How He Proposed: Homemade Marshmallows and Hot Chocolate

by simplylife on February 12, 2012

As I approached my car, I couldn’t help but notice a single bright flower attached to my windshield.  I removed the flower and my eyes quickly darted to the card beside it. My heart quickened as I read, “today I want to show you how thankful I am for you. Come home straight after work, you’ll have more instructions at that time…”

My hour-long work meeting felt like a day but when I finally got home I found more of the same flowers and an envelope outside my apartment door.   The envelope included directions to a running store and a gas card (yes, I was a broke social worker working for a group home so that gas card was to make sure that I needn’t worry about driving around the city). When I arrived at the running store I was handed another envelope.  Inside the envelope was a gift card towards shoes for our first marathon along with a list of “26 things he’s excited to do with me.”

The next set of directions led me to a spa.  After checking in at the front desk, I was taken to a tranquil room for an hour long massage.  As I left the room, relaxed and over-joyed, the massage therapist handed me another envelope that led to several other clues in the form of crossword puzzles, word searches and fill in the blanks taking me to Barnes & Noble, a “Paint Your Own Pottery Store,” and more.  My final destination: home.

When I got to my apartment, there was an envelope outside my door with instructions to go straight into my room and call him when I was ready.  After excitedly getting dressed, I dialed his number.  He knocked on the door and I opened it to find him standing in chef’s attire; white jacket, pinstriped pants, dishtowl.  He led me to the couch and he cooked dinner after handing me a bouquet of roses.  As I looked closer, I noticed that little notes had been tied to each rose. The notes were  from my family and closest friends, each had one sentence about why they love me.  I cried, he changed into dress clothes and we ate a delicious meal together.

After dinner, he had me count the roses: 11.  “Hmmm…he said, that’s odd.  I’ve never heard of only 11 roses.  Why don’t I go check for the 12th…”  He came out, however not with a rose, but with a guitar.  I sat next to him as he sang me a song he had written.

“Strange though,” he said.  “We still haven’t found that 12th rose. Let me go check again.   Why don’t you close your eyes this time.”  With my eyes closed, he placed the 12th rose in my hand, there was a long red ribbon attached and at the end of the ribbon instead of a note, there was a box.  I felt the box with my eyes still closed, and when I opened it…

it was empty.

Instead of a note, was the greatest man I’ve ever known on his knee, asking me to marry him.

If you’re wondering, I said yes 😉 and then we went for a delicious dessert at the Melting Pot, and the last 5+ years since have been wedded bliss 🙂

Valentine’s Day is coming.  And while you don’t have to plan an extravagant scavenger hunt for your love (although I highly recommend it ;)) you may be searching for the perfectly sweetened dessert to share after dinner.

Don’t be fooled.  This decadent hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows is much more than just a warm drink, it is a complete dessert.  I was sent Marshmallow Madness! to review, and after questioning my ability to actually make marshmallows from scratch, I quickly realized that the instructions were easy to follow and the entire process was clearly explained.  And the best part?  Making these was fun!

This book is filled with tons of creative ways to make and use marshmallows and it’s definitely one of the most approachable cookbooks I’ve seen!

Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

Homemade Marshmallows and Hot Chocolate

by Simply Life

Marshmallows adapted from Marshmallow Madness!

Hot Chocolate adapted from Adapted from Joy of Baking

Keywords: dessert beverage vegetarian Christmas Thanksgiving winter



  • 4 1/2 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1/2 plus 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

For the Hot Chocolate (makes 2 cups)

  • 2 cups plus 4 tbs. milk
  • 2 tbs. cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs. sugar


1. Spray 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Whisk together the gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes (it will begin to mold together).

2. In small saucepan, stir together sugar, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup cold water and salt over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 240 degrees (I bought my first thermometer for this recipe; it only cost about $3 and is pretty crucial for this stage!).

3. Meanwhile, pour remaining 1/4 cup honey into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Melt gelatin mixture by putting in microwave on high for about 30 seconds or stirring in pot over high heat. Pour completely melted gelatin into the mixer bowl. Set on low speed and keep mixer running.

4. When the syrup reaches 240 degrees, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high and beat for 5 additional minutes. Beat on the highest setting for 1 to 2 minutes, while beating in vanilla. The batter should become fluffy and have tripled in volume. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and smooth over with a spatula.

5. Mix together confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch (this is now called “coating”). Sift/sprinkle coating generously over the top (this is what prevents them from sticking to everything and it can be dusted off when serving). Set coating aside (you will need it again). Let marshmallows sit in cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) for at least 6 hours.

6. Lightly dust work surface with coating. Loosen marshmallows with a knife around the edges and turn pan over so that marshmallows “fall” onto work surface. Sprinkle top with more coating. Cut into preferred size pieces (a pizza cutter works great). If needed, dip individual pieces into coating, dust off the excess. Serve and enjoy!

For the Hot Chocolate

1. Place 2 cups milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is very hot (not boiling). Meanwhile in each mug, stir together 1 tbs. cocoa powder, 1 tbs. sugar, and 2 tbs. milk. Pour hot milk over mixture and stir until it is evenly combined. Top with marshmallows, serve and enjoy!

