Hello again, my favorite readers! It has been a long time, I know. Unfortunately, summer ended, work started again, and though I have still been cooking, there was no time or motivation (sorry!) to write.
But now that it’s officially Winter Break…, I have a recipe for you! And, of course a story…!
Who knew you could make marshmallows! What the heck are they made out of anyway? These are things I am sure you have never pondered, but maybe should have!
I came upon this recipe many years ago in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I remember thinking, “Wow! Marshmallows! Who knew you could even make them? And what the heck are they made out of anyway?” I put the recipe in my recipe box, and then forgot about it, or ignored it, for the next several years.
Then it happened that I started making ridiculous amounts of Christmas cookies every year. I would give them away as presents- to my daughter’s teachers, the bus driver, friends, and family, including my grandmother. My grandmother had been diagnosed as having Celiac disease- which is the actual disease where your body can not process gluten.This was before “gluten-free” was cool, and before there were any gluten-free products were on the market. Homemade cookies would be the perfect thing… except cookies contain flour, which is gluten. This makes Christmas cookie-giving a little less easy.
So, I would always make sure I made meringue cookies and macaroons to give to her (no flour). My husband’s tradition is to make buckeyes, so I gave her some of those too. Then I rediscovered the marshmallow recipe. What a good reason to make them! I was really excited, because this is something no one makes. It is special! I could do this! I told my mother, who told her mother, and my grandmother’s response…? “Why would she do that? Doesn’t she know she can buy them at the grocery store for $1.49?”
Humph. Guess who did not feel like sharing marshmallows with her grandmother…?
She got some anyway. I was really happy that I made them. You can roll them in powdered sugar, or chocolate, but I like to roll them in red and green crystal sugar for the holidays. They taste like super-fresh Peeps. They are delicious! Since they taste like Peeps, you could totally make these for Easter as well, and just use different pastel colors of sugar. I’m telling you, once you go fresh-made, you’ll never go back!
First, the secret: the ingredients are corn syrup, sugar, and gelatin. NOT a good choice for diabetics, I’d say, though perfectly fine for celiacs!
Second: they are REALLY sticky and kind of hard to work with. Pam spray oil is your friend. I will describe how it helps you in the directions.
Third: When it says to cover them, USE ALUMINUM FOIL! If you use a towel, it may fall into the marshmallows, get stuck, and worse, leave little towel fuzzies in your marshmallows. If you then go for plastic wrap, it, too, may fall into the marshmallow while it sets, and it gets almost- permanently stuck. It will take pulling and breaking, and leaving pock marks all over the top of your marshmallows, and it will make you very grumpy. Not that I know this from experience, of course…! It will still roll in sugar, and no one will know but you. But it’s aggravating. Aluminum foil. It’s the way to go.
So, here it is- the recipe you didn’t know you needed!
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1 tsp CLEAR vanilla
- butter for greasing pan
- colored sugar crystals
- In a large pan, add light corn syrup, sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil. Use a candy thermometer to know when it reads 240 degrees, or soft ball stage.
- While it is boiling, in your mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin on the other 1/2 cup cold water. Let stand.
- Also, while it is boiling, prepare your pan. Line a 9×13 cake pan with aluminum foil. Rub butter over the bottom foil and on the sides along the bottom.
- When sugar mixture reaches the soft ball stage, remove it from heat, and slowly add it to the gelatin. Turn mixer on low until all sugar mixture is added. Then turn to high and beat for 10-15 minutes until the mixture has doubled in size.
- Add vanilla and beat another minute or two until the mixture starts pulling away from the side.
- Pour into the buttered pan. Cover with ALUMINUM FOIL and let stand 6 hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to cut, spray a large cutting board with Pam or other spray oil. Turn the solid marshmallow onto the greased board. Spray a pizza cutter with Pam on both sides. Cut marshmallow into long strips. Re-spray your pizza cutter and cut across the the columns.
- Roll each little square marshmallow in colored sugar crystals.
Ok, so not healthy. But still freshly-made!