Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hot Cocoa Treats

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house. The lights are hung, the tree is decorated, and my Christmas gift crafting is well underway. It hasn't quite felt so much like winter in Georgia yet. The temperatures have dropped and snow is in the forecast this week, but today was the first day that a coat was really required.Still the snuggly-weather spirit moves me in December and I just want to drink hot cocoa under the Christmas lights and watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special, instead of tackling anything on my holiday "to-do" list.

There are  cards to be signed and sent. There are cookies to be baked and shipped. A tree topper must be made and stockings either sewn or found. There are gifts to order and packages to wrap. Honestly, I love every sticky-sweet-cheery moment of this season! And I couldn't be more determined to have my cocoa moments and eat them too. You didn't read that wrong I wrote "eat my cocoa". You see, I've devised a little recipe that can be made without fuss, is sweet, chocolately, and topped with marshmallows, but that I can wrap up and stick in my purse to enjoy while I wait in line at the post office.

A riff on the classic rice crispy treat, this mixture of marshmallows, cocoa, and chocolate cereal would make a quick and easy gift packaged in a sweet tin and paired with your favorite cocoa mix or coffee bean. Their sweetness pairs especially well with a cup of strong coffee.

Hot Cocoa Treats 

makes 12 large bars

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 10 ounce bag regular sized marshmallows

1/4 cup hot cocoa mix

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 15 ounce box Cocoa Crispies cereal

1 cup mini marshmallows

Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with a piece of parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Add the hot cocoa and salt and remove from the heat. Pour in the cocoa crispies and stir until well combined.

Dump the marshmallow-cereal mixture into the prepared pan. Use a buttered spatula (or buttered hands) to press the mixture evenly into the pan. Sprinkle with the mini marshmallows and press down gently.

Toast the mini marshmallows under a low broiler until golden brown, 1-2 minutes, depending on the broiler. Cool completely before slicing and devouring.

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