Happy Hour – Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate with Chartreuse Marshmallows

I am obsessed with marshmallows. It’s a little obnoxious actually. Just ask my husband. I eat them straight out of the bag. If I see them on a dessert at a restaurant I will always order that dessert. When I make a cup of hot cocoa it’s really only because I want a cup full of melty marshmallows. Growing up, I had to have smores every time we lit a fire. There is a candy company here in town that is famous for their marshmallows. It just so happens it’s close to the Farmer’s Market so I go there way more than I should.
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A couple years ago, on a trip to San Antonio in the fall, I discovered the joy of spiked hot chocolate and marshmallows. They changed my life. No joke. It probably helped that we were sitting at our favorite San Antonio bar (for like the third time on that trip), completely immersed in the local atmosphere, but I will forever remember those marshmallows.

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Esquire Tavern, San Antonio, Texas

I won’t lie, it has taken me a few absolute failures to master the art of the marshmallow. They really aren’t that complicated but I’ve been impatient with them more than once. I also recommend making a regular old marshmallow a time or two before you try to get all gourmet. Trust me. I’m speaking from experience here. πŸ™‚
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I can honestly say that I’m always very proud of myself when I plop one of these big, fluffy marshmallows on top of a big mug of hot cocoa.

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate with Chartreuse Marshmallows

Hot Chocolate
4 cups milk
1/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch (optional thickener)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. chipotle powder or chili powder
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
Shot of tequila

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Β Heat over medium heat until simmering, stirring frequently. Β Remove from heat and serve with marshmallows.

Chartreuse Marshmallows
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 oz. Green Chartreuse
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray

Combine the gelatin with 1/2 cup of the cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, the granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. When the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and Green Chartreuse during the last minute of whipping.

While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows:

Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel or knife dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Source: Marshmallows adapted from Alton Brown, http://altonbrown.com/homemade-marshmallow-recipe/
Hot chocolate adapted from Gimme Some Oven, http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/mexican-spiced-hot-chocolate

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Now that is how you own a Monday!

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