Chocolate Peppermint S'mores by Chelsea Zwieg

This is pretty much all of the things I loved rolled into one giant chocolate covered peppermint dream. In case you couldn't tell from reading this blog, I love s'mores. Big time. And if yesterday's post was any indication, peppermint runs through my veins from now until Christmas. So really, could there be anything better than a peppermint s'more? I don't think so. 

The past week has been full of good Christmasy things (and a lot of crushed candy canes that I keep finding everywhere) and it's only going to get better because I am going to Chicago tomorrow and there is nothing I love more than Chicago at Christmas time. As if Chicago wasn't great enough food wise (Cheesie's. Portillos. Eataly. UGH) and shopping wise (2 level Anthropologies just gets me all giddy) let's add in christmas lights everywhere, a gigantic tree and random santas everywhere you look and I am SO in. Most importantly, I am going with my very best friend and my very favorite best-friend's-mom and it is just going to be THE BEST. But before I go, let's talk s'mores. 

These are a combination of peppermint marshmallows, chocolate peppermint graham crackers and a whole lot of chocolate and crushed candy canes. They've got all the great flavors of s'mores but, since the marshmallows aren't toasted, they can hang out for a while, looking all pretty on your christmas cookie tray, before you get to eating them. However, if toasty s'mores are what you're after, by all means stick the marshmallows under the broiler and have yourself an indoor mid-winter s'mores party. Just please, please invite me. 

I won't make the argument that these can be whipped up quickly. They take a little bit of effort but are 100% worth it. The marshmallows take a few hours to set and the dough needs to chill but it's still very doable in an afternoon. If you're short on time, the chocolate peppermint graham crackers would also be amazing on their own, dipped in a little bit of white or dark chocolate. However and whenever you make them, I hope you have a great and christmasy first weekend of December! Filled with lots and lots of peppermint. obviously. 

Peppermint S'mores

Note: If you want to get real deal s'moresy, you can toast the marshmallows instead and place an unmelted square of chocolate in between the graham crackers. However, toasted s'mores are good for about 10 seconds and these are good for a couple days. So assess how quickly these will be eaten and go live your best s'mores life. 

Graham crackers adapted from Food Network

| Ingredients | 

Makes 6 s'mores

Chocolate peppermint graham crackers: 

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa (you can use regular cocoa but the crackers won't be as dark) 
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. peppermint extract
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp. hot water

S'mores:

  • 2 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (dark or milk)
  • 2 1/2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 6 peppermint marshmallows , cut into square the size of the graham crackers
  • 1 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies

| Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. 
  • In the bowl of stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar for 2 minutes. Add honey and beat 1 minute more. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until the mixture is dry and crumbly. Add the peppermint extract and coffee and mix until the dough clumps together. Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 20 minutes. 
  • Roll the chilled dough out between two pieces of parchment paper to an 1/8" thick. Cut into 6 rectangles and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. You may need to re-roll the dough once or twice to get 6 rectangles. To make them look like real graham crackers, cut an indentation in the middle of each rectangle and make 2-3 indentations with a fork on each square. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and chill for 10 minutes. This will keep them from spreading. Bake 15-20 minutes, until the dough is set in the center and dry around the edges. Let cool completely on the pan. 
  • Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl until smooth. Stir every 30 seconds to prevent it from burning. If it does not seem thin enough to dip, add a little bit more coconut oil to thin it out. Just be careful not to add too much or it won't set up. To assemble the s'mores, gently break each graham cracker along the indentation so that you have 2 squares. Spread a spoonful of melted chocolate on the bottom side of one square. Place the marshmallow on top, pressing gently to adhere it. Top with the second graham cracker. Dip the s'more halfway in the melted chocolate then dip the chocolate portion in the crushed candy canes. Place finished s'mores on a parchment lined baking sheet and let sit until the chocolate hardens. This can be sped up by sticking the pan in the fridge or freezer. 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows by Chelsea Zwieg

It's officially countdown-to-Christmas-time and while there has yet to be snow on the ground, I did have to scrape like an inch of ice off of my windshield yesterday so I think it's right around the corner. Getting into full on winter mode makes me want all things peppermint, which is why I am so SO excited to tell you about these marshmallows. They are also a part of an even more exciting recipe that I will post tomorrow so get ready for your whole kitchen to smell like a peppermint wonderland. And if you spill things everywhere like I do, it will smell like that much longer than anticipated. I definitely don't hate it. 

So, these marshmallows. I posted another recipe for homemade marshmallows a while ago, which was my first time ever making them. And let me just say once again, I cannot believe how easy it is to make marshmallows. If you can watch sugar boil (you don't even have to stir it) and then watch your mixer do it's thing for 10 minutes, you can make marshmallows. The only problem is the potential sticky mess that can happen in getting them from the mixing bowl into a pan. Which is why I will offer you the only marshmallow making tip you need: spray everything with cooking spray. Spray the pan. Spray the spatula you use to scrape the bowl. Spray your fingertips if you use them to smooth it out in the pan. Also, just accept that you are never going to get every last strand of marshmallow out of the bowl. If you keep trying you will end up tangled in so much marshmallow you will be trying to get free for days. Just dump the mixing bowl into the pan, scrape it once with a spatula and get the rest under hot, soapy water.  

Not only are homemade marshmallows incredibly easy to make, they are so much better than the store bought version. And trust me, I love store bought marshmallows. But these practically melt in your mouth and are so light and airy you will wonder why you've been settling for Jet Puffed all these years. Plus, when you make them at home, you can add peppermint (!) and red swirls (!!) and package them up as cute little gifts to give to all the people in your life who have yet to taste the magic of a homemade marshmallow. 

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows 

Makes a 9x13 pan

    | Ingredients

    • 3 cups sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups corn syrup 
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
    • 2 tsp. peppermint extract 
    • red food coloring
    • powdered sugar, for dusting

    | Instructions

    • Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 3/4 cup water in a large pot (4 quarts or more). Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. When the mixture begins to boil, attach a candy thermometer and cook, without stirring until it reaches between 235-240. 
    • Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let the gelatin soften for 5 minutes. 
    • Attach the whisk attachment to the mixer and pour in the hot sugar mixture while the mixer runs on low. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is thick and tripled in volume, about 12 minutes. Beat in the peppermint extract. Pour the marshmallows into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula sprayed with cooking spray. 
    • Place drops of red food coloring on top the marshmallows and use a toothpick to swirl it around. Hit the pan on the counter a couple times to get rid of any air bubbles or lumps. Let sit, uncovered, until set, about 4 hours. 
    • To remove from the pan, use the parchment overhang to unmold the marshmallows. Use a knife sprayed with cooking spray to cut the marshmallows into your desired size. Toss each square in powdered sugar until  all sides are coated.