For the Love of Hot Cocoa, Snowflakes, and Christmas Scrapbooking – The Wintry Hot Chocolate Series Layout

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I’m so excited to be posting this layout I’m almost jumping out of my skin!  I’ve been looking forward to scrapbooking Christmas and winter photos and layouts for ages and now that there’s actually some snow on the ground, my holiday scrapbooking mood has sky-rocketed straight through the roof!  This month has been a whirlwind with plans not panning out, my uncharacteristic unpreparedness, and Christmas coming and going faster than I had anticipated, so I really didn’t get into a scrapbooking groove until after Christmas.  I was chewing on ideas for over a month, but for whatever reason, part of me just wasn’t ready to dig into the paper and stickers.  I wanted to lose myself in it and enjoy every minute, not be distracted and moody over it. 

Even though I feel like I let precious time pass me by, I’m so much happier I scrapbooked when I did because it was SO MUCH FUN!  This is my Christmas-holiday-winter hot chocolate layout with photos of the hot chocolate I’ve featured in the Hot Chocolate Series: the nutella hot chocolate from Le Gourmand, the peppermint hot chocolate from Le Merceria, and the rich hot chocolate with blow-torched marshmallow from Bobbette & Belle.  I’ve been wanting to use a red, green, blue, and white colour scheme for some time now so I went to town with the ribbon and cardstock and paper and ended up with this!

There have been times where I’ve scrapbooked every day for a month or more and there have been other times where I’ve gone weeks without even touching my go-to scrapbook tin.  Every time I scrapbook though, it feels like no time has passed and I’m happiest when I get to surround myself with photos and memories and all my art supplies.  Out of all the themes I enjoy scrapbooking (birthdays, Valentine’s, art, and friendship among others), Christmas and winter are my absolute favourites. 

A new year means a time to reflect and a time to look forward and when I look back on my scrapbooking, I think back to when I started 8×8 scrapbooking full force over 3 years ago (prior to that I was actually doing 8.5 x 11!) and I’m reminded of the very first 8×8 scrapbook album I made which was a Christmas and winter one.  I’m reminded of how excited I was to find such a pretty album at the store (a gorgeous chocolate brown suede album with a magnetic flap that had the word “Memories” stitched across it), all the fun I had making those 20 pages, filling those plastic sleeves and making the album fat, and all the Christmas memories I got to look back on.  It was an amazing month of scrapbooking and it made me feel so free and so alive.  I’m hoping that 2012 will bring just as much happiness and inspiration. 

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Scrapbooking materials used: Periwinkle, powder blue, Christmas red, grass green, emerald green, and white cardstock (Recollections); Christmas patterned paper (Me & My Big Ideas Christmas mat paper pad); hot chocolate, cocoa, and peppermint adhesive embellishments (Jolee’s Boutique); blue ribbon with green polka dots; green satin ribbon; “Lollipop” alphabet stickers (Autumn Leaves, Creativity Inc.); brown alphabet stickers (K&Company); black alphabet stickers with white polka dots (atd); green foil leaves; duochrome and iridescent snowflakes; medium scallop circle paper punch (ek success); circle paper punch; corner rounder paper punch.

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OMG, Marshmallows! Chocolatey, Ooey Gooey Rocky Road Cupcakes

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Who doesn’t get giddy over marshmallows, especially mini ones??  They’re adorable and really, marshmallows bring back a lot of childhood (and even adult!) memories for a lot of people, including myself.  Memories of watching them float in a mug of warm hot chocolate, roasting them over a fire and letting the toasty, ooey gooeyness melt in your mouth, using them to make Rice Krispy square treats, playing Chubby Bunny with them (oh man are there ever hilarious memories of this!  haha!), and just plain popping the white pillowy squishies in your mouth.  Those are reasons why marshmallows kick serious ass and why they continue to tug on our heartstrings and our tastebuds. 

And they’re irresistible in these chocolatey Rocky Road cupcakes.  The white chocolate and marshmallows make the chocolate cake super moist and melty, mmmm.  My apologies for the lack of frosting again; family is weird and does not like it.  That however did not stop me from topping mine with chocolate chip and marshmallow goodies.  Enjoy! 😀

Ingredients (Makes 12 cupcakes)

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk (*I used 1% milk)
  • 1 oz. white chocolate chips (or 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds or brazil nuts (*I didn’t use them in mine, but it’s up to you!)

Frosting to Decorate

  • 3 ⅟₂oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (approx. 100 grams)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds or brazil nuts
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • mini marshmallows

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, then line cupcake/muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold in.  Stir in the milk, followed by the white chocolate chips, marshmallows, and if using, nuts.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the cups and bake for about 18 minutes until risen and the tops spring back when lightly pressed.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. For the frosting/topping: put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Heat the cream in a saucepan until almost boiling, then pour over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir until smooth and creamy, then let cool for about 30 minutes until thick and glossy.
  5. Spread the chocolate mixture over the cupcakes and sprinkles with nuts, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.

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Recipe from Cupcakes by Susannah Blake, 2007.  Photographs taken by me.