Homemade Marshmallows in Spicy Hot Chocolate to Celebrate a New Blog Look!

There's a lot of stuff going on in that title, huh? That's because there's a lot going on here. On this blog. Today.

Maybe you noticed? No? Huh. I thought it was obvious....

WE HAVE A NEW DESIGN! Sorry for shouting....I should use my inside voice. But it's hard to get noticed here on these interwebs.

We decided we needed something new. Like a party dress for the holidays. It was actually John that wanted the party dress....with sequins. I would have been fine with something sensible. But not him. Noooooo.

So, I was all like, "OK, I'll take one hundred million aerial shots of different food setups and we can interchange them to keep things fresh, and maybe I'll have a go at a logo refresh too..."

And he was all like, "Yeah." I think he may have also said, "Glorious."

And so here it is: our new header, featuring a hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows atop a Brooklyn Slate. We are going to change these headers every now and again. We may do it seasonally, bi-weekly, once in a blue cheese moon, etc. So stay tuned!

I actually made all the above items myself, except for the candy canes which I bought at Duane Reade. The cups and sparkly spoons are Vietri and I bought them at Terrine, in case you were curious. They're great holiday gifts if you need some.

Now, let's get to the recipes!

Honey Vanilla Marshmallows

I've been wanting to make my own marshmallows for a while. But I was scared of making a mess (which I should be used to by now). And I really didn't think it would work. But it did! And it's so worth it. Especially the vanilla bean. You MUST use really vanilla bean. Please.

Oh, magical vanilla bean, these marshmallows are for you.

I used Joy the Baker's recipe for these. I would love for you to visit her blog for the recipe because I think that's a nice thing to do. Maybe bring her a bottle of something when you visit.

Afterwards, you can dip the marshmallows in bittersweet chocolate for extra decadence. It is the holidays after all. Here's how that works:

What You Need:

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate


glass bowl

small pot

What You Do:

Pour some water into the small pot and set it to simmer on your stove top. Not boil - just simmer.

Place the glass bowl on top of the simmer pot of water so that the bottom of the bowl sits in the pot but DOES NOT touch the water. That part is important because you don't want to boil or burn the chocolate. You want to steam it, or ....wait for the big fancy cooking term...TEMPER it.

Cut the chocolate into coarse chunks and throw it into the glass bowl. It will begin melting.

You can use a spatula to stir it a bit.

Once the chocolate is melted, go ahead and dip the marshmallows in there. Just one side is fine. You'll get the black and white cookie effect. Then lay them on some parchment paper to dry.

Now for the Spicy Hot Chocolate. This stuff is good, especially with a little cayenne kick. If you don't like your hot chocolate to kick you in the taste buds, you can leave out the cayenne. Personally, I prefer kicking.

What You Need:

1 1/2 cups of milk (you can use any percent of fat you prefer)

1 1/2 tablespoons of UNSWEETENED cocoa powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

What You Do:

Throw all the ingredients in a small pot at the same time (I love recipes with those instructions). Turn the heat to medium-low and stir with a wire wisk until all the ingredients are incorporated into the milk.

Let the mixture heat up - but don't let it boil.

Pour into mugs and serve immediately topped with the marshmallows.