Today I’ve got #4 on my list of edible gifts this month.
Did you see this post last week? Well, I’ve brought you another variation on hot chocolate stir sticks this week.
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Sticks!
If peppermint is not your thing, give these sticks a try. I mean, who doesn’t like salted caramel? The ganache makes the hot chocolate base, the caramel melts into the chocolate, and the marshmallow foams and melts making a frothy mallow topping. These really are SO much fun at holiday parties! I like to have several kinds of hot chocolate sticks set out so that guests can choose the kind of hot chocolate they want, pop it in an empty mug and pour hot milk over it, stirring until it melts into a fabulous cup of cocoa.
Wrap these up in clear treat bags tied with twine or ribbon for a great gift! I know I will be giving these out this year!
Since the assembly process can seem a little daunting, I put together a little tutorial for you on how to do it:
Dust your work surface with a mixture of 1/2 cornstarch 1/2 powdered sugar, as well as a sharp knife. Invert your pan of marshmallows out onto the surface. Slice the marshmallows into 1 1/2″ wide strips. Then slice the strips into squares.
Skewer the marshmallows on wooden sticks so that about 1/2″ of the skewer sticks through the bottom of the marshmallow. Invert your pan of caramel onto a piece of parchment paper.
Cut off the ends of your caramel so that the sides are straight up and down. Place a marshmallow on top of the caramel to gauge how wide to cut your strips of caramel. Cut the caramel into strips with a sharp knife.
Cut the caramel strips into squares(they should be the same size as your marshmallows). Skewer the caramel onto the marshmallow stick. There should still be a small amount of stick poking through.
Invert your pan of ganache onto a piece of parchment. Line up your marshmallow caramel skewers, pressing the tip of the skewer into the ganache. Slice of the ends of the ganache with a hot knife so that the sides are even. Still using a hot knife, slice down the sides of each skewer, separating each cube from the block. Pat coarse salt onto the caramel and keep refrigerated.
To make the hot chocolate:
Fill a mug 3/4 full of steaming hot milk. Place the hot chocolate stick in the milk and allow to sit for a minute or two. Stir well.
- Nonstick Cooking Spray
- 1 C. Cold Water, divided
- 3 -1/4 oz. packets Unflavored Gelatin(3/4 oz. total or 3 packages at .25 oz. each)
- 2 C. Sugar
- ⅔ C. Light Corn Syrup
- ¼ t. Salt
- 2 t. Vanilla Extract
- ½ C. Powdered Sugar
- ½ C. Cornstarch
- Line 13x9x2-inch or 8x8 inch metal baking pan with foil.
- Coat foil lightly with nonstick spray.
- Pour ½ cup cold water into bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until gelatin softens and absorbs water, at least 15 minutes.
- Combine 2 cups sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining ½ cup cold water in heavy medium saucepan.
- Stir over medium/low heat until sugar dissolves, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush.
- Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat and bring syrup to boil. Boil, without stirring, until syrup reaches 240°F, about 8 minutes.
- With mixer running at low speed, slowly pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture in thin stream down side of bowl (avoid pouring syrup onto whisk, as it may splash). Gradually increase speed to high and beat until mixture is very thick and stiff, about 15 minutes.
- Add vanilla and beat to blend, about 30 seconds longer.
- Scrape the marshmallow mixture into prepared pan.
- Smooth top with wet spatula(I use my fingers, dipped in a little water). Let stand uncovered at room temperature until firm, about 4 hours.
- Stir cornstarch and powdered sugar in small bowl to blend. Sift generous dusting of starch-sugar mixture onto work surface, forming rectangle slightly larger than 13x9 inches.
- Turn marshmallow slab out onto starch-sugar mixture; peel off foil. Sift more starch-sugar mixture over marshmallow slab. Coat large sharp knife (or cookie cutters) with nonstick spray.
- Cut marshmallows into squares. I cut them into squares that are about 1½"x1½".
- Toss each in remaining starch-sugar mixture to coat. Transfer marshmallows to rack, shaking off excess mixture.
- Store the marshmallows in an air-tight container.