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~What is your favorite way to eat marshmallows?

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  • Hillary

    This is just beyond adorable. Love it.

  • Meghan Smith

    By far the best proposal I have ever…EVER heard of. You are a lucky woman, what a fantastic man!

    And might I add how lucky HE is if he got to indulge in that amazing hot cocoa and marshmallow dessert you created!

    • Simply Life

      Haha, thanks – we like to think we’re both pretty lucky 🙂

  • Heather

    What an amazing proposal story!

    So romantic – you are a lucky woman!

    I love the hot chocolate recipe – my favorite way to enjoy marshmallows is in rice krispie treats!

  • Zoe

    Your Valentine’s Day post is so beautiful! This proposal is so well-thought and well-planned and I can see that you are a lucky lady.

    Love your home made marshmallow with hot cocoa. It can be a priceless moment to enjoy this cosy drink together.

  • Anonymous

    That is the sweetest proposal story. Definitely a keeper. 🙂

    I just got that book as well and made marshmallows last week… my post is coming Tuesday. I love marshmallows in hot chocolate.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    Umm…that is possibly the best proposal story I have ever read. Does your husband have any brothers? Male cousins? lol

  • Sam

    That is really the most adorable story. I think when D and I finally decide to get married it will be something along the lines of “filing a joint tax return just makes economic sense” (and I’ll love it).

    I saw some cardamom marshmallows at the Flea yesterday. Maybe I’ll try my hand at making my own rather than spending $6 for four marshmallows.

    • Simply Life

      Yes! You should definitely make your own- all I had to buy was the gelatin (like $1.50 and the thermometer which was about $3 and I can use forever!)

  • Yummychunklet

    What a wonderful story!

  • Lisa @ Bakebikeblog

    oh my – that is one of the sweetest stories I have ever heard!

  • Rebecca! That is possibly the best proposal story I have ever heard! How sweet!

  • Michelle

    I have tears in my eyes! Wow! What a cute and romantic story. Your husband sounds so caring and thoughtful.

    I think I need to make my boyfriend read this post… just for some ideas when that time comes 🙂

  • Kristen@Change of Pace

    SOOO romantic! My husband needs to read this post. He needs to learn to be a little sweeter 🙂

  • Bom

    Aww! Wonderful story. Congratulations on your 5 years of simply wedded bliss. Enjoy your Valentine’s day!

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes

    What a great way to propose!

    The chocolate with marshmallows sounds wonderful!

  • RebeccaSubbiah RD

    wow your hubby is amazing sweetest proposal ever and love your mashmellows

  • Emily @ A Cambridge Story

    What a sweet story!! I’ve always wanted to make marshmallows… this looks doable! And tasty!!

  • vianney

    OMG so sweet, thank you for sharing… love this story!!

  • Colleen

    So so so sweet! Just like the marshmallows and hot chocolate. 🙂 Have a great Valentine’s Day!!

  • Allison’s Delicious Life

    HOW did he think of that?! That is probably the most romantic proposal I have EVER heard of. You are one lucky woman!!!!

  • Brocstar

    Amazing. You are truly lucky.

  • Kari

    That was an amazing story. What a beautiful, beautiful way to propose! I am super impressed 🙂

  • Lauren

    So cute!!! Lucky gurl 😉

  • Joanne

    Be still, my heart! How ADORABLE is this. I really hope whoever eventually proposes to me is this romantic. And I will happily make him marshmallows as a thank you. 😛

    I have to review this cookbook also and you’ve gotten me excited to do it! These look great!

  • decocinasytacones

    Oh I loved this!, what a beautiful story….my hubby did something similar but ten years ago….without the singing part, LOL. I hope you are like this for the rest of your days.
    I´m all exciting to try and make the marshmallows.
    Love from Spain

  • Barbara

    What fun! Love this post!
    And that book looks marvelous. I’ve never made them from scratch, but now I’m tempted!

  • EA-The Spicy RD

    Wow! That’s one amazing proposal story! I’ve wanted to try making marshmallows for awhile now with my kids. I’ve bought them at Whole Foods before and they are so much better than regular ones. Will have to try this soon! Happy Valentines Day 🙂

  • Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian

    That is seriously the most touching engagement ever. How amazing!!!
    These homemade marshmallows look divine! 🙂

  • Anna @ Food Fitness Frolicking

    My heart just melted. What a lovely story! You are so blessed to have a great husband!

    Happy early Valentines Day!

  • Shawna

    I must be getting old, my first thoughts were “Wow! He sure is keeping her up late!” Plus, I probably would have been asleep after the massage! Ha!

    Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Simply Life

      Haha, oh no -I can’t stay awake much after 10pm. I had a quick work event that day so I this really started pretty early and took the whole day…and I’m sure we finished dessert by about 8pm 🙂

  • Shauna

    What a sweet story! And a beautiful job on the mallows! I hope you continue to work from the book. Enjoy! xo

  • Jamie

    Oh. my. gosh. That is possibly THE sweetest engagement story I’ve ever heard! You are one lucky lady 🙂
    And thanks for sharing the homemade marshmallows–how fun!

