The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

Hot chocolate with peppermint marshmallows is just the warm, cozy beverage you need to get into the holiday spirit. It’s pretty easy to whip up, too.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MARSHMALLOWS:
  • 2 packages (1/4 Oz. Size) Unflavored Powdered Gelatin
  • ⅔ cups Water, Divided
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ⅔ cups Light Corn Syrup
  • ¼ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • ½ teaspoons To ¾ Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
  • 8 drops To 10 Drops Red Food Color
  • FOR THE HOT CHOCOLATE:
  • 3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder (preferably Dutch Process)
  • ¼ cups Boiling Water
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 4 teaspoons Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 8 ounces, weight Semisweet Or Bittersweet Chocolate, Finely Chopped
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Preparation

For the marshmallows:
Grease an 8×8 inch pan, line with parchment and grease again. Lightly coat in powdered sugar, tapping out any excess.

Add gelatin to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Pour over 1/3 cup cold water and stir to combine. Allow to bloom for 5–10 minutes.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1/3 cup water. Whisk to combine and dissolve over medium heat. Once dissolved, increase heat to medium-high and boil until mixture reaches 240°F.

With mixer on low, slowly pour sugar mixture into gelatin until combined. Increase speed to high and whip until white and fluffy, 15 minutes. Mix in vanilla extract. Add peppermint extract, ¼ teaspoon at a time, until desired flavor achieved. I find ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract to be noticeable yet subtle, while ¾ of a teaspoon is on the strong side.

Working quickly, transfer marshmallow mix to prepared pan, spread evenly and smooth top. Add drops of food color randomly around pan, and using a thin knife or skewer, swirl around to create red streaks and swirls. Gently tap and shake pan to flatten top. Allow to set up uncovered for 8 hours or overnight.

Grease a chef’s knife and dust with powdered sugar. Transfer marshmallow block to a cutting board. Dust top with sugar. Cut into 1-inch cubes, cleaning and re-greasing knife between cuts as needed. Toss marshmallows into powdered sugar, dusting off any excess. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

For the hot chocolate:
After preparing marshmallows, make the hot chocolate. Dissolve cocoa powder in ¼ cup of boiling water, whisking to combine.

Combine milk, cream, sugars and salt in a small pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low.

Place chopped chocolate in a bowl and ladle in just enough of warm milk mixture to cover. Allow to sit for 3–4 minutes. Whisk to combine. Transfer chocolate mixture and dissolved cocoa to pot and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Transfer hot chocolate to mugs and top with marshmallows. Enjoy.

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