Monday, April 5, 2010

Marshmallows

There is nothing better with hot chocolate than a homemade marshmallow. And if you think that's good, you should try one in a Smore! 


Martha Stewart gets the credit for this recipe, but here's my variation - make a tea by soaking fresh herbs like mint or lavender in hot water. Strain the water and place it in the refrigerator. Use this tea where this recipe calls for water.  You can also use different kinds of extracts and food coloring. Try cherry, lemon or peppermint extract with pink food coloring -- yum!! 

Vegetable oil, for brushing
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup cold water

Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil; set aside.

Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees.
 on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.

Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm (overnight is best.)

Sift 1 cup confectioners' sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners' sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. (It helps if you use a ruler as a guide while cutting.) Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.