Brooke Williamson's Go-To Holiday Food Gift

A talented home cook knows that some of the best gifts of the season can come from their own kitchen. From infused oils to DIY sriracha hot sauce, there are plenty of ways to make delicious, inexpensive presents perfect for placing under the tree. Los Angeles-based celebrity chef Brooke Williamson also has something to add to this homemade list.

At the Food Network's New York City Wine & Food Festival, Williamson chatted with fellow star Antonia Lofaso for Tasting Table's Sip & Savor event. During the conversation, Williamson mentioned her go-to food gift for family and friends: tea-infused marshmallows. Making marshmallows is already a fairly simple job, and infusing them with your favorite chai barely complicates things. Williamson merely adds some tea to the water she uses to soften the gelatin before letting it set into those jiggly cream puffs. The resulting flavor is still delightfully sweet but with an underlying earthy, herbaceous note cutting through the sugar. 

Infuse your marshmallows with tea

First, let's consider your flavor options. Williamson singled out Earl Gray tea, but pretty much any tea would be a lovely addition to the sweet, spongy marshmallow canvas. Matcha is a classic option as is masala chai flavoring. Don't be afraid to go outside the traditional tea varieties, either. Think of using a lovely floral tea, like a rose tea, or one with plenty of fruity notes, like a blueberry or strawberry tea. 

Once you select your variety, simply warm the water you are using to make the 'mallows and stick in your leaves, infuser, or bag. You can then form a sugar syrup and mix it with the gelatin. To get the most out of your tea, let it steep long enough to color the water, but before the tannings turn the brew too bitter. 

After you've made your marshmallows, you can be comfortable either hand delivering or shipping them off as presents, since they're a particularly shelf-stable pantry item. Suggest to your giftee to use the marshmallows in hot chocolate or as a gourmet mix-in for their favorite baking endeavors, from brownies to cookies.