What better way to spend the winter days and nights than with a mug of warm hot chocolate and these delightful gingerbread marshmallows??
No better way.
These marshmallows are the definition of a cozy, winter night. They are super fluffy, soft and have just the right amount of gingerbread spice. And let's talk about the hot chocolate. Warm, decadent, and extra chocolatey. It's nothing like the pack of dry mix you remember, it's much richer and contains no added sugar.
There's honestly nothing better than enjoying a homemade marshmallow. If you've never had one before, you're in for a treat! (literally)
What Is a Marshmallow?
If you've never thought about it before, it's kind of a funny item. A marshmallow is basically a foam. It consists of a ton of air bubbles that are held together by the structure created from the sugar.
All marshmallows require basically the same steps to their creation, with some variations in flavor and ingredients.
- Make a sugar syrup by boiling water and sugar together.
- Blooming the gelatin in cold water.
- Whisking the gelatin and sugar syrup together until it forms our 'marshmallow fluff'.
- Allowing to rest for at least 6 hours to firm up.
One variation of making marshmallows involves whipping egg whites in addition to the gelatin and sugar. This method definitely yields a lighter, fluffier marshmallow. I would consider it closer to what you would buy in stores, but it does require an extra step and some spare egg whites!
What You need to Make the Gingerbread Marshmallows
Here is everything you need to make these little fluffs:
- Granulated sugar- if you didn't already know...marshmallow are basically all sugar. The sugar will give them their sweetness and help develop the sugar syrup which will stabilize our mallows!
- Agave- agave is what is known as an invert sugar. An invert sugar is necessary for the sugar in our marshmallows to not turn grainy. It also helps the marshmallows stay soft and chewy!
- Molasses- a thick, brown syrup with a slightly bitter but robust flavor. It is necessary for anything gingerbread flavored!
- Gelatin- when soaked in cold water, the gelatin 'gels' and creates the strong structure to hold the marshmallow shape and also keep them for an extended period of time.
- Gingerbread Spice- I'm not even sure if they sell this spice blend but even if they do you can make it yourself! Again, can't have a gingerbread marshmallow without this spice blend.
What is in the Gingerbread Spice?
You obviously can't have gingerbread marshmallows without the gingerbread!! It's a pretty simple blend of flavors and I guarantee you have all of them in your cabinet right now. This blend makes more than you need, but you can make and then store it in a container for when you need it next. Here's what spices you'll need:
- 1 Tbsp ginger
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp allspice
- 1/2 Tbsp cloves
- 1/2 Tbsp nutmeg
You might think its looking pretty similar to pumpkin spice. And that's because it has the same spices as pumpkin, but in a more equal ratio. It has a good spice to it from the higher content of ginger and cloves.
How to Make the Gingerbread Marshmallows
- Prepare a 8x8 baking pan with parchment. Cut a piece that is long enough to hang off the sides so that you can lift out the marshmallows when they're done. Dust the bottom of the pan with a mixture of half powdered sugar and half corn starch. Lightly oil a small offset spatula and the sides of the pan that aren't covered by the parchment. Set both aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoons of powdered gelatin (about 2 packs) and 1/2 cup cold water. Mix with a spoon to combine. Place on the stand mixer with the whisk attachment ready to go.
- In a large pot, add 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup molasses. Heat the sugar mixture over medium for 10-12 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 240 degrees F.
- When the sugar syrup is ready, turn the mixer on medium low and slowly pour in the syrup. Add the gingerbread spice. Then turn the mixer up to medium high and let it whip.
- Whip for 8-9 minutes. The sugar will start to lighten in color and will look pale golden. Stop the mixer and lift up the head with the whisk. Watch the marshmallow flow back into the bowl. If it flows slowly, it's ready. If it flows quickly, give it another minute whipping on high .
- Now you must move quickly before the marshmallow sets. Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and use the offset spatula to smooth and even it out. Set aside and let set for at least 6 hours, 12 hours is best.
Cutting and Storing the Marshmallows
- The next day, dust the top of the gingerbread marshmallow with the powdered sugar and corn starch mixture. Pull the sides of the parchment to remove it from the pan. You might need to gently tug the marshmallow from the bare sides of the pan if it's sticking.
- Dust a sharp knife with some of the sugar mixture, and cut your marshmallows. You can also use a cookie cutter shape to cut them as well.
- Store in an air tight container dusted liberally with powdered sugar and corn starch to keep from sticking. They will keep their freshness for 3-4 days. Do NOT refrigerate!
How to Make the Best, Most Decadent Hot Chocolate Accompaniment
I think what is equally as important as the marshmallow is the cup of hot chocolate that comes with it!
Here's what you need to make this thick, rich and decadent hot chocolate:
- Dark chocolate chips- at least 70% cocao is best here! Its not meant to be a super sweet hot chocolate so you want a more bitter chocolate.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips- you definitely don't want to drink just dark chocolate, you need a little sweet to balance out the bitterness! 60% is most common for semi-sweet.
- Milk - any milk will work for this! I've made it with both alternative milk and cows milk and it's delicious in all forms!
Only one step to make it:
- Heat the chocolates and milk on the stove until melted and hot.
That's it! Do you love this recipe? Find more like it right here!
Gingerbread Marshmallows with Hot Chocolate
- 2 tbsp powdered gelatin, about 2 packs
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup agave
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp gingerbread spice
- mixture of half powdered sugar and corn starch
- 1 cup dark chocolate, 70%
- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate, 60%
- 1 1/2 cups milk
Making the Gingerbread Marshmallows
- Prepare a 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Make the paper long enough to hang over two sides so that you can easily remove the marshmallows. Lightly oil the sides of the pan that are not covered by parchment. Dust the bottom of the pan with the powdered sugar and corn starch mixture. Lightly oil a small offset spatula. Set both aside.
- In a stand mixing bowl, add the gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water. Stir to combine. Attach the whisk to get it ready.
- In a large pot, add the sugar, agave, molasess and water. Heat over medium until a thermometer reads 240. Do not stir the mixture while it cooks.
- Turn the stand mixer on medium low and slowly pour in the sugar syrup. Add the gingerbread spice mix. Turn the mixer to high and whip for 8-9 minutes. The mixing bowl will feel slightly warm, but not hot and will be very fluffy and a pale golden color when its ready. Lift the head of the mixer and whisk up. Watch how the marshmallow flows down into the bowl. If it flows very slowly, its done. If its falls quickly, continue whipping for a minute.
- Moving very quickly before it sets, pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and use the oiled spatula to smooth and even it out. Set aside and let firm for 6-12 hours.
- The next day, dust liberally with the powdered sugar and corn starch mixture. Pull up the sides of the parchment paper to remove the marshmallow. Gently pull it away from the bare sides if its sticking. Peel off the parchment sides and cut with a sharp knife into 16 pieces. You can also use a cookie cutter. Dust the knife in the powdered sugar in between cuts to keep it from sticking too much.
- Store in an airtight container, liberally coated with powdered sugar and corn starch. They will keep fresh for 3-4 days at room temperature. Do not refrigerate!
Making the Hot Chocolate
- In a small pot, add the milk and chocolate. Heat until melted and hot. Serve with gingerbread marshmallow square on top and enjoy!