Surprise your Valentine with a cup of hot chocolate dressed up with a paper straw "arrow" and a heart-shaped marshmallow. Kids and adults alike will love this new twist on a classic winter treat.Liz Gray; Photography by Jeff Romaniuk
Stretch a length of paper tape along the edge of a ruler, starting at the end of the ruler and ending at the 6 inch mark. Using scissors, snip the edge of the tape every 1-1/2 inches. Pull the tape off the ruler and complete the cuts. This is enough tape to create one arrow-embellished straw.
Starting about 2 inches from the top of the straw, affix the bottom-right corner of the first piece of tape to the center of the straw. The piece of tape should be at an angle. Line up the bottom of the second piece of tape with the bottom-right side of the first piece.
Turn over and repeat with the remaining two tape pieces, pressing the two sides together.
Use scissors to trim uneven edges, if necessary. Starting at the top edge of the tape, cut on an angle to create the arrow's fringe. Repeat with the remaining side. Set aside until ready to use.
Using a paring knife, cut a 1/2-inch slice from both ends of each jumbo marshmallow. Reserve the center for another use. Place the ends cut-side down on a cutting board. Stamp out the shape using a 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Save both the outline of the heart and the heart shape for your finished hot chocolate.
Prepare your favorite hot chocolate recipe, or try this easy-to-make, spicy mix:
Spiced Hot Chocolate Mix
Makes 5-1/2 cups hot chocolate mix
1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa
2-1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
vanilla extract, for serving (optional)
hot water or milk, for serving
In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Store in an airtight container. When ready to use, fill your mug 1/3 of the way with hot chocolate mix. Add enough hot water or milk just to cover, then whisk to remove any lumps. Add a splash of vanilla, if desired. Fill the rest of the way with water or milk.
Top the prepared hot chocolate with a marshmallow heart cutout and thread the paper straw arrow through the center to serve. For marshmallow lovers, add a few extra hearts to the mug. Happy Valentine's Day!