Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Traditions: Marshmallows



Who doesn't love a good holiday tradition?  It's been fun blending traditions from each of our families and making some new traditions along the way.  One of these newer traditions is homemade marshmallows.  I've been making them for several years now and I have to say there is just something about giant, fluffy and perfectly square marshmallow in your hot cocoa.  Additionally I love wrapping up a little bag of marshmallows with a couple packets of fancy hot chocolate and giving them away as neighborhood/friend gifts.  A little different from the usual cookie plate.  And while the first half of the recipe is not kid friendly (boiling sugar then pouring lava-hot mixture into a mixer!), the second half is kid friendly and kid fun.  Here's the recipe I use (from Martha Stewart here).

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small heavy saucepan; place over low heat, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals.
  3. Clip on a candy thermometer; raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244 degrees (firm-ball stage). Immediately remove pan from heat.
  4. With mixer on low speed, slowly and carefully pour syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to incorporate.
  5. Generously dust an 8-by-12-inch glass baking pan with confectioners’ sugar. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan. Dust top with confectioners’ sugar; wet your hands, and pat it to smooth. Dust with confectioners’ sugar; let stand overnight, uncovered, to dry out. Turn out onto a board; cut marshmallows with a dry hot knife into 1 1/2-inch squares, and dust with more confectioners' sugar.

Instead of a larger 8x12 inch pan, I use a smaller 9x9 inch pan which makes for thicker, perfectly square 'mallows.  (My pictures are from the end of step 4 and on.)  After you've let the mixture sit overnight turn the entire marshmallow block out onto a generous dusting of powdered sugar.




Then you just cut, roll in powdered sugar, slice and roll in powdered sugar some more.  The marshmallows are super sticky so coating them in powdered sugar is important.  


This is where the kids come in.  They love doing this part and I love having the help.   A great way to keep little hands....


and feet busy.


  Mmm....so yummy.


Be aware that they are very sweet!  So if you are making your own hot cocoa don't use as much sugar. And if you're using pre-made hot coca mix, just be aware that towards the end your drink will be very, very sweet!


Oh my goodness these are so good!  says Lamp.

******

Like many of you I'm sure, I've still got Newtown Connecticut on my mind and in my heart.  My friend Kendra found the address for Sandy Hook Elementry and suggest writing a letter of love and support.  I think this is a great idea. 

Sandy Hook Elementry
12 Dickenson Drive
Sandy Hook, CT 06482

And if you have time please read these inspiring words and thoughts about Newtown via Kelle Hampton.

And then click here.


7 comments:

  1. ooo i love this homemade marshmallow business! perhaps i'll give it a whirl. thanks for sharing. and brilliant idea about writing sandy hook. what an unthinkable tragedy. i have such deep heartache for everyone effected. i can't even imagine. ok on a happier note, i was showing atticus the yummy marshmallows so we could make marshmallow-making plans and he of course loved lamp's picture at the end. it's so darling! and i took the chance to talk to him about her limb difference and then showed him videos of all the cool things she can do and he loved it! he wanted to watch them over and over. i'm so grateful that you are willing to share your life with others so that we can teach our children (and ourselves) tolerance, and love and acceptance. thanks for sharing girl!! XO

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    Replies
    1. Berli--You are so sweet. That is a huge reason why I blog about the little Lampstress...so next time Atticus comes in contact with another special needs kiddo maybe it won't feel so foreign to him. Hopefully seeing her and other kids who are 'different' but alike will help them assimilate better, etc. Much love to you. If I'm ever in Vegas you best believe I'm looking you up.

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  2. I have been making the same mallows for the past few years... nothing better(unless you stir crushed candy canes in after you beat them) I LOVE the photo of your little girls helping you, esp. Lamp's little feet:) Merry Christmas to you and your family, I hope your day is blessed

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    Replies
    1. Crushed candy canes! Brilliant.
      Thanks.

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  3. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Do you use the whisk attachmnet after you add the sugar lava? Or do you switch the paddle attachment?

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    Replies
    1. Anon--yes it's a wisk attachment the whole time.
      Good luck!

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  4. We have the same tradition. My instangram is pretty much all marshmallows in December. They are so pretty.

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