Monday, December 19, 2011

Marshmallows are yum

Only a few more days until Christmas! How exciting is that.  It's a big year for us- both kids understand that Christmas is coming, or at the very least, will be excited about opening presents and spending the day with family.  Lilia is singing in a Christmas concert for her Pre-K.  I can't wait to the adorableness that will abound from kids pre-k to 3 in something called "The Noisy Nativity".  I'm done with shopping, with only wrapping left.  Christmas cookies have been planned, stockings are still being knit and I have lists galore on what needs to be done before Christmas morning.

It's honestly not that much, although it seems like it.  I've been able to relax quite a bit, playing the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (which the kids love to cheer me on as I play.) and watching Christmas specials with the kids.  Lilia and I have been drinking a lot of hot chocolate, because what better way to deal with the cold weather is there?

I've had my eye on making marshmallows for a while now.  I was a little intimidated, I admit it.  Me and Candy making don't really mix.  I usually lack the patience, and who wants to deal with the mess?  Well, I kept seeing a bunch of various marshmallow recipes pop up on pinterest, and finally gave in.  Yesterday I spent the afternoon making vanilla marshmallows.

My KitchenAid made this SO much easier!
I decided on a very simple recipe from Martha Stewart.  I didn't want anything with eggs, or meringue powder, and I wanted something basic for my first time.  This recipe fit the bill.  I started boiling up the water, salt, corn syrup and sugar, and then realized I couldn't find my candy thermometer.  I had a quick freak out, and then, determined to succeed, I refreshed myself with how to do a "firm ball" test.  Luckily it didn't get that far- my husband found the thermometer.  It reached the right temperature, and I started using my mixer.  Can I admit to being nerd enough that I found it incredibly exciting and amusing to watch the grayish syrup concoction turned white and fluffy?

It wasn't as sticky and messy as I was afraid it would be.  After about 15 minutes of whipping, I sprayed a spatula and poured it into a pan coated in confectioner's sugar.  It wasn't easy, as the stuff still stuck, but I had been warned.  I avoided getting it on my hands, only touching it with the spatula.  Once it was all in the pan, I sprinkled more confectioner's sugar, wet my hands, patted it down, and left it to sit over night.  It all seemed to be right, although I worried all night that it wasn't right.  I'm guilty of poking it quite a few times to see if it was drying out or if it was sticky.

Getting out of the pan was a little messy.  It didn't stick anywhere I put a thick coating of confectioner's sugar down, but the places where the coating was a little thin it did.  I dusted my hands a bit, and then slowly "peeled" the marshmallows off the pan.  Another dusting of confectioner's sugar, and then I cut it all into bite size pieces with a dusted knife.  Each piece was dusted again (and vigorously shook to get as much of the sugar off as possible) and put in a contained.  And it was so delicious!  This recipe called for 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, and it's almost too strong for me.  John loves vanilla, and he thought it was perfect.  I'd love to make another batch, using vanilla infused sugar.  And a third batch, with peppermint!

I think I'll coat a few of them with chocolate, and give them as gifts to a few people, or at least place them out for guests.  I got the Liam approval, when after I gave him one which he devoured, he climbed onto the table while I was cleaning up to snag a second one.  And of chocolate.
What's a better use for a home made marshmallow?

1 comment:

  1. Yum! Thanks for the lowdown on making those marshmallows; hopefully it make it easier more me when I make them!