Homemade Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows {Easy & Inexpensive Gift Idea}

Homemade Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows {Easy & Inexpensive Gift Idea}

I adore the holidays and I love to give gifts…to everyone. I thought I would share a gift today that could easily be put together in a crunch and given to those on your list that you simply want to show a little appreciation. It doesn’t take much to put together, but it is sure to bring a little smile to those who may not be expecting anything at all.
Nothing is more comforting after a long day in the snow then soothing hot chocolate {and yummy marshmallows}; it’s a wintertime staple sure to please. If you are in a snow bound area, like myself, this is the perfect little gift to drop off to any neighbors on your ‘list’. I love to wait until the snowflakes start to fall and hand these out when my friends are outside hard at work, shoveling the aftermath.

Both the hot chocolate mix and the marshmallows can be homemade to perfection with just a couple key ingredients you may already have at home. They are great to make in large batches; meaning you can easily put several gifts together in one single take. {if convenience is your thing – you can even purchase pre-packaged store bought items and put them in the jars – I won’t tell, I promise – However, this homemade version is just as simple as can be}

{Hot Chocolate}

Adapted from Martha Stewart for Kids
Ingredients:
3 1/2 Cups of Sugar
2 1/4 Cups of Cocoa
1 Tablespoon of Table SaltIn a large bowl combine all ingredients; Whisk together well.


Funnel into an air tight container – How is that for quick and simple!

For individual hot chocolate servings:Fill a microwavable mug with one cup of whole milk. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and stir. If needed, microwave at additional 15 second intervals, until desired temperature is reached. Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa mix, stir to dissolve, and top with homemade marshmallows.

For a larger batch of hot chocolate:
Warm the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat; taking care not to let the milk boil as it warms. Stir in 2 tablespoons of mix for each cup of milk. Top with homemade marshmallows.

*The printable directions for the gift basket are below*{Marshmallows}

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Ingredients:
2 1/2 Tablespoons of Unflavored Gelatin {approximately 3 1/2 envelopes}
1/2 Cup of Cold Water
1 1/2 Cups of Sugar
1 Cup of Light Corn Syrup
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract
Confectioners’ Sugar {10X Powdered Sugar}Makes 40+ Large Marshmallows


Combine unflavored gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, let sit for 30 minutes. {This can also be prepared without a stand mixer – Just place ingredients into a large bowl and use an electric hand mixer}.


In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and the additional 1/2 cup of water. Place over low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.


Increase the heat to high and boil mixture, without stirring, until it reaches 244°on a candy thermometer. {Approximately 12 minutes} Immediately remove pan from heat.


With a stand or hand-held mixer on low speed, slowly pour the syrup mixture into the gelatin.


Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is very thick, white and nearly tripled in volume. {Approximately 15 minutes} Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.


Spray a glass baking pan with a light coat of non-stick baking spray and dust with confectioners’ sugar. {my pan measured 13 X 9 X 2 1/2 inches} Pour marshmallow mixture into pan and sift a good layer of confectioners’ sugar on top. Wet your hands and gently press on mixture, making sure it is even in the pan and somewhat smooth. Sift another generous coating of powdered sugar on top and place in fridge {uncovered} for at least 3 hours up to 24 hours, until firm.


Dust a large cutting board with confectioners’ sugar. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan and invert. You may need to use your fingertips to gently pull the marshmallow out.


With a serrated knife, trim off the rounded edges and begin to cut into squares. It helps to dust the knife before each cut with confectioners’’ sugar. If the knife becomes sticky wash, dry and complete steps above. A clean dry knife helps keep the cuts precise and the marshmallows square. Toss the cut marshmallows with additional confectioners’ sugar to fully coat; This will prevent them from sticking together. The marshmallows will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.

{Putting it All Together}

I repurposed glass spaghetti jars to hold the three ingredients for the gift basket. The labels were removed from the jars and they were thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and completely dried.

The tops of the lids {only} were sprayed with satin nickel spray paint covering any lettering or designs leaving a nice finished look.


All three jars were nestled in a wooden lath basket however, any woven basket or even gift bag will do. The jars contain the Hot Chocolate Mix, Handmade Marshmallows and Pepperidge Farm Creme Filled Pirouette Rolled Wafers {to use as stirring sticks}.


I made some labels for the tops of each jar as well as a ‘direction’ card for the hot chocolate. You can find the printable here. The images were simply printed on white cardstock and glued to the lids with a tiny bit of glue.


A big red bow was attached – as nothing dresses a present better than a big red bow.


A quick and simple gift that is sure to warm the heart of those you care about!

This post was shared over at I ♥ Naptime for Jamielyn’s Crazy Christmas Crafter event.

Enjoy!
                  

Comments

  1. every year I tell myself I’m going to make something like this for gifts… this year probably won’t be the exception but next year for sure. I love the wooden basket and bow to bring it all together.

  2. This is such a great gift. It looks delicious, it looks classy, it looks fun, it looks like I have to get busy. Thanks

  3. What a beautiful gift! I LOVE IT!!! I want to be your friend : )

    Have a great day!
    Kim

  4. I’m in L-O-V-E! Coolest gift basket so far…and I can MAKE my own marshmallows!? I’m in heaven. Already invisioning heart-shaped for Valentine’s day!

