Each year my lucky neighbors get a little something made by me with love, directly from my kitchen. I say with "love" because baking is not my specialty at ALL. My mom got all the baking genes and as a result I can't fit into my own jeans! Click here to see what I made last year.
Can you think of a better way to say..."thanks for being such great people to live by and not having wild parties till 4am" or "thanks for not leaving your cars propped up on cinder blocks in the font yard" or "thanks for not getting your morning paper in your driveway in the nude"? Nope, didn't think so. It is just for these reasons I felt these great peeps needed a little something to sweeten their day, like some homemade hot chocolate with peppermint marshmallows. Mmm, who couldn't love that?
Sure, you can go and buy some marshmallows from the store, but not me! Heck, if Whimsy & Spice and Mia Mallows can do it, why can't I? OK, here's the reason I will not be starting a 3rd Etsy shop to sell these buggers... it starts with the fact there is a candy thermometer involved and that just screams WARNING Black Diamond hill ahead.
Oh, then there's all the hand mixing of the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites. For goodness sake, I have a Culinary degree and I'm still using this $20 dinosaur and not a $300 Kitchen Aid stand mixer, what's wrong with this picture?
Awww, the finished product and not looking so badly after all. A little elbow grease goes a long way. PS. they really do taste as good as they look!! (if I don't say so myself)
Anything made with almost 100% sugar is doomed to be a sticky mess, so I strongly suggest a healthy dusting of cornstarch, not mentioned in the recipe, thanks Martha. Funny how it looks like I just carved up a side of beef - nice marbling.
Now that the treats are all cooked and cooled it's time for the fun part. I'm a complete and total sucker for packaging but since I didn't plan on making these goodies until today, I had to use what I already had on hand. Hot chocolate mix would have looked so much nicer in a glass container, but some super cute gift tags can dress up even the saddest of wrappings. Kim, over at The TomKat Studio was my inspiration for these designs.
I made layered hang tags for both the hot chocolate and the marshmallows. I like the off center look and made the circles 1.5 inches round with enough of a colored background to use a 2 inch circle punch.
Personalized tags always put a nice finishing touch on any gift, so guess what?? I am making them available for you today, all for free. Simply download, print and punch or cut. I hope you enjoy and most importantly.... go make something!
PDF Candy Cane Tags