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Vanilla & Chocolate Marshmallows

I was trying to decide what flavor of marshmallow to make today, and I didn’t have peppermint extract (that’d have been my first choice), and I was 95% decided to make orange spiced…then I remembered about how much I love vanilla.

I really love vanilla flavored things a lot.

And then I read a review about adding chocolate chips and cocoa powder to make them have a hint of chocolate flavor, too, and I was sold.

Vanilla AND chocolate in one marshmallow? ¬†Yep. ¬†That’s it.

And orange spiced marshmallows–I’ll come back for you. ¬†Turns out marshmallows are ridiculously easy to make and super cute–i.e. perfect for Christmas gifts.

Vanilla & Chocolate Marshmallows (adapted from Alton Brown)

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 C ice-cold water
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 C corn syrup
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • 1/4 C confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cooking spray

This recipe¬†is made¬†super easy with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. ¬†If you don’t have one, I’m sorry–but your biceps are gonna look great tomorrow!

Pour half of the ice water and the gelatin packets into the stand mixer bowl.  Set that aside.  Combine the remaining 1/2 C water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, covered, for 3-4 minutes.  Uncover and attach a candy thermometer or meat thermometer, letting it boil until it reaches a temperature of 240 degrees (5-10 minutes longer).

Once it’s hot enough, start the mixer running on low and carefully pour the sugar mixture (carefully! it’s hot!) down the side of the mixer bowl into the gelatin/water combo. ¬†Turn the mixer speed up to high and let that baby go.

While it’s mixing, combine the cornstarch, confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa powder in a small bowl. ¬†Spray a 13″ x 9″ baking pan (I used a glass lasagna pan) with nonstick cooking spray and coat with half of the cocoa mixture. ¬†Set the remainder aside.

Let it mix until the marshmallow mixture is thick and lukewarm–stir in the vanilla and the chocolate chips in the last-minute of mixing. ¬†The chocolate chips will melt and make the marshmallow a gorgeous light brown color, and the vanilla will smell amazing.

Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared baking pan (use a lightly greased rubber spatula to smooth it out), and dust with more of the cocoa mixture–there should still be some left for later.

I cat-proofed the marshmallows by covering the pan with a cookie sheet, and let it sit for at least four hours to set. ¬†Once it’s set, carefully remove the marshmallow from the pan (I just turned it over and peeled it out–such a weird, flat, rubbery marshmallow sheet!) and set it onto a cutting surface (my kitchen table). ¬†Use a pizza roller to cut into squares of whatever size you want. ¬†This way.

That way.

Lastly, make sure all the sticky edges are coated in the cocoa mixture.

Store the marshmallows in an airtight container for three weeks.

And yes, I drank a cup of hot cocoa immediately, with four marshmallows in it, and it was delicious. ¬†The Jensens are coming over tonight for a sleepover, and I’ll definitely be making everyone some to enjoy.

The marshmallows are really different from store-bought, and so much better.  Vanilla-y, cocoa-y, and super silky.  With the exception of the wait time, these are surprisingly quick and easy to make, too.

In other exciting news, we got our first bona fide, real-life, grown-up, not my parents’ Christmas tree today! ¬†I only got a small one (because we don’t have that many ornaments yet, or space, for that matter), but it’s still exciting.

I could just stare at it all day long.

And Henry could, too.

He’s been literally sitting next to it all day, behaving himself perfectly, just sniffing the branches. ¬†He’s high on the outdoors for the very first time, my friends. ¬†And he’s loving it.

And he has a stocking, too!

Also (could this post be any longer?) I can’t believe I haven’t show you this yet, but these candle sticks are the light (ha!) of my life. ¬†Fritz’s dad, Johann, made them for me and I painted them light blue with white crackle paint over the top. ¬†Now decorated with fir branches, I’m in the holiday spirit for sure.

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  1. Rande McDaniel @ The Vegetable Centric Kitchen

    What a sweet kitty and what yummy looking pictures!

  2. florence

    What a pleasure to see those pictures,especially the second with Henry.And the marsmallows,it seems so good!.Thanks for all this kindness.

  3. Caitlin

    I want a Henry under my Christmas tree….

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Sometimes I want to give him away…like today. He’s all yours.

  4. Cait @ A Bicycle Built for Two

    These were amazing!! Thanks for always sharing your treats with us Jensens :)

  5. Anne H

    Gorgeous photography, as always…and Yummy!!!! And I am not even a big marshmallow fan, but these are delightful. Two things I wish you would post Lauren: 1) the measurement of the orange and spice (type?) or peppermint flavoring. Should it be 2 tsp like the vanilla? Or in addition to the vanilla perhaps? Or would that make for too much liquid? 2) How long to run the mixer. I did not do it for long and my consistency wasn’t quite dense enough. I bet I ran it for less than 5 minutes. Later, I watched the Alton Brown segment and he ran it for 10-15 min. I will do so next time. Thanks for a great idea!

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