In general, I only need a few things to get me through a long cold winter without complaining too much. As long as I have cozy sweaters, a warm pug, a bottle of bourbon and plenty of hot chocolate, I can make it through the season.
Just like extreme heat, I can’t take the cold either. Let’s face it, I’m a weather wimp, but seasonal comforts keep me from becoming a grouch for half the year. If I do need to venture outside on a blustery day, nothing cheers me up more so than a piping hot mug of rich hot chocolate. Even better if it’s topped with a house-made marshmallow!
You know those big, pillow-soft marshmallows I’m talking about that fancy shops makes – so large it doesn’t even fit on your mug. What if I told you that you don’t need those fancy spots to make marshmallows?
That’s right, as fun as it is to get some big puffy marshmallows on top of your hot chocolate; it’s even more fun to make them at home. Even better, our homemade versions are spiked with whiskey and loaded up with some chocolate flavor.
Why go through the trouble of making marshmallows when it’s so easy to just pick up a bag at the store? I’ll tell you – it’s because you can control everything that goes into them. These marshmallows contain no corn syrup; every single ingredient is one that you have in your pantry (and err bar)!
Marshmallow making is probably one of the easiest candies to make at home. All you need on hand is a trusty candy thermometer, a good saucepan and a stand mixer. A few pieces of advice I can give you when making your marshmallows are:
Don’t walk away, your sugar syrup will go from the correct temperature to burnt in an instant.
Don’t be afraid of pouring the hot syrup into a running stand mixer, it won’t splatter back at you.
Even if you think the mixture won’t whip up into a glossy meringue, it will eventually. Your stand mixer takes a beating for 15 minutes but in the end, you’ll have glossy marshmallows ready to be poured into a mold and set overnight.
I think you’ll love these chocolate whiskey marshmallows enough to be making them all year long, but they’re especially nice when it’s chilly, and perfect for your next cup of hot cocoa.
Chocolate Whiskey Marshmallows Recipe
- 3 unflavored gelatin envelopes, 1/4 ounce packets
- 1 cup water, divided
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided, plus extra for dusting
- 2 ounces whiskey
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
In the bowl of your stand mixer add the 3 packs of unflavored gelatin and ½ cup water, whisk to combine. Stir in the cocoa powder and whiskey. Set aside.
In a heavy duty, medium saucepan over medium heat combine the remaining 1/2 cup water and 2 cups of sugar.
Attach the candy thermometer to the interior of the pan and cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 240°F. and remove from the heat.
Fit your stand mixer with the whisk attachment and start mixing the chocolate gelatin mix on low.
Very slowly and carefully pour in the sugar syrup, with the mixer running, trying to aim towards the center of the bowl. You want to avoid pouring the sugar down the sides of the mixing bowl.
Once all the sugar syrup has been added, increase the speed to medium high and whip for about 10-15 minutes or until you have stiff, glossy peaks. In the last minute, whip in the vanilla extract.
Prepare a 9X9 square baking pan by dusting it with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder mixed with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch.
Pour the marshmallow into the prepared baking pan, smooth the top and just the top with remaining cocoa powder mix.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 6 hours or overnight to set. You know the marshmallows are set when you press on them and it springs back at you.
Flip over the pan to remove the marshmallow square and cut into your desired size using a pizza wheel or kitchen shears.
Toss in some cocoa powder to keep the marshmallows from sticking and store in an airtight container for about 1 week.
Cuisinart Stand Mixer
KitchenAid Stand Mixer
Le Creuset 3-quart Stainless Steel Saucepan
Le Creuset Heritage 3 Quart Square Dish