Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Marshmallows



Everybody loves something homemade right?  How about marshmallows? Those fluffy, sugary, spongy globs sold in the candy aisle are pretty good right?  Toasted in front of a campfire? Delicious. A bowl of Rocky Road? Yum!  Sandwiched between Graham crackers and Hershey bars?  Yes please. 

So we love marshmallows, but I promise after you try homemade marshmallows you won't ever want to open one of those store bought packages ever again.  

I never had a strong desire to make my own marshmallows but I thought I'd give it a try.  I looked around for a recipe that was easy and looked delish!  After looking at about 50 recipes I found one that was quick and didn't use a candy thermometer.  This was a bonus. I feel like my candy thermometer always lies to me!  
  
You can mix up the flavors by adding different extracts or toppings.  I've made both plain and toasted coconut for this post. 

These are great to have with cocoa, give as gifts or even share with friends or co-workers.


So let's recap. Easy, quick, fresh, tasty & no candy thermometer.  This could be one of my favorite recipes ever. 

Marshmallows
Adapted from Foodie with Family

.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 C. cold water
2 C. granulated sugar
2/3 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or other flavor extract)
Confectioners’ sugar
Line 9 x 9-inch or 8 x 8-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
Combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil.  As soon as it is boiling, set the timer and allow to boil hard for 1 minute.
Carefully pour the boiling syrup into gelatin mixture and turn on the mixer.  Use the whisk attachment, start mixing on low and move up to high speed. Add the salt and beat for between 10 and 12 minutes, or until fluffy and mostly cooled to almost room temperature. When you reach this stage, add in the extract and beat to incorporate.
Grease your hands and a rubber or silicone scraper with non-stick spray and transfer marshmallow into the prepared pan. Use your greased hands to press the marshmallow into the pan evenly.  Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.


Once the marshmallows have set and cooled turn onto a flat surface.  Cut into squares with sharp knife. Coat all sides of the marshmallow squares in confectionery sugar (shake off any excess) to ensure that they won't stick together.  Store in a airtight container or a Ziploc bag.
Toasted Coconut Marshmallows
You will use all the same ingredients & steps listed above with a few changes.
Substitute 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla extract for 1 Tablespoon of Almond Extract.  This will give the marshmallows a nice toasted almond/coconut flavor.  You can omit this if you like and stick with the vanilla flavor.
For one recipe of Marshmallows I used 14 oz. of shredded coconut.  You can toast the coconut any way you want, in the oven on a baking sheet, in a frying pan on the stove top or in the microwave.  No matter which way you choose be careful to keep an eye on the coconut tossing every few minutes. Toasted coconut can become burnt coconut in seconds.
I like to toast coconut in the microwave.  I spread about half of the coconut on a microwave safe plate and cook in 1 minute increments. Be sure to toss the coconut after each minute. Once you see the coconut start to turn light brown (not black) cut down the cooking time to 30 second increments.  Stop the microwaving once the majority of the coconut is toasted.  Repeat with the remaining 7 oz. of coconut. (Coconut should take anywhere from 4-6 minutes)
Prepare the pan with plastic wrap. Spread a thin layer of toasted coconut on the bottom of the pan.  Make sure the surface of the pan is covered.   Pour the marshmallow on top of the coconut layer.  Using greased hands press marshmallow into the pan evenly.  Top with a thin layer of coconut.  Be sure to cover the whole top layer. 
Once the marshmallows have set and cooled, turn onto a flat surface, cut into squares, and use the leftover coconut to cover all sides of the marshmallows.
Let's make some tasty marshmallows
Sugar, Corn Syrup & Water. Now all we need is the mix to .....
Boil. Now start your timer.
Prep your pan. I like to sprinkle a layer of confectionery sugar over the bottom of the pan. 
I skipped the picture while pouring the hot sugar into the gelatin.  Pouring hot sugar with one hand, while snapping pictures, not a great idea.  I like this picture better anyway.



Marshmallows are looking good.  Now we just have to wait.




Dust the top and bottom of the marshmallows with confectionery sugar.  After you cut into squares, coat all sides with extra confectionery sugar so marshmallows won't stick.

Perfect.


Toasted Coconut Marshmallows



Mmmmm. Toasted Coconut.




 Prepared to hangout overnight.




 Ready to cut into squares.


Marshmallows anyone?


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2 comments:

joeflats said...

I don't even like marshmallows, but I do like these, and I can't keep my kids away from them! Sooo much better than the store bought!

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

I have been wanting to make marshmallows for quite some time...this gave me some good inspiration! They just look so good!

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