  5. I love this and I’ve been saving jars for no specific reason other than I like the shapes so this is great!

  6. Such a lovely idea, I really want to try making marshmallows now! yum 🙂

  7. How much do I love this! I love real hot chocolate and this fits the bill. What a cute idea. This may be a give away for my Thanksgiving guests this year. Thanks for the inspiration.
    besoslynn.blogspot.com

  8. What a wonderful gift idea! Love the idea of recycling the spagetti jars…very cute!
    Kristen

  9. I love that!! I’ve seen people give hot cocoa mixes and stuff but nothing like this. And best part it is all handmade! Fabulous!
    Would love for you to link up to my Catch a Glimpse party!
    http://adventuresofthemichelenafamily.blogspot.com/2010/11/catch-glimpse-party-3.html

  10. Lovely gift! That wooden crate/basket pulls it all together though! What a lovely presentation!

  11. that looks great! I was thinking of trying marshmallows… kinda nervous. But saw some that are rolled in super crushed candy canes that look SO good!

  12. What a FABULOUS idea! I love love the idea of making things like this as gifts. Thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Love it!

  14. This is SO CUTE. I’m going to be feeding my family a whole bunch of bottled spaghetti sauce this month, haha. 🙂

  15. They’re absolutely adorable. I really want one. Looks like I’ll be making this for someone! 🙂

  16. Stephanie,
    I love this! I was wondering if you could let me know where the tutorial for the wood crate is. I sooo want to make some of these.
    Tara
    ~A Mustard Seed Dream

  17. A great idea and gift from the heart. I’ve never made marshmallows… this I have to try! It’s snowing in CO, today, so your post just warmed me up 🙂 Thanks for sharing! xo

  18. What a scrumptious looking basket!

  19. I love this idea! I think I will make this for the bf for Christmas, much better than Nesquick 😉

  20. This is going in my Tumblr right now!

  21. What a great gift! Love it! Jackie

  22. I love this! I was trying to think of something to make for gifts…this maybe it! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  23. What a fantastic Idea!

    Can I ask what size the jars are? and where did you get the basket from?

  24. I love this idea!

  25. You make your own marshmallows? You are officially my idol:)

  26. Stephanie Lynn~ I absolutely adore this project! It is so lovely…the presentation and everything is so beautiful! You have done an outstanding job!! Angie xo

  27. i saw this the other day a finally bought the stuff to make the marshmallows today and……………..they are officially the best marshmallows ever!!!!!!

  28. That is an awesome idea! What a great gift, and they look so cute too! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  29. Gorgeous idea! I love this! I recently made home made marshamallows and was quite surprised at how simple they were to make (even tho extremely stickY LOL!)

  30. A wonderful idea with beautiful presentation. I love the idea of adding the sticks. The marshmallows look yummy. I’m going to love following you.

  31. Your creativity astounds me. So glad I stumbled upon your blog!

  32. What a great and yummy idea, thanks for the inspiration:}

  33. I have to make this! I never use bottle pasta sauce but I will be using it this weekend so I can get the jars. Now I just need to find one of those baskets!

  34. Love this! The separate jars and crate make for a beautiful presentation. And homemade marshmallows … yummy!

  35. I made your marshmallow recipe with my kids yesterday. They are fantastic!! We made chocolate covered marshmallow pops out of them. Everyone loved them. Thanks!

  36. Thank you for sharing this – I have made the hot chocolate mix for gifts (and the rest is for my family)! I was impressed how much it made, not to mention how delicious it is! I’ve linked back to your blog on my blog. Merry Christmas!

  37. That is such a cute idea! I bookmarked it so hopefully I’ll remember to try this next year. Thanks! 🙂

  38. Love the recycling and homemade touches. This is a great gift and can’t wait to make some for next Christmas! Thanks a bunch!!

  39. This was the messiest, stickiest, goopiest, most awesome thing I’ve ever made in my kitchen. Thanks!!!

  40. since i found this post 4 days ago, my kids and i have made 5 pans of marshmallows! we’ve given them as gifts, dipped them in chocolate and served them at a party and topped sweet potatoes with them. i will never ever ever use store bought marshmallows again. these are heavenly. the first batch i even messed them up (left the water out of the sugar syrup) and they still came out amazing!

  41. Just made the hot cocoa, it’s so yummy. Made batches to give as teacher’s gifts this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  42. I am utterly flabbergasted at how beautiful, creative, caring, selfless, inspirational and blessed that you are.
    Thank you for being you and sharing yourself faithfully with all of us. Now we are all blessed to have a little piece of you in our days and in our lives, in so many different ways.

    Thank you!

  43. I am from England and not too familiar with American quantities as yet. Can you explain what is the quantity of Confections sugar you have used. I don’t understand the 10 X.
    Thanks
    Chris

    • Hi Chris – 10X is just another name for the confectioner sugar. There is no set quantity for the marshmallows as it is just used for ‘dusting’ to prevent the marshmallows from sticking. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thanks!

        

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