Winter holidays are officially over now* and everything is miserable. I have to wait a whole year to eat my aunt’s sugar cookies and jokingly (but very seriously) hope someone gifts me a pony for christmas. All we are left with now is the cold and the dark. Also, my flair for being overly dramatic.
Thankfully, my cousin and I recently discovered the secret for getting through the winter blues: homemade marshmallows. After trying these pillowy puffs of sugar, I am surprised homemade marshmallows haven’t attempted from sort of Brexit situation to keep from being associated with the store bought version. I have inhaled many a store bought marshmallow in my day and enjoyed them thoroughly, but there is really just no comparison.Homemade marshmallows manage to be satisfyingly chewy, while also having a buttery melt in your mouth feel. I highly recommend dipping them in chocolate. As you bite into them, the dark chocolate cracks around the marshmallow replicating mallowmars in the best way possible. Between the soft marshmallow, the chocolate shell, and crunchy sprinkles – it’s a non-stop texture party in your mouth. (<— lamest sentence I have written to date.)The best part is how easy these are to make. You don’t even need a candy thermometer, just a stand mixer or a hand mixer, plus 10 minutes of patience. I should warn you that gelatin when heated smells gross. Don’t freak out, once whipped and cooled the marshmallows smell only of vanilla and happiness.I can’t wait to customize these sugar puffs. Just brainstorming here but cinnamon marshmallows dipped in white chocolate, nutella marshmallows topped with crushed hazelnuts, and lemon marshmallows iced with blackberry glaze seem like good places to start.Now that this new world of possibility has opened up, I may tuck into a mug of hot chocolate and wait 5 or 6 hours until I complain about winter again.
*shout out to MLK day in a few weeks, but I’m not sure if it counts as being part of “the holiday season”
Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows
(recipe from How Sweet It Is)
2 packets of gelatin
8 tablespoons of cold water
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/3 cup cold water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (I didn’t have a vanilla bean but by all means, if you’ve got it flaunt it)
1/4 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for coating the pan
melted chocolate for dipping
In a small bowl, combine the 8 tablespoons of water and the two packets of gelatin. Stir together and set aside. On the stovetop, combine the sugar and the rest of the water and heat on medium, stirring continuously until dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved, add in the gelatin mixture and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat immediately and add to the bowl of your stand mixer. If you’re using a hand mixer, transfer to a large bowl because the volume is going to increase significantly.
Once the mixture has cooled slightly, add in your vanilla and salt. Using the whisk attachment, whisk the marshmallow batter (is it batter?) for about 10 minutes until it turns white and fluffy. It’s going to look like fluff and smell slightly less like gelatin at this point.
While the whisking is happening, spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray and coat with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. When the 10 minutes is up, pour the marshmallow fluff into the pan and cover with more powdered sugar. Leave it alone for at least 4 hours until set.
Flip out onto a cutting board (this takes a little coaxing with a spatula) and cut into your desired shapes. To prevent sticking, roll the newly exposed marshmallow sides in more powdered sugar.
Dip each of your marshmallows into the chocolate of your choosing, roll in sprinkles, and let them set up on a wire wrack. Float them in a pool of hot chocolate or eat them as they are.