Make it Naked


Homemade Marshmallows (Vanilla, Strawberry, Orange and Mocha)

This is a story about how I once kicked my then-boyfriend out of his own house. Grab a drink. It gets nasty.

powdery

My then-boyfriend is now my husband, Jon. At the time of this epic event, we were just dating. I have no idea why he stuck around after this. Actually, I do. These.

We were planning on going to a UVA football game and I was set on making homemade caramel popcorn for the tailgate. I had invaded his kitchen to make the recipe I had found on the internet. Just pop the corn, put into a paper bag, make the caramel, pour it on top and shake.  Simple, quick and easy. Right? No. It’s not. It’s rarely that easy. Add caramel and it’s never that easy. It was the complete opposite of all of that.

add strawberry powder

The popcorn burned, the caramel burned, the bag was burning. Everything was basically on fire. I tried again, and again I failed. The next time, I used a different method. I laid the popcorn on a cookie sheet and poured the caramel over it. The caramel never hardened. Disaster. I was frustrated. I was tired. I was on edge.

pretty in pink

This is about the time that Jon walked in the kitchen. He looked at me, looked at the burning hot mess piled on the cookie sheet I was holding and said “You know, you can buy Cracker Jacks for like 99 cents.”  And I lost it. Like, crazy-nutso-crying lost it. I threw the cookie sheet on the floor and screamed (while pointing at the door) “GET OUT! GET OUT OF HERE!” You guys, I threw a cookie sheet. Gordon Ramsey style.

pretty scraps

He was stunned. His eyes were huge. He turned around slowly, walked away and I heard “It’s just Cracker Jacks.”

It was then I realized I was being ridiculous. I cleaned up, apologized, got myself together and apologized again. We laughed, bought a bag of peanuts and went to the game.

i love this picture

We laugh often about “the Cracker Jack fight” and reference it as a unit of measurement for anger. Are you Cracker Jacks mad right now?

Which brings me to these marshmallows. drizzled

I got it in my head that I wanted to make homemade marshmallows. No egg whites. No corn syrup. Just big pillowy-fluff cubes. And I did. And they are fantastic.  But it took a few tries. And by a few…I mean seven. Yes, seven. Jon left me alone in the kitchen for a few days but I was never really frustrated, as they were all edible batches. I just kept thinking I could do better.

you can see the fluff

When you make seven batches of marshmallows, you have to give some away. So for the last week I have passed out marshmallows to everyone in my path, and you know what the number one response was?

“You made marshmallows? Can’t you just buy them at the store?”

what a beautiful mess i've made

Deep breaths. Deeeeep breaths. I heard an inner voice, “Do not go Cracker Jacks crazy, Krissy. You’re in public. You could be arrested.” I held it together nicely.
“Yes, but these are so much better.”
And after one bite, they’d agree.

mocha

They are indeed so much better. They’re light and silky and full of real flavor. I’m sharing four kinds here but really the options are endless. I made vanilla bean, strawberry, orange and mocha. I even made you a few heart-shaped ones. That’s love, you guys, and you can’t buy that at the store…at least not for 99 cents.

stacked

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows (adapted from food.com)

Ingredients:

1.5 tablespoons gelatin (1/2 ounce) (2 envelopes)
1 cup cold water, separated into two 1/2 cups
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 vanilla bean, sliced and scraped
powdered sugar (at least 1 cup)
chocolate for drizzling (optional)

Directions:

  1. Grease a 13×9 baking dish and dust with powdered sugar. Be sure to go up all sides.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the gelatin and 1/2 cup water. Let soak for a few minutes until gel-like.
  3. While the gelatin is setting, place the sugar and remaining 1/2 cup of water in a heavy sauce pan. Cook on high, stirring for about 5-7 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the gelatin and vanilla bean seeds into the sugar mixture, stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and salt. Let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture (it can still be warm but not steaming hot) into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium for about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to med-high/high (do this slowly) and let it go for about 10-12 more minutes. The mixture will more than double and get super fluffy and light…like marshmallow.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and spread with silicon spatula to fit the pan. Using a mesh sieve (or your hands) lightly sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.
  8. Let cool completely.
  9. In a small bowl, add the remaining powdered sugar. Cut the marshmallows to whatever size you would like. Dip the freshly cut sides into the powdered sugar They’ll be sticky until you dip them into the sugar.
  10. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate (see note 4 below). Let the chocolate harden. Store in an air tight container for up to a week.

