Here is a little idea that would be perfect for a winter party. Even if you are having a simple get together, a little attraction like a hot cocoa bar is fun and easy way to add something more interesting than a usual spread. I’ve never made homemade marshmallows and I asked my friend Andrea to show me how. She made these amazing striped marshmallows for us (recipe below) that is not only beautiful but delicious. We set up this bar with candies and cookies to mix into the hot cocoa but you could also have some spiking options to turn the hot chocolate into an adult friendly beverage. We bought all the ingredients for our bar from Boxed (they are sponsoring this post!) which is a great online shopping site that allows users to get warehouse club prices, like Costco – without any membership fees. They have a great variety of brands including Annie’s, Mrs. Meyers and Honest Co so you can get all your household, cleaning & grocery supplies for the holidays by just using their smart phone app. Plus, they do all the heavy lifting! Once your order’s been made, they deliver everything right to your doorstep. Your package will arrive in 2 days or less and shipping is free for your first order (after that on orders over $75.) We decided to use their service to plan a big holiday hot chocolate party. We needed supplies in bulk, so Boxed was the perfect solution. It was so easy and left us with tons of extra time to make a batch of fresh marshmallows before the party started! Click through below for all the party details and for our DIY striped marshmallow recipe!
For this party, we ordered a few of these hot chocolate packs so guests could choose between 4 different flavors. We also ordered candy canes, chocolate chip cookies, peppermint patties, peanut butter cups and truffles for toppings. Before the party started, we unwrapped all the goodies and arranged them on a table in separate dishes. We also made labels for the cocoa so people see what flavors they were choosing. A few days before, we made a batch of pretty striped marshmallows and cut them into shapes. Find the recipe below.
Striped Marshmallows: Makes about 50 4-layer marshmallows
Supplies: 6 1oz envelopes unflavored gelatin, 1 cup cold water, 1 1/3 cup corn syrup, 4 cups sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp salt, 2 tablespoons vanilla (or other flavoring), food coloring, powdered sugar
Butter a 13″x9″ pan and dust with powdered sugar. Set aside.
FOR EACH LAYER
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle 1 1/2 envelope of gelatin. Add 1/4 cup cold water, and allow to sit while syrup is prepared, about 10 minutes. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and the splash guard.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup corn syrup, 1 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a boil. Allow to come to a full boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
With splash guard in place, turn mixer to medium speed. Slowly and carefully pour the syrup into the running mixer in a thin stream, being careful to not hit the paddle and cause splashing. Once all the syrup has been added, turn mixer to highest speed. Mixture will begin to fluff up. Scrape down the sides occasionally and continue beating until mixture stops increasing in volume, about 8 minutes. With mixer still running, add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 tablespoon vanilla or other flavoring. Add a few drops of food coloring until desired color is reached.
Once all color and flavoring is incorporated, pour mixture into prepared pan, working quickly before the mixture begins to thicken. Spread evenly in pan and smooth the top with a buttered rubber spatula.
Repeat above steps for 3 remaining layers. Pour each layer directly over the previous layer and smooth out, leaving at least 20 minutes in between each layer to allow for partial setting.
When finished, allow to set uncovered overnight.
Once set, gently pull out of the pan and place on a large cutting board covered in a layer of powdered sugar. Trim off any uneven edges with a very sharp knife, scissors, or a large pizza wheel. Coat each freshly cut edge with powdered sugar. Cut into strips, then into cubes or desired shapes, continuing to coat any cut edges in powdered sugar.
Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
This post is sponsored by Boxed.
Photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day
Recipe and Food by Andrea Pimental