My kids have some extraordinary teachers. They are kind-hearted, patient and have managed to make Kindergarten the most fun place to be for my babies. Honestly, my kids love Monday mornings because that means they get to go back to school! They come home with folders jam packed with construction paper and smiley faces and a look of pride that can’t be beat. I just hope that my kids hang on to this love of education for as long as possible.
So, for the two women who take care of and teach my children 5 days a week I wanted to make something very special. I also wanted something that the kids could help put together. Everyone loves hot cocoa and to make it over the top I even made some homemade marshmallows. Making marshmallows is not hard at all, and once they are set the kids can have a great time cutting out fun shapes with small cookie cutters.
This makes a great gift for teachers, bus drivers, hair stylists, neighbors, mail carriers, or anyone else who makes your daily life a little bit better.
- 2 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
- 1 ½ cups dark or Dutch processed Cocoa
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- ¼ t. salt
- 3/4 cup water, divided
- 3 (1/4 ounce) packages unflavored gelatin
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups white sugar
- ¼ t. peppermint extract
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- For Cocoa Mix: Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. To Serve: For each serving mix 3 heaping spoonfuls of the cocoa mix and 2 T cold milk or water in a mug and mix until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of hot milk or water and top with peppermint marshmallows. Makes 4 1/2 cups
- For Marshmallows: Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with plastic wrap and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Spray another piece of plastic wrap to cover the top, and set aside. In a stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment, sprinkle the gelatin over ½ cup of water and let stand while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, mix ¼ cup of water, sugar, and corn syrup together. Bring to a hard boil and cook for 1 minute.
- Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin. Turn the mixer to high and whisk for 10-15 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add the peppermint extract and blend until incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the lined pan and smooth the top with an oiled spatula. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to set for 4 hours or overnight.
- Mix together the sugar and cornstarch in a pie plate. Remove the marshmallows from the pan and slice into cubes with an oiled knife. Toss in the cornstarch/sugar mixture to coat and store in an airtight container.
- Tip: I love the peppermint with the hot chocolate. It tastes like one of those chocolate candies you get on a hotel pillow, but substitute 1 T. vanilla extract for a more traditional mallow.