Keep your eye out for locally made mugs. Place dry cocoa ingredients in a clear plastic gift bag; attach the recipe, and arrange inside the mug or a pretty box with wrapped marshmallows.
In a medium-size saucepan on medium setting, heat milk until simmering. Whisk in sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate, and cinnamon if you like.
Simmer, whisking continuously, until chocolate and sugar are melted and mixture begins to thicken. Divide among four mugs. Sprinkle with Homemade Mini-Marshmallows.
In the bowl of a standing mixer with whisk attachment, pour ½ cup ice-cold water. Place gelatin on top of the water. Have whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine remaining ½ cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until mixture reaches 240º, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat immediately. With the mixer on low speed, pour sugar syrup slowly down the side of the bowl into gelatin mixture. Once you’ve added all of the syrup, increase speed to high. Continue whipping until mixture is very thick, 12-15 minutes. Add vanilla.
Combine confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 rimmed baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Mist with nonstick cooking spray, and dust with sugar/cornstarch mixture. Scoop syrup/gelatin mixture into a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch round piping tip. Pipe mixture onto prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1 inch between strips. Sprinkle tops with enough of remaining cornstarch mixture to cover lightly. Let strips set 4 hours, or up to overnight.
Cut into ½-inch pieces; then dust all sides of each marshmallow lightly with remaining sugar/cornstarch mixture. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Yield: about 1 pound marshmallows