Merry Christmas everyone… Happy Holidays and Warm Wishes…. this will be my last post until after the holidays… we’re off to Mexico to warm up a little in the hot sun and I’ll be leaving my computer at home. It actually wasn’t that cold here today and the trees outside were so beautiful all covered in frost that I almost wished we weren’t leaving early tomorrow morning. Okay. Maybe not really. Maybe that’s a little bit of a stretch.
But because I’m trying to get into the holiday mood, which is difficult to do when all I can think of is spending a week in the sun, I decided to make these. For those of you who are enjoying some snow and cold this season… warm these little babies by the fire… For those of you who live in warmer climates… just pound these back straight… they are so good…
I have never been a marshmallow fan… I’ve always found them far too sweet, I don’t like the grainy texture and I really dislike biting into what feels like straight sugar. But my nosiness always gets the best of me so when I see people making or hear about how wonderful some kind of food is… I can’t help myself… I just have to try it. Low and behold everyone seems to be on a marshmallow kick. I heard about home made marshmallows a couple of years ago but really wasn’t motivated to go down that road, lately that seems to be all I hear about and so I have reached my tipping point and just had to try them for myself.
Peppermint marshmallows that can be melted in hot chocolate, eaten by themselves… I have to admit to doing this over and over… you know… just getting rid of the ones that are too misshapen… or if you’re lucky and have a fireplace… then roasted in the fire… nice Saturday night treat I think!
The chocolate coconut ones came later… because when I’m on a roll… I have a little difficulty stopping, plus the peppermint ones were so good that I had to go down that road… these are good just eaten the way they are… I must say that when I was making these… first thing in the morning… and I tasted the melted chocolate marshmallow before I froze it… oh… my… shattered nerves…. It was good… and even better once served coated in coconut… I can’t even speak!
The recipe for mine is a combination of ones found on foodgawker and as usual, I read several to get the general jest and then made my own. A couple of warnings though that I didn’t pick up on anywhere.
1) make sure to put the flavoring in early, once the mixture is thick and cool you’ll be hard pressed to mix it in thoroughly
2) make sure to pour it into the pan when it’s still warm. The first time I mixed it like crazy and didn’t feel the bowl to check the temp so by the time I tried to put the melty marshmallows in the pan it was a bit of a challenge… best to do it while it’s still warm.
- 1 C cold water
- 1 C corn syrup
- 1 ½ C sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons gelatin (unflavored)
To flavour the peppermint ones I added 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract and for the chocolate ones I added 4 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. I’m guessing you can flavour with whatever you would like… go crazy! For sure this isn’t the last time I’ll be making them.
Have either straight icing sugar or toasted coconut or icing sugar blended with cocoa powder in it ready to coat the marshmallows once you cut them.
In the mixer put ½ cup cold water and gelatin and let it sit (bloom) and in the meantime add rest of ingredients except the flavour in saucepan and cook on medium heat until candy thermometer reads about 245 degrees F. Once you get to that temperature pour the hot mixture slowly into the mixer with the gelatin bloom in it. Then turn the mixer on and let it go! At this point you mix in whatever flavour you like.
While it’s mixing, which really won’t take very long, butter or spray a 9 x 11 cake pan and then coat with either the toasted coconut or powered sugar making sure it’s completely coated and ready for the mixture.
Once the mixture is opaque and sticking to the walls of the mixer but still warm then quickly scoop it out with a greased spatula and even it out in the pan. Once it’s in the pan then here is where you add the food coloring and swirl through with a toothpick if you’re choosing that route. I did that with the peppermint ones but obviously not the chocolate/coconut ones.
Put it in the freezer for a few hours or even overnight, uncovered, and then pull it from the pan onto a silpat or parchment and cut into cubes. Some people use a pizza cutter some use scissors but I found that if I sprayed my nice sharp knife with vegetable oil every once in a while then it cut just beautifully… the trick here is something sharp… that is also greased… because it is sticky.
Coat the sides in more coconut or icing sugar and serve or hide away for cold winter nights with hot chocolate… these will stay much softer, much longer… if frozen… and yes… you can eat them straight from the freezer… they do not get hard!
Now you’ll notice that the peppermint ones are much more puffy… with the texture looking more like traditional marshmallows (still without the grain) and I think that might have had to do with the lack of cocoa powder, since my chocolate ones were not as fluffy… but might I tell you that the even though the chocolate ones were a little chewier they were just as yummy. I also didn’t let the chocolate ones mix quite as long so that may also have had something to do with it. Fear NOT… once you’re at that point… chewy, soft and fluffy…no matter they are all good.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays folks…. I’ll be going to the ‘Little Mexican Cooking School’ while in Mexico so once I’m done with the big turkey dinners for family I’m thinking we’ll be doing a little Mexican food around these pages!