Christmas is a wonderful time for serving hot cocoa. I like to make the hot cocoa a special treat, so try to serve the drinks with something different every year. One year I made graham cracker stirrers. Another year, I served a hot cocoa bar.
One year, I made monster hot chocolate.
This year, I made peppermint marshmallows along with chocolate dipped marshmallows with Christmas sprinkles. The peppermint stick marshmallows give a really nice flavor to the hot chocolate, since they just give a hint of peppermint. Some guests don’t like a heavy peppermint flavor, and this is a way to incorporate all of those candy canes that might not want to be eaten. Serve them with hot chocolate! I used my stainless steel kitchen mallet to crush the peppermint in a plastic bag. I melted 8 ounces milk chocolate with 2 tablespoons Crisco in the microwave for 6-8 seconds, to give the best consistency for dipping. I used large marshmallows and peppermint sticks. I simply dipped the marshmallows in the chocolate and then the peppermint. For some of the marshmallows, I just used red and green sprinkles. I placed them on waxed paper covered half sheet pans, and chilled in the refrigerator before storing in a plastic tub. I kept these in the refrigerator for the week, and brought them out just before serving in the hot cocoa.
These marshmallows are so flavorful and so cute when serving. I highly recommend them for your next party. It is important to not skip the final step of chilling before serving. That step is crucial to having the best outcome for this presentation.
An additional hint: Go slowly with melting chocolate in the microwave. I do 4 seconds at most at a time. Remove the chocolate and stir. If you overcook the chocolate, the consistency will be ruined. Every microwave is different, and if your model has a melting feature, be certain the temperature is not too high for melting chocolate. If there is no access to a microwave, the chocolate can be safely melted in a double boiler on the stove-top over low heat.