Fancy Pants Marshmallows

Happiness is a homemade marshmallow nestled in a cup of steaming hot cocoa.  Or actually, happiness is about one minute later, when the marshmallow starts to melt, slowly enveloping the chocolate in a blanket of white sweetness.  Of course it’s easiest to reach into a bag and pop a jet puffed marshmallow on top of your cup, but if you have a little bit of time (truly, it doesn’t take that  long to whip up a batch, about 20 minutes) making marshmallows by scratch really makes a difference.  First off, the texture is so much more tender and yielding than anything out of the bag, and secondly, you can add any kind of flavor you please.  Imagine a cloud of salted caramel and bourbon melting into rich chocolate. Yep. That can be you!  So do yourself the favor, and make a batch of fresh, gooey, delicious, and unexpected marshmallows.  They last for a week in a container and are the perfect wintertime garnish for a cup of hot cocoa.


Bourbon Salted Caramel Marshmallows Sriracha Marshmallows Sriracha Marshmallows


For one 9 x 13 inch baking pan of marshmallows

about 1/2 cup powdered sugar

3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin

1 cup hot water, divided

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites


Sriracha Marshmallows

1 teaspoon sriracha

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, for garnish

Smoked Sea Salt Marshmallows

1 teaspoon smoked sea salt, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lavender Honey Marshmallows

1 tablespoon dried and crushed lavender, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Bourbon Marshmallows

3/4 cup salted caramel sauce (recipe below)

1 1/2 tablespoon bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Oil bottom and sides of a 13 by 9 inch rectangular metal baking pan and heavily dust the bottom and sides with some powdered sugar.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, pour in a ½ cup hot water and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let it stand for about 10 minutes.

In a medium heavy saucepan combine the white sugar, corn syrup, and remaining hot water over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240 degrees, after about 12 minutes. A word to the wise, this happens very very quickly. While I turned around to tidy up, the entire batch jumped to 275 and burned, so once the thermometer reads 200, keep a close watch, and take it off the heat when it reaches 238. The thermometer should still creep up to 240 after that. Remove the pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on high speed until pale white, thick and nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes if using standing mixer. In a large bowl separately beat the egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Add the whites and “add ins” into the sugar mixture until it is just combined (about 2 minutes). Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and garnish with the above ingredients (or sift a thin layer of powdered sugar) evenly over top. Let the marshmallow set uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to 1 day.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto large cutting board. Lifting up 1 corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and let drop onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallows into roughly 1-inch cubes. Sift remaining powdered sugar into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches, tossing to evenly coat. Marshmallow keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  Pop into some cocoa and enjoy!


A little spicy and super chocolatey, this hot cocoa takes under 30 seconds to make, but can be enjoyed through the holidays and beyond. Plus it’s WAY better than swiss miss.

For 4-5 cups

2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)

1 cup semi sweet chocolate, either small chips or finely chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup vanilla sugar (recipe below)

1 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt


Whisk the ingredients together. To make an 8 oz cup (which is honestly enough for 2-3 people), mix 3 tablespoons of the mix with a dash of milk to form a paste. Gently heat the paste over medium-low heat until the chocolate bits start to melt. Add an additional cup of milk and stir until hot and steaming. Pour into cups and top off with a dash of heavy cream. Enjoy!


Add it to your coffee, tea, or on top of cookies when they bake; this pantry staple makes any recipe a little more luxxe.

For 2 cups

1 vanilla bean

2 cups of sugar


Split the vanilla bean with a paring knife and using the blunt side of the knife scrape all of the seeds in the bean out. Place the seeds in a bowl with the sugar. Slice each bean in half crosswise and pop each half in a jar. Using your hands or a food processor, blend the vanilla seeds and sugar. Fill the jars with the sugar mixture, pouring over the empty bean. The bean will continue to infuse the sugar for weeks. The sugar is best two weeks after preparing. Enjoy!


Makes 2 cups

1 cup white sugar

2 ounces unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


For the caramel sauce, heat the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar turns golden.  Stir until all of the sugar is dissolved and just starting to turn a lovely amber color.

Turn heat to low, add the butter, and stir to combine.  Careful, it’ll foam up. Then add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt stirring to combine.  You’ll cook the sauce for about 5-10 minutes, until it comes together. It’ll take quite a bit of stirring!

Pour the caramel into a glass jar, let it come to room temperature, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.  Pour over everything and anything!