Sunday, December 16, 2012

The 12 Treats of Christmas - 4th

"On the fourth day of Christmas, the treat lovingly baked by me...

home made marshmallows!"

OMG this was so much fun!! And for those of you who do not eat sugar, well. just move onto Day 5. Cause this was ALL sugar!! My mixer took a beating, would have been better with a KitchenAid, but my friend who makes them who DOES have one says it puts a strain on hers too when it gets to about 10 mins of mixing.

What you need:

1/3 cup cold water
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
large bowl
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
confectioners sugar
colored sugar (optional)

Step 1: pour the 1/3 c cold water into large bowl. Sprinkle gelatin on top and set aside.

Step 2: in a medium saucepan on stove, combine white sugar, 1/4 c water, corn syrup & salt.  Over medium heat, stir until dissolved.  Stop stirring and heat the mixture until it boils; maintain slow boil until mixture reaches 240 deg on candy thermometer. Looks like this when done:

Step 3: carefully pour hot mixture over gelatin then beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 10-12 minutes. Looks like pic 1 first, then will turn to pic 2 when done.

Be careful this does not happen. Sigh.

Step 3: Blend in the vanilla extract.

Step 4: Prepare your pan. My recipe says to lightly coat with cooking oil. My friend's recipe says to coat with oil then dust with a mixture of confectioners sugar and cornstarch. My recipe wants one side kindof sticky, so you can dip that end in colored sugar once they are done. I won't do artificial colors on  my house, so that option was not okay for me.  I lightly oiled the pan, then when I was done just lightly dusted the other side with confectioners sugar.  Getting the  mixture INTO the pan is difficult, I will NOT lie to you.  My recipe was NO HELP WHATSOEVER in this; my friend's recipe said to lightly oil the spatuala.  Wish I had know that, would have helped. So I suggest you do.  You can see by the pic on the left that it is really sticky.

Step 5: Spread into pan, and let dry.  My recipe says 12 hours...friends, 4 hours. You be the judge.  Next time I will lightly coat the top with confectioners sugar so they have that extra layer of protection from sticking once cut.

Final step: Lightly oiled or wet hands will help you get them out of the pan. Flip them onto cutting board lightly dusted with confectioners sugar.  I cut them in all sorts of  shapes and sizes.  My kids loved them!!  I think they were just excited to see a marshmallow again, it's been a REALLY long time!! Those top two circles? They were cut using the top of our cocoa cups...perfect for the cocoa we had to have once the marshmallows were done.  These stayed sooo creamy in our cocoa; and were still there once we got to the bottom of the cup, unlike the store bought marshmallows.

Lot of work, and clean up, but lot of fun and enjoyment. May make again this winter season.  What's up next tomorrow?  I'll give you a hint...chocolate. :)  Happy Eating!! Kathy

Edit: found this and thought I'd share...alternative ways of making marshmallows using liquid agave or honey. marshmallows

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