Hot chocolate was that special treat we got to have after school when it was too gray and rainy to play outside (which didn’t happen all that often in the Silicon Valley). It was something I could make by myself – I’d just microwave some water in a mug and tear open a packet of Swiss Miss. I especially loved the kind with the tiny little marshmallows that would float on top.
I read ingredient labels more often these days and, not to specifically bag on Swiss Miss because they’re not alone in this, but there are a lot of unpronounceable ingredients in those little packets that go a bit beyond “cocoa”, “sugar” and “milk”. And let’s not even get started with the marshmallows. This past rainy weekend I decided to pull out a saucepan and make this treat from scratch. Doesn’t the idea of Stovetop Cocoa with Toasted Homemade Marshmallows just sound like it would be better anyway? Let me assure you that it is.
The cocoa recipe comes from the Hershey’s Cocoa package – it’s just unsweetened cocoa, sugar, milk, water and a little vanilla. It is outstanding! When you top it with a fluffy homemade marshmallow, with a toasty tan outer shell from a quick minute under the broiler…it seriously makes me wish for more rainy gray days.
Stovetop Hot Cocoa with Toasted Marshmallows
Hot cocoa recipe from the side of the HERSHEY’S Cocoa package.
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Dash salt
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 4 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 homemade or store-bought marshmallows
For the Hot Cocoa:
- Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a saucepan; stir in water.
- Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture boils; boil and stir for 2 minutes.
- Stir in milk and heat. DO NOT BOIL.
- Remove from heat; add vanilla.
For the Toasted Marshmallows:
- (NOTE: I found this very convenient to do in the toaster oven, but a regular oven will work as well.) Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the marshmallows on the baking sheet – leave a bit of space between each one to allow for a little spreading – and place the sheet under the broiler. Watch carefully – it should only take about a minute for the tops to develop their brown toasty crust.
- Remove the baking sheet and set aside to cool for a minute or two. Then, using a spatula, carefully transfer each marshmallow from the baking sheet to your mug of hot cocoa.
See the Recipe Index for all the recipes on Cooking On the Side.