Looking for a thoughtful yet inexpensive gift? How about a homemade gift of Spicy Hot Cocoa Mix & Fluffy Mexican Vanilla Marshmallows?

Treat your friends to a warm and tasty gift that lets them know you are thinking of them.This hot cocoa mix can be made with milk or water — it’s delicious both ways. The dutch cocoa paired with a touch of spice creates the best “adult” hot cocoa around. Rich and chocolatey, not overly sweet but a perfect foil for these fluffy white marshmallows.

These marshmallows are made with a rich Mexican Vanilla Extract that melts perfectly into the hot cocoa. Wrap them up cute with ribbons and tags, add a pretty mug and you have a thoughtful, inexpensive gift that they are sure to love. Here is how you can make your own:

You can find the entire recipe for the Spicy Hot Cocoa here. I followed all the basic ingredients but I added a few shakes of cinnamon, a teaspoon of vanilla powder and a large pinch of cardamom.

The most important thing to remember when making this dry mix is: whisk all the ingredients together thoroughly and then pass it thru a sifter or a sieve to get a completely lump-free, soft and powdery mixture. Then whisk again.

This will ensure that your finished hot cocoa mix is smooth and rich and velvety with no lumps or chunks, Package your hot cocoa mix in cello bags, tie with ribbon and add a tag with instructions for use. I figured out that one good sized mug takes about 4 Tablespoons Hot Cocoa Mix to 8 oz. (1 cup) hot milk or water.

On to the marshmallows!

You can find the entire recipe for the Homemade Marshmallows here. I followed all the basic ingredients but I substituted Mexican Vanilla for the regular vanilla extract. You could also try peppermint extract for a pepperminty marshmallow!

I also substituted a 9″x9″ pan lined in parchment paper and well sifted with powdered sugar instead of a glass 8″x12″ pan because I wanted thicker marshmallows.

Combine gelatin with cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and let sit.

On the stove, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and water in a small saucepan over medium high heat until the temperature reads around 240-250 degrees. With the mixer on low speed, carefully drizzle the hot syrup onto the gelatin.

When combined, carefully turn up the speed to high and whisk for around 10-15 minutes, adding the Mexican Vanilla extract toward the end of that time.

Carefully scrape the fluffy marshmallow mixture into the powdered sugar coated pan. Use damp fingers to smooth the sticky mixture out as evenly as possible. I found that my damp fingers worked better than any spatula at smoothing out the surface without sticking.

Dust with more powdered sugar. Let the pan sit out uncovered overnight to dry out.

The next morning turn the marshmallows out onto a powdered sugar coated cutting board and used an oiled knife or pizza cutter to cut into squares. Dust all the sides of the marshmallows with more powdered sugar and then package in a cello bag using wax paper squares in between each marshmallow. Tie tightly with a ribbon and add a tag.

Homemade Spicy Hot Cocoa Mix and Fluffy Mexican Vanilla Marshmallows: a thoughtful and delicious holiday gift that everyone will love! Happy Holidays!

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