I have one last festive treat to tell you about before the big day!
Snickerdoodle hot chocolate! Complete with homemade snickerdoodle marshmallows! YES!
Trust me, all the exclamation points are totally justified here. This is some exciting stuff. This is one of those recipes that turned out even better than I was expecting. It’s SO decadent and incredibly cozy. And it’s IDEAL for soaking up these last couple weeks of the holiday season.
I have talked about this before, but I have a complicated relationship with marshmallows. I enjoy them but do not lose my mind over them like I did when I was a kid. I used to fill my hot chocolate with an obscene amount of marshmallows. If they were mini, even better. My hot chocolate cup would have a rough ratio of 2:1 (2 being the marshmallows).
I’ve outgrown those tendencies. S’mores are fun but not my favorite thing (I’d rather eat a cookie). And hot chocolate has become WAY more about the actual chocolate than the marshmallows as I’ve gotten older.
But! HOMEMADE marshmallows are a totally different story. I am a bit obsessed. They have incredible texture and taste SO much better than anything you could buy in a store. They’re fluffy and soft with a little chew and take on whatever flavor you add beautifully.
In this case, I made snickerdoodle marshmallows to sit atop mugs of snickerdoodle hot chocolate.
I’m really not one to toot my own horn, but I just can’t help myself this time. THIS IS INCREDIBLE.
I have had a major love affair with snickerdoodles lately. I have always loved them, but this year, it’s up a notch or two. Maybe it’s because they taste cozy? And we need all the cozy we can get this year? Whatever the reason is, I am here for it.
The marshmallows themselves may seem really intimidating to make. And yes, when you look at the recipe, it’s long with a lot of detailed steps. But I assure you, once you read through them, you’ll see that making them is really not difficult.
The one caveat: they require some equipment. You must have a candy thermometer to make them, and I cannot imagine making them without a stand mixer that does all the beating work for you. I have never tried making them any other way, so I unfortunately cannot recommend another way.
But the actual process is not hard. You bloom some gelatin in water (this means that you just let them sit to get to know each other a bit), make a hot sugar syrup (hence the need for the candy thermometer), and incorporate the two in the stand mixer, whipping TONS of air into the mixture to create the marshmallow texture. NOT hard, but there are lots of little steps.
These marshmallows are flavored with vanilla and cinnamon and then coated thoroughly on the outside with cinnamon sugar – just like a snickerdoodle would be!
After you’ve made the marshmallows, coated them in cinnamon sugar, and given them time to set, you get to the fun part: hot chocolate!
To echo the cinnamon theme going on here, I add some cinnamon to the hot chocolate mix. What a heavenly combo! Cinnamon and chocolate has always been one that I’ve loved.
A word of warning: this hot chocolate is seriously rich. Like, decadent beyond decadent. The reason? There’s no cocoa powder in sight. I use actual melted dark chocolate here, and it makes a huge difference. The chocolate flavor is intense and rich and perfect. It’s almost like drinking a mug of melted chocolate.
This is SUCH a fun project to do this time of year, and it’s great because the marshmallows will last at room temperature for several days. You can make mugs of hot chocolate all week long, or you can pass the marshmallows out to friends and family! They would look lovely in a cookie box.
Quite frankly, even though snickerdoodles seems to be tied to Christmas, I could drink this anytime the weather is cold and dreary. I could definitely see this happening when we’re in the depths of the most depressing months of the year: January and February (just my humble opinion – they are always a real struggle for me).
Yes! A little snickerdoodle hot chocolate on Valentine’s Day, for example?
SIGN ME UP.
This Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate is a cup of pure cozy decadence. Fluffy homemade marshmallows are flavored with cinnamon and vanilla and then coated in cinnamon sugar. They are the perfect accompaniment to cinnamon-spiced hot chocolate made with rich dark chocolate!
For Coating the Marshmallow Pan:
- Softened butter or nonstick spray
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the Cinnamon Sugar Marshmallows:
- ¾ cup cold water, divided
- 3 (0.25-oz) envelopes of unflavored gelatin
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste/extract
For the Hot Chocolate:
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste/extract
- Pinch of fine salt
- Additional cinnamon sugar, for serving (optional)
For the Marshmallow Pan:
- Liberally grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Whisk together the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and then dust the greased dish all over with the mixture.
- You want the bottom and all sides of the dish well and evenly coated.
- In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Sprinkle roughly half of the mixture all over the bottom of the pan, shaking the pan around to ensure all the nooks and crannies are evenly coated.
- Set aside. Reserve the remaining cinnamon sugar for coating the top of the marshmallows later.
For the Marshmallows:
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add ½ cup of the cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Allow to sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. This allows the gelatin to “bloom.”
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining ¼ cup cold water.
- Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring to help the sugar dissolve.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the thermometer reads 240°F, about 1-2 minutes.
- Turn the stand mixer on the lowest speed and VERY CAREFULLY and slowly stream in the hot sugar mixture to the gelatin mixture in the bowl.
- Once all of the hot sugar mixture has been added and somewhat incorporated, gradually increase the speed of your mixer to high.
- Beat on high for 5 minutes, or until the mixture starts to grow in volume. Stop the mixer and add in the ground cinnamon and vanilla bean paste/extract.
- Continue beating the mixture on high for another 5-7 minutes or until it has doubled in volume, is glossy and white, and can hold soft peaks.
- Grease a spatula and use it to help pour the mixture from the bowl into the prepared baking dish. Smooth out the top as much as possible with the greased spatula.
- Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar all over the top of the marshmallows, being sure to spread it as evenly as possible. You can gently tap the pan to help it spread in an even layer. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered at room temperature for a minimum of 4 hours, or until they are set and firm (a little jiggle is good!). They can rest at room temperature for up to 24 hours, if needed.
- Dip a sharp knife in powdered sugar and run it around the edges of the pan. Carefully invert the marshmallows onto a surface dusted with powdered sugar. Use the knife to slice the marshmallow into squares (or your desired shape).
- If your marshmallows are excessively sticky, dust them with more cinnamon sugar. Leftover marshmallows can sit at room temperature, well wrapped, for up to a week.
For the Hot Chocolate:
- Once your marshmallows are ready and cut, start making your hot chocolate by combining the milk, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan.
- Place the pot over medium heat and whisk until the sugar dissolves.
- Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and microwave on LOW in 20-second increments, stirring after each session, until it is melted and smooth.
- Once the milk is hot but not boiling, whisk the melted chocolate into the pot. Keep stirring until everything is smooth and creamy and well mixed. Add the salt and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Pour into mugs and garnish with the cinnamon sugar marshmallows and a dusting of ground cinnamon.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes (plus at least 4 hours for the marshmallows to set)
- Category: dessert
Keywords: snickerdoodle hot chocolate, snickerdoodle marshmallows, homemade snickerdoodle marshmallows, cinnamon sugar marshmallows