Strawberry Marshmallows

Ingredients:
1.5 tablespoons gelatin (1/2 ounce) (2 envelopes)
1 cup cold water, separated into two 1/2 cups
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.2 ounce (34g) bag of freeze dried strawberries, blended into powder
powdered sugar (at least 1 cup)
chocolate for drizzling (optional)

Directions:

  1. Grease a 13×9 baking dish and dust with powdered sugar. Be sure to go up all sides.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the gelatin and  1/2 cup water. Let soak for a few minutes until gel-like.
  3. While the gelatin is setting, place the sugar and remaining 1/2 cup of water in a heavy sauce pan. Cook on high, stirring for about 5-7 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the gelatin into the sugar mixture, stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and salt. Let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture (it can still be warm but not steaming hot) into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium for about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to med-high/high (do this slowly) and let it go for about 10-12 more minutes. The mixture will more than double and get super fluffy and light…like marshmallow. Add the strawberry powder and beat until combined.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and spread with silicon spatula to fit the pan. Using a mesh sieve (or your hands) lightly sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.
  8. Let cool completely.
  9. In a small bowl, add the remaining powdered sugar. Cut the marshmallows to whatever size you would like. Dip the freshly cut sides into the powdered sugar They’ll be sticky until you dip them into the sugar.
  10. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate (see note 4 below). Let the chocolate harden. Store in an air tight container for up to a week.

Orange Marshmallows

Ingredients:
1.5 tablespoons gelatin (1/2 ounce) (2 envelopes)
1 cup cold orange juice, separated into two 1/2 cups
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar (at least 1 cup)
chocolate for drizzling (optional)

Directions:

  1. Grease a 13×9 baking dish and dust with powdered sugar. Be sure to go up all sides.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the gelatin and 1/2 cup of orange juice. Let soak for a few minutes until gel-like.
  3. While the gelatin is setting, place the sugar and remaining 1/2 cup of OJ in a heavy sauce pan. Cook on high, stirring for about 5-7 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the gelatin into the sugar mixture, stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and salt. Let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture (it can still be warm but not steaming hot) into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium for about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to med-high/high (do this slowly) and let it go for about 10-12 more minutes. The mixture will more than double and get super fluffy and light…like marshmallow.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and spread with silicon spatula to fit the pan. Using a mesh sieve (or your hands) lightly sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.
  8. Let cool completely.
  9. In a small bowl, add the remaining powdered sugar. Cut the marshmallows to whatever size you would like. Dip the freshly cut sides into the powdered sugar They’ll be sticky until you dip them into the sugar.
  10. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate (see note 4 below). Let the chocolate harden. Store in an air tight container for up to a week.

Mocha Marshmallows

Ingredients:
1.5 tablespoons gelatin (1/2 ounce) (2 envelopes)
1 cup cold strong coffee, separated into two 1/2 cups
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar (at least 1/2 cup)
unsweetened cocoa powder (at least 1/2 cup)
chocolate for drizzling (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine cocoa and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Grease a 13×9 baking dish and dust with the cocoa mixture. Be sure to go up all sides.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the gelatin and 1/2 cup of coffee. Let soak for a few minutes until gel-like.
  3. While the gelatin is setting, place the sugar and remaining 1/2 cup of coffee in a heavy sauce pan. Cook on high, stirring for about 5-7 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the gelatin into the sugar mixture, stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and salt. Let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture (it can still be warm but not steaming hot) into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium for about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to med-high/high (do this slowly) and let it go for about 10-12 more minutes. The mixture will more than double and get super fluffy and light…like marshmallow.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and spread with silicon spatula to fit the pan. Using a mesh sieve (or your hands) lightly sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.
  8. Let cool completely.
  9. In a small bowl, add the remaining powdered sugar. Cut the marshmallows to whatever size you would like. Dip the freshly cut sides into the powdered sugar They’ll be sticky until you dip them into the sugar.
  10. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate (see note 4 below). Let the chocolate harden. Store in an air tight container for up to a week.

single heart

Notes:

  1. After seven tries I can assure you the method above is the easiest way. I tried using parchment but the pan dusting method above worked best.
  2. They’ll make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift wrapped up with hot chocolate mix. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to punch out heart shapes if you’d like, but be ready to eat a lot of scraps. It’s not like cookie dough where you can re-roll the scraps together and cut them into shapes too.
  3. I tried using jam for the strawberry flavor but they were really wet. I love flavoring things with powdered freeze-dried fruit. I really wanted to try pineapple and blueberry too. I made myself stop at 7.
  4. Need directions on how to melt chocolate? See this post. <—You probably want to make those soon.

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Posted on February 4, 2013


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