  • Emma @ All The Pieces Of Me

    Wow that sure is an amazing proposal story!! I am so showing this to my boyfriend! 😉

  • Mom

    Even though I have previously read this post several hours ago, I was not ready to write my comment. Now I am, so here goes! I loved reading this over and over again as it was and remains some of the most tender memories in my life as I try as best I can to re-live it through your life. I am, by far, hands down, and without a close contender the most fortunate mother-in-law not in this country, but, I believe, in the entire world. Happy Valentine Day eve !!!

    Your marshmallows are the first I’ve ever seen homemade…cool !!!

  • Shannon

    oh my gosh, what a great story 🙂 memories surely not to be forgotten!! i’ve been meaning to make marshmallows for forever, i should get on it!!

    • Simply Life

      You should- it’s pretty fun when the fluff up! 🙂

  • Jolene (

    OH MY GOSH!!! That is the most romantic, sweet proposal!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!!!! I can’t believe how much work he put into it! You two seem like such a wonderful couple 🙂

  • kyleen

    So I would just like to say that that was the most adorable proposal story ever. It’s like something straight out of a movie, especially the part where he wrote and sang a song for you! It’s nice to know that there are guys like that who EXIST.

    These marshmallows look delicious! I’ve always been to scared to make marshmallows (because I’m a little klutzy and boiling sugar is not my thing), but I’m always found store-bought to be inferior. These look pretty easy to make.

    • Simply Life

      Ha, yes- it’s true. Guys like that DO exist and years later, he’s still pretty amazing 🙂

      I definitely recommend giving these a try! It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be- but I highly recommend reading through the entire recipe before starting to make sure you have everything you need!

  • Baking Serendipity

    This is absolutely adorable! I love how well-thought out and prepared everything was. And I love the thought of that cookbook! I made marshmallows for the first time last summer and have been obsessed with them since! Wishing you a fantastic Valentine’s Day 🙂

  • Anonymous

    OMG…this happens in real life?!?! This story seriously made me swoon! I’m so glad you two found each other 🙂

  • JoJo

    Oh my gosh, that is so romantic! I think I’m going to forward this post to my sister so she can ahh too lol
    I wish my husband was as romantic as yours! …yes I’m a liiiitle jealous ;P
    I love marshmallow in s’mores… Cooked over BBQ grill or camp fire..

  • Amy (Savory Moments)

    What a sweet story! It’s like from a movie! Your marshmallows look divine with the hot chocolate, too.

  • Anonymous

    Oh my goodness, what a proposal! Thanks for the lovely story on Valentine’s Day!


  • Shannon ~ My Place In The Race

    Is there anything you cannot make? Amazing!

    • Simply Life

      haha, yes!…I just don’t show it 🙂 I wouldn’t know where to start if you gave me fish to cook!

  • Junia Kim

    awwww your hubby is sooooo romantic!!! i love how he pampered ya! hope today is another special day to remember your love for one another. 🙂 ps – you make marshmellows look sooo easy… the chocolate marshmellows look good. i wonder if you could veganize without using gelatin?? maybe agar or irish moss flakes?

    • Simply Life

      yes! the book has GREAT instructions for making them vegan as well!

    • Simply Life

      …as well as other dietary restrictions- I might be getting them confused as I don’t have the book with me but I’m pretty sure there are plenty of dietary substitutions for tons of different marshmallows!

  • Daisy

    that is a super sweet story. what a guy you’ve got there.

  • kale @ tastes good to me!

    What a sweet, thoughtful, romantic proposal. I especially love the notes from your loved ones attached to the roses. And greeting you in his chef’s clothes?? Talk about stacking the deck! 😉 Thank you for sharing such a beautiful memory.

  • Meghan

    WOW! I remember getting the call and hearing how amazing this day was for you and just reading it again gave me goosebumps! I am so glad you found each other! I love you both sooo much!

    • Simply Life

      🙂 you’re the best

  • Kristina

    What a sweet story – and what an amazing proposal! I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s day 🙂

  • Kiran @

    I couldn’t stop smiling!! Every sentence filled with so much urgency. I mean, I was so in a rush to know what happened after every sentence 😀


    Bravo husband + wife team!!

    I am still awaiting for my copy of marshmallow madness, but I’d take a cup of that deliciousness any time 🙂

    • Simply Life

      Oh you are so sweet- thanks! I can’t wait to see what you make from the book!!!

  • Heidi Bundles Of Hugs

    Ok finally got around to your blog today. My heart melted when I read this oh my gosh, super sweet. I’ve always wanted to make homemade marshmallows but am so scared!

    • Simply Life

      You should try making them- it’s super-fun!!!

  • Ranjani

    Oh my god, what an amazing and thoughtful proposal!

  • Lisa Eirene

    Wow! What an amazing story! I love how he did it!

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