This year I am giving my coworkers little hot chocolate mugs. They are quick and easy, fairly inexpensive and just about everyone likes hot chocolate. To add a little something extra I made marshmallows. I googled recipes and found several that I liked.
Marshmallows are easy to make though they do take some time to cool. Once you get them in the pan they need to sit for at least 6 hours though preferably over night.
The recipe I found called for unflavored gelatin, light corn syrup, granulated sugar, water and vanilla.
To get started you combine most of the ingredients and cook them to the "soft ball" stage on a candy thermometer. Once that is done you pour this incredibly hot mixture into a metal bowl and beat it with a mixer until it doubles in volume.
Since I had such great luck making regular marshmallows I had to step it up a bit. The next batch I made was flavored with Banana Vanilla Rum I got when I was in the Caribbean last year. The flavor is outstanding though I was too impatient and did not mix them long enough so they were flat. I'll be making a new batch of those later today.
The key to the Rum flavored marshmallows is this: instead of adding water to the gelatin you add rum. My recipe called for 1/2 cup of water to 3 packets of gelatin, I substituted 1/2 cup of rum for the water. Yum.
Here is a link to the recipe I used: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Homemade-Marshmallows-2
A couple of tips:
If your home is on the cool side you probably don't need to beat the mix for 15 minutes, I only needed to let it mix for 13 minutes, then my mixer started to protest!
Butter the spatula you use to spread the mixture into the pan
My marshmallows were not sticky enough to hold the toppings like the picture in the recipe, however, I live in a very dry climate, you results may be different.
Try adding different flavors to the gelatin, the rum is good. I've also heard of people making Irish Cream flavored marshmallows.
Keep in mind that you are not cooking off the alcohol when you add it to the mix, while some of it will burn off due tot he high heat of the mix you can not be sure how much is left so I would not recommend serving these to children :)