Winter temperatures have been plummeting below zero in the Midwest. Cold temperatures often result in craving comfort food and hot drinks. The ultimate comfort food is chocolate; add warming spices and you get the perfect winter weather dessert! When you add spices like cinnamon and cayenne to chocolate baked goods the result is a warming flavor with a little kick, but not too much.
Mexican hot chocolate is the perfect example of spicy chocolate. You can make spicy hot chocolate in a hot steamy mug, but you can also mimic the flavors in baked goods. For example: Mexican hot chocolate cookies or cupcakes.
Cinnamon and cayenne can be adjusted to your own spice level or preference, but if you really want to kick it up a notch try chocolate chipotle cake with cinnamon buttercream or chili chocolate truffle brownies.
If you prefer your warmth from a mug of hot cocoa make these homemade spicy marshmallows to top your drink with for an extra warming affect.
Spicy marshmallows: (This recipe is from Sassy Radish)
3/4 cup water, divided
1 1/2packets (1 1/2 teaspoons) powdered gelatin
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup, divided
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, divided
1/2 to 1 tsp ground hot pepper (like cayenne)
1. Place 6 tablespoons water in a 5-quart mixing bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the water and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Place the bowl over a medium saucepan of gently simmering water and allow the gelatin to dissolve without stirring. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining water, the sugar and one-fourth cup corn syrup. Cook the mixture over high heat until it reads 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour in the remaining corn syrup.
3. Immediately begin whipping the gelatin mixture, and slowly add the hot sugar mixture as you whip. Continue whipping until the marshmallow mixture is white, light and fluffy, about 15 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and then the hot pepper.
4. Spread the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with nonstick spray. For thicker marshmallows, use a smaller pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
5. Using a knife or cookie cutters, cut the marshmallow layer into desired shapes and sizes. Cover a work surface with a sheet of wax paper; lightly dust the paper with one-fourth cup confectioner’s sugar. As you cut out individual marshmallows, place them on the sugared wax paper. Lightly dust the tops of the marshmallows with the remaining confectioner’s sugar. The marshmallows may be tightly wrapped and stored for 3 to 5 days at room temperature.
Need an excuse to make these warming baked goods? Hit the slopes in the Madison area and have these spicy chocolate desserts ready when you get home!