Healthier, Homemade Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows

Many people love hot chocolate.

Some have been known to spend a pretty penny on a Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate come Christmas time.  However, you can make it at home.

The other day my husband brought home a box full of those packets of hot chocolate from the grocery store.  He wanted to share it with the kids, bless his heart.  I took one look at the ingredients and said, “No way, let’s make it ourselves.”  Among the numerous ingredients (for something as simple as hot chocolate!) were corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, and sucralose.  No thank you.

And who doesn’t love to add marshmallows to their hot chocolate?  Well….. you probably guessed it.  I’m not a fan of the store-bought variety.  They usually contain corn syrup, as well.  So….yup!  We made those at home too.  (Funny story – I started making them and my husband thought I was crazy.  I said, “What?  Most people don’t make their own marshmallows?”  To which my husband laughed and said, “No honey. Most people just buy them at the store.”  Well, we aren’t most people! :) Am I right?)

Here are two simple and delicious recipes to make both at home while leaving out all the yucky stuff.  (Note: these recipes DO contain sugar and are still a “treat.”  However, they are still better for you than what you’ll buy in the store.  You may even be able to find healthier versions on the internet.)

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Premium Baking Chips
KitchenAid KFP0922CU 9-Cup Food Processor with Exact Slice System
Great Lakes Gelatin
Simply Organic Vanilla Extract
KitchenAid KHM512ER 5
KitchenAid KSM75WH Classic Plus Series 4.5
OXO SteeL Pizza Wheel and Cutter

 

Ingredients
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup cane sugar (or another kind that you like to use)
1 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt

Directions
1.  Using a food processor KitchenAid KFP0922CU 9-Cup Food Processor with Exact Slice System, chop up your chocolate chips.  You don’t want to turn them into a powder, just smaller chunks. Pour them in a bowl and set aside.
2. Place the sugar, cocoa, and salt in the food processor and process for a few seconds.  I find that this really mixes the powders well. Pour the powdery mixture into the bowl with the chocolate chips and mix well.
3.  Warm a cup of milk on the stove.  Put 1-2 tbsp of hot chocolate mix into a cup and pour the warm milk over it.  Mix well.

Homemade Marshmallows 

Ingredients
Powdered Sugar for dusting
3 tbsp gelatin
1 1/4 cup cold water
3 cups cane sugar (or another type of granulated sugar that you prefer to use)
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions
1.  Grease a 9×13 pan with coconut oil and dust with powdered sugar
2.  Pour 1/2 cup of water in a bowl and mix in the gelatin.  Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
3.  Combine the remaining water, cane sugar, and salt in a saucepan.  Heat and dissolve the sugar in the water.  Once dissolved, turn up the heat to medium/medium-high and boil for 10-11 minutes.
3.  Remove sugar mixture from heat and pour over the gelatin mixture.  Stir REALLY well to dissolve all of the gelatin.  (This is important so that there are blobs of gelatin throughout your marshmallows, trust me.)
4. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer if you’re fancy, beat for 6 minutes-ish until white and fluffy.
5.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.  Then mix in vanilla.
6.  Add the egg whites to the sugar/gelatin mixture and beat a few times to combine.
7.  Pour the whole mixture into the 9×13 pan and top the whole pan with some powdered sugar.
8.  Let refrigerate for 3 hours.  The marshmallows will harden and you will be able to pull the whole big rectangle out of the pan.
9.  Slice (using a pizza cutter, if you have one) into a desirable size.
10.  Add to warm hot chocolate and enjoy! (We store leftovers in the fridge.)