Monday, August 17, 2009

Snack Attack!

While Caitlin was away on her Big Adventure, I promised her that when she got back we'd make marshmallows together once she got home. Yes, marshmallows. Well, that moment finally came last night.
Me and my lovely assistant.

You'll want the recipe, if you want to follow along at home.

After gathering up our ingredients and an impromptu math lesson (Yes, Screamish, you have to know math to be a mom. Or at least learn as they're learning. Fractions again?! Argh!), we started on the stovetop by dissolving our sugar, cornstarch and water together. After it reached 240 degrees, I poured it into the mixer that was holding the softened gelatin (3 1/4 oz packages + 1/2 cup of water). Then we had an impromptu kitchen safety discussion since someone was messing around on the step stool. I didn't really want to wear the 240 degree sugar solution, you see.
Around and around it goes!

After about 15 minutes and with the addition of the vanilla, our mixture now looked like this:
Marshmallow goo!

Are you excited yet? Caitlin sure was!

We then scraped it into an oiled pan and let it set for 4 hours. Caitlin got to taste test the whisk, while Eric and I scraped bits off the spatula. Yum!
Setting up.

Since I can't possibly start any project during normal daytime hours, we started this one right before she went to bed. After those 4 hours were up, it was late.

So at 11:30 pm, I coated the marshmallow slab in the cornstarch/powdered sugar mix and sliced it up using a pizza cutter as was suggested in the recipe comments. I recommend reading the comments, there was some good info in there! I also cut out a few heart shapes, using a small cookie cutter and one bear.
Slicing and dicing.

The pizza cutter worked like a charm after the initial pass, it was just sticky enough that you could coat it in powdered sugar and then it sliced the slab perfectly.

Yes, my heart is soft and squishy.

Eric and I tasted them last night and they were good. Caitlin had to wait until the morning, but she gave it her Seal of Approval. Unfortunately, she ate the first one so fast that I only have the dust on her face to prove it.
Marshmallow monster.

She was so excited about having a hot chocolate with marshmallows that I made one for her and topped it with love.
Food = love.

I have to say, this recipe was pretty darned easy, fun and very tasty. Also, the part you can't tell is how incredibly sensuous these things feel as you're cutting them up and coating them in sugar. They're all soft and pillowy and squishy. You should make some! Just to prove you can. They're no harder than icing, really. Next time I'm going to make them with coconut extract and roll them in toasted unsweetened coconut. Because, oh yes, there will be a next time!

Also in our snacking future: s'mores (Updated to add: Yum! Woo!) and rice krispy treats.

Next time, I'll tell you about my granola bar adventures!


screamish said...

MAKE marshmallows? MAKE? i thought they came off vines or something. Maths now marshmallows, this motherhood thing is starting to get out of hand.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

It's true. Motherhood is just crazy.

Cousin Janet from NY said...

OK, now let's see you make cotton candy!!!! Caitlin looks very happy. Good.

Dawn said...

Ok - apparently context is needed for enjoying cotton candy - 'cause Caitlin loved it in the big hat at the circus. or maybe blue just wasn't her thing.

One question about the tasty looking marshmallows - what kind of gelatin did you use?

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Janet: the only problem is that I don't LIKE cotton candy. Also, you can't put it in hot chocolate, make s'mores or krispy treats out of it. So it's just basically sugar, with coloring. Marshmallows, while sugar with air and some vanilla, have the advantage of being able to be mixed with other things and improve their lowly status.

Dawn: it was Knox unflavored. Sorry, it's made from cows, I think. There were people wondering about using agar instead, you could try that. I'd say try it out and experiment with it. If you came up with vegan MMs, you'd probably have a huge fan following amongst Matt's friends.

Jennifer H said...

My sister has made marshmallows. I was in awe then, and am now!

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