“Hey Smalls, you wanna s’more?”
Yes, please! Especially if it’s made with a homemade marshmallow!
Laura Belle and I had an adventurous MLK holiday a few weeks ago…we went to Capitol Hill to visit Melrose Market, and had a delicious lunch at Sitka & Spruce. We’d talked about attempting a homemade marshmallow recipe, so we headed to the restaurant supply store and grocery store to pick up a couple of things before returning to my house to commence the marshmallow-making. (And forgive me–I somehow managed to not take any photos of the finished marshmallows sitting atop a mug of hot chocolate. Criminal, I know. The light was terrible once we finished making them.)
While not difficult at all, it’s quite a messy endeavor. The result is a delicious piece of fluffy, sugary air that beats the store-bought, jet-puffed variety any day.
Since we made the mallows, quite a lot has happened: I turned another year older, LB decided to move on from her current job, and our dear friends Kirsten and Daniel had a baby! LB and I went down to Portland last weekend to visit the proud parents and cuddle with little Asher. LB wrote about it here.
*from Smitten Kitchen ; makes about two big yogurt-sized containers of 1-inch-square marshmallows. The only special equipment needed is a candy thermometer.
1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Oil the bottom and sides of a metal baking pan (preferably 13x9x2–I used a larger pan with shorter sides, and my mallows were less square than if I’d used a smaller pan). Dust the bottom and sides of the pan with powdered sugar.
In a large bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 of the cold water, and let it stand to soften.
In a 3-quart heavy pot (I used a much bigger one, accidentally), clip the candy thermometer on and cook the granulated sugar, corn syrup, the rest of the cold water, and salt over low heat; stir with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil the mixture, without stirring, until the candy thermometer reads 240°–it should take about 12 minutes.
Remove the pot from heat and pour the mixture into the bowl where the gelatin mixture has been softening. Stir until gelatin is dissolved.
With a mixer, beat the mixture on high speed until it’s white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume. (It’ll be about 10 minutes if you’re using a hand-held mixter). A word to the wise–if you have access to a stand mixer, use it for this recipe; both LB and I used our hand-held mixers, and the mixture kept going all the way up the beaters until I was afraid it would break the mixer. So be careful!
In a separate bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat the egg whites and vanilla into the sugar mixture until it’s just combined. Pour everything onto the baking pan; resist the urge to spoon out every last drop of marshmallow fluff because you’ll just make a huge mess.
Sift 1/4 cup of powdered sugar on top. Chill the marshmallows, uncovered, until firm–at least three hours, and up to one day. (We were impatient and stuck them in the freezer for 30 minutes, and it worked fine!)
Run a knife along the edge of the pan and flip the pan onto a large cutting board. Loosen the marshmallow with your fingers until it’s free from the pan and onto the cutting board. Cut the marshmallows into squares or whatever shape you want.
We rolled the marshmallows in a bowl of powdered sugar before putting them away. They’ll keep up to a week in an airtight container.