Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Homemade Marshmallows

'Tis the season for hot chocolate.  Or so I'm told by everyone I know living in NE Ohio.  Here in Vegas, we pretend.  Regardless, I think everyone loves hot chocolate and especially when it is topped with marshmallows!  What's fun about marshmallows is that there are some many fun flavors and things to do with them.  They seem intimidating to make, but really aren't hard at all.  I first made them a few years ago at Christmas and now make them every year.  I haven't gotten too crazy with different flavors, but it wouldn't be hard.  Add in some extract, top with crushed candy canes, sprinkle with cinnamon, dip in chocolate....  The possibilities are endless! 

I first thought I could make them myself when I was watching Giada at Home on Food Network years ago.  She was making Homemade Orange Marshmallows and they seemed easy enough.  I just omitted the orange zest and made plain ones and viola! 

With Valentine's Day coming up, this is a cute way to up the standard.  Use a small heart cookie cutter to make heart shaped marshmallows for that special someone or little people in your life.
These homemade pillows of goodness go great with a cup of hot chocolate, the hot chocolate I blogged about HERE!

Sorry for not having pictures.  I had a couple I was going to post, but my computer and blogger were not liking each other and wouldn't let me.  My apologies!

Homemade Marshmallows

  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1/2 cup water, plus 1/4 cup
  • 3 tablespoons (3 packets) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Special equipment: a candy thermometer
Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8-inch straight-sided baking pan. Dust liberally with sifted powdered sugar and set aside.
Pour 1/2 cup water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to soften, about 10 minutes.
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk and 1/4 cup water. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F, about 10 to 12 minutes. Pour the syrup over the gelatin mixture. Beat the mixture at low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick, fluffy and tripled in volume, about 10 to 12 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract until just combined. Using a spatula, scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.  Allow the mixture to set, uncovered, in a cool place (not refrigerated) for at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove the marshmallows from the pan and place on a powdered sugar-dusted surface. Using scissors, dusted with powdered sugar, cut the marshmallows into about 1-inch squares. Dip the cut sides into powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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