Friday, February 11, 2011

Laura's homemade marshmallows

Please enjoy this guest post by my BFF Laura.  Take it away, Laura!

It all started one morning when my neighbor was over at my house and I told her that Sam’s Club didn’t carry marshmallows (outrage!). I wanted to have marshmallows to toast in the fireplace when my mom came to visit that evening. My neighbor said she saw the Food Network showing how to make them, and that it didn’t look difficult. I thought, “That’s crazy! Who (besides Martha) would make her own marshmallows when they’re so cheap?” And then, too lazy to drive 6 miles to Kroger to buy some, and feeling a little challenged by my inner Martha, I looked up the recipe and realized I happened to have all the ingredients necessary to make my own marshmallows.

The only ingredients were: sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, water, powdered sugar, and gelatin. Heat corn syrup, sugar, and water to 240 degrees.

Pour the hot stuff slowly into gelatin that has been dissolving in some water. Using the highest speed, mix for 15 minutes, then mix in the vanilla. (This is where I decided that I was not going to be making my own marshmallows on a regular basis: I was terrified that my beloved but “seasoned” mixer was going to overheat mixing the very sticky goo. You folks with fancy heavy-duty stand mixers are all set!)

The finished product was pure white splendor in a pan! I thought it would be tough to clean the beaters and bowl, but it all melted away in hot water!

My biggest mistake was not making the marshmallows earlier. They only had about 6 hours to dry before my guests arrived. Because I used an 8x8 pan, they were very thick and sticky. Not terribly easy to cut. I recommend a 9x13 or 8x12 and making them at least a day ahead.

We tried to roast them that night, and they just hadn’t had long enough to dry out to keep their shape. But OH MY! did they taste heavenly! I also noticed that they did not seem to burn as easily as purchased marshmallows.

We enjoyed the sticky mess by the fire. After a few days, they became much easier to cut, and then I roasted the remainder over my gas stove- super classy! Truly delicious as only hot, gooey sugar can be!

Give it a try at least once- it’s a fun thing to do, and certainly made me feel Martha-worthy.

Thanks for a great post, Laura!  You are definitely an advanced-level mini-Martha.  That's a good thing!

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