The first snow falls and my mouth waters because I know that Christmas treats are just around the corner.
I love to be able to provide my family & friends with sweet treats for Christmas presents and so far I haven’t had any complaints. The bonus is that these homemade delights are super easy to make and organic. Of course, you can make them non- organically too, but for a girl who used to think organic meant eating cardboard tasting food, this opened my eyes and made my taste buds dance for joy!
These scrumptious treats are great for:
- Just Your Family
- Festive Gatherings
- Tasty Christmas Gifts
- Even Diabetic Family & Friends can enjoy the Hot Chocolate
Here are my favorite & easiest treats because let’s be realistic, we’ve all got too much on our plates to spend the whole month slaving in the kitchen.
Organic Hot Chocolate Mix
I found the WORLD’S BEST HOT CHOCOLATE recipe a few years back. After enjoying our first batch, my son declared that it is indeed THE BEST. I did alter it a bit but not by much.
I make this on a large scale to give away as Christmas gifts. People enjoy this so much that they can’t wait to get it again the following Christmas. Some even ask for a refill or the recipe because they don’t want to wait that long.
What you will need to make one jar of mix:
- 4 oz organic chocolate chips (the original recipes calls for 8 oz…that is way too sweet for me and I like sweet. You can get organic dark chocolate chips at the Health Food Center aka Green Acres Market on the south side.)
- 2/3 cup organic cane sugar OR xylitol
- 1/2 cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon organic cinnamon
TIP: If you have diabetic family or friends, then use xylitol instead of sugar and ditch the chocolate chips. They will still love this mix! I do and my kids don’t even notice a difference when I make it with xylitol. Not all xylitol brands taste alike. My current favorite is from Nature Sunshine.
I make cases of these mixes to give away and then on the mason jars put cute, little instruction labels. ( Hot Chocolate Mix Labels4 – forgive the extras dots.) I used the 25395 Avery Name Badge Labels for these labels.
If you want to make the Hot Chocolate for yourself, all you have to do is:
- Put 1/4 cup water to a medium sized sauce pan and heat on low
- Add 2 tablespoons of chocolate mix for a single serving or 2/3 cup of chocolate mix for 4 servings
- Stir and let the chocolate melt
- Add in 4 cups milk and whisk until smooth
- Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla before serving
Organic Peppermint Marshmallows
This may sound ridiculous but I never realized I could make marshmallows at home until my friend made some for a baby shower. These hands down are THE BEST MARSHMALLOWS EVER and they are super easy to make.
This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen D.I.Y. Recipe Collection with an added twist.
What you will need:
2 1/2 tablespoons of gelatin powder
2 – 1/2 cups water
2 cups organic cane sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1-2 drops peppermint oil (optional)
1/2 cup organic cornstarch
1/2 cup organic confectioners sugar
Coconut oil (or your choice of oil)
- Put 2 1/2 tablespoons of powdered gelatin into a mixer
- Add 1/2 cup of water
- Let it bloom for 15 minutes
While the gelatin is blooming, put the following into a medium sized sauce pan:
- 2 cups cane sugar (put this into the middle of the pan as you don’t want it to burn)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup water (I pour this around the edges of the pan)
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- Do NOT stir this mixture. You may swish the pot around but that’s all.
- Cook this for 6-8 minutes until the temperature is at 240 degrees Fahrenheit. (I don’t take it’s temperature, instead I wait until it looks like this.
- Break up the gelatin by turning the mixer on low.
- Pour the sugar mixture in your sauce pan into the mixer and slowly raise the mixer’s speed to high.
- Add 2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
- Add 1-2 drops of Peppermint oil. (Make sure it is at least food grade.)
- Mix for 10-12 minutes until the bowl feels barely warm. You do not want it to totally cool off.
- Prep the pan by putting foil or taping wax paper to the pan. Use 2 sheets – lengthwise and width-wise.
- Mix 1/2 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and then coat the bottom of the pan by sifting this mixture over it. (America’s Test Kitchen recommends greasing the bottom but to me that’s just one extra step.)
- Move pan next to mixer so you don’t lose time getting the marshmallow mixture into the pan.
TIP: I stick 2 spatulas in coconut oil and use these to help remove the marshmallow mixture off the beater and out of the bowl.
- If you do not used greased spatulas, you will end up in a very sticky mess.
- I like using the coconut oil because it gives it an extra yummy flavor too!
- Pour the mixture into the pan.
- Sift the cornstarch & confectioners sugar mixture on top.
- Cover and let it sit for 8 hours.
- Turn the marshmallow pan over onto a cutting board.
- Remove the foil or wax paper. The marshmallows may stick a little to the foil, but just work it off.
- Cut them with a greased knife into whatever size you like. My family prefers the jumbo size of a graham cracker. It’s easier to make s’mores that way.
- Roll all sides in the cornstarch/confectioners sugar mixture.
- Put them in a sifter and remove excess sugar mixture.
- Enjoy these delectable marshmallows by themselves or with the out of this world hot chocolate. And, if your nice you can even share it with others!