Monday, January 23, 2012

snow day cooking: homemade marshmallows!

Had I known my little one would be home sick from school today, I might have saved one of our snow day activities for a gray Monday. Thankfully, we still had a few decadent marshmallows leftover, so we could enjoy some hot cocoa... loaded up. Over the weekend, I made my first batch of homemade marshmallows, which I found on Real Mom Nutrition. Now, I am a fabulous cook, not a baker. Baking requires precise measurements and following directions, two things that are not my forte. But these were fun. Kind of a make-them-once sort of recipe, perfect for a snow day. I'm going to let Sally's recipe be your go-to, but I do have a few pictures I'll share with you all to clarify a few parts (if you're anything like me and would like to see a recipe in action, before you try it)!

The recipe says to beat on high for about 12-15 minutes.... the batter went from very watery brown (from the addition of vanilla, probably more than was supposed to go in--see above about not being very good at following precise instructions)...

gradually got thicker...

until it was a very white, thick batter.

Thick enough that, as you can see, it sticks to the beaters.

Since we were already cooking with corn syrup, I thought what the heck, we can also add the food coloring we use for science experiments. I mean really, why let the excitement end with white sugar and corn syrup?!

You could beat the coloring in, or stir it to make a swirly patter, as we did. Be forewarned that once you cut the marshmallows and roll them in powdered sugar, the color will be kind of hidden in hindsight, coloring them wasn't really worth it...

OK, folks, here's the really important part though: I didn't have a 9x9 pan, so I used a 9x13 pan. That worked fine, as long as you don't mind you marshmallows being a little thinner. BUT, make sure you use enough cooking spray. This is key.

Here's where I made my big mistake... the sprayed parchment paper peeled off easily. (Parchment was fine in lieu of plastic wrap). But I turned the marshmallows onto a cutting board, which was not sprayed. And they stuck. Understatement. Like glue. So, I sat there struggling to cut the marshmallows off the cutting board, swearing I would never make these again. Had I simply dusted the cutting board with confectioner's sugar or placed the marshmallow sheet onto a sprayed piece of parchment paper, things would have gone MUCH more smoothly! I also hadn't tried these babies yet. Whoa, they are good. Really good. Perhaps even worth my crazy knife wielding trying to cut them before fluffing them in confectioner's sugar?!

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