to know about homemade marshmallows. Because I really think you should get to know homemade marshmallows.
1. They are full of sugar.
There’s no two ways around it. Homemade marshmallows contain three different kinds of sugar (granulated sugar, corn syrup, and powdered sugar for dusting). This is not a health food, so enjoy in moderation. Although, on the bright side, your homemade ones won’t contain any artificial colors or flavors like the store-bought ones can.
2. But they are also full of awesome.
You will not be sorry for making homemade marshmallows; in fact, I suspect that you, like me, will decide that you will never buy the store-bought ones again. The recipe itself is quite simple, and just requires a mixer to attain the proper fluffiness. They are spongy and sweet, and it really impresses people when you say you made them yourself, because they assume you used magic.
3. They can be made jumbo or tiny.
You’re making the marshmallows, so you’re calling the shots. The size of the marshmallows will depend on the size of the container you pour the whipped batter into (wider container=thinner marshmallows), and how thick you slice them after they’ve set.
4. You don’t really want to make a double batch.
I made a double batch the first time I made marshmallows. I was making JUMBO ones for a family camping outing with four dozen people, so I figured I needed A LOT.
You remember how the last time you bought a big bag of jumbo marshmallows, you brought them to a bonfire expecting to run out, then used six total, and the rest of the bag came home with you and sat in the pantry? Yeah, that’ll happen. Even though they’re delicious . . . marshmallows go a long way, because they’re very, very rich. Especially the first time you make them, you may THINK you want to make two batches . . . but you don’t. Start with just one batch, and I bet you’ll be surprised how long they last.
5. They freeze really, really well.
If you DO make my mistake and make too many marshmallows, just pop them in the freezer. They’ll stay fresh and delicious, and taste exactly the same when you pull them out again.
6. You can roast your homemade marshmallows over a campfire.
Use a small-ish container to set the batter so they’re a good inch and a quarter thick. Then—this is critical—allow a lot of time (several days) for them to dry out, especially after they’ve been cut into cubes. If you don’t let them dry long enough, the edges will melt as soon as they come near the heat, and you’ll lose the whole thing to the flames. It’s very sad, and I don’t want this to happen to you. Or your children.
7. If you can make marshmallows, you can make marshmallow creme
Marshmallow creme, also known as marshmallow fluff, is simply what happens when you make marshmallows and stop before drying them out. You have a thick white, gooey mixture that can be used for many delicious treats. In college, my roommate and I would eat peanut butter and fluff sandwiches. Or try these dipped smores as a party treat, or plop some on top of a banana cream pie.
My favorite cocoa recipes for a chilly day
- Homemade Marshmallow Recipe from Amanda at Wit & Whistle
- DIY powdered hot cocoa mix courtesy of Alton Brown
- Or, if I’m feeling fancy, hot chocolate from scratch with real melted chocolate.