Thursday, June 13, 2013

Homemade marshmallows

My first plate of homemade marshmallows
I haven't posted lately because I just feel uninspired about food right now.  Our dinners have become a dull rotation and our lunches have been there for quite some time.  Whenever I feel that I have an awesome idea or recipe to mix things up, my family isn't game, turning up their noses and asking for cheeseburgers or pizza.

I'm so frustrated because this is the time of the year that I get most excited about food.  Everything is so fresh and tastes amazing.  I love seeing the vibrant colors on our plates and the thrill of buying in season locally.  Our garden is still looking great and it's in our schedule to stake our tomatoes this weekend.  I should be thrilled about food right now, but I'm just not.  We are in a rut of bland.

Here's my confession - I actually sent hot dogs, cheddar cheese, and ketchup in the boys lunches this week. I honestly felt like I was serving them cigarettes and whiskey, I felt so guilty.  I just didn't have it in me to send yet another peanut butter and jelly.  Any suggestions to help with this rut are greatly appreciated!

Still feeling the guilt, I mixed it up the following day with tortillas filled with peanut butter and sliced bananas.  I am assuming that they went over well, or the sitter's dog really liked them, because they didn't come back in their lunchboxes.  Today I made an effort again by sending what I called "deconstructed s'mores".  I chopped up some homemade marshmallows and mixed them with Back to Nature Honey Graham Sticks and organic chocolate chips.  Although I haven't gotten any feedback yet, I know that William will be very excited when he sees chocolate AND marshmallows.

Marshmallows are so easy to make if you have an electric mixer.  And they are so much better than the store bought.  Just another way that I avoid HFCS (the devil).  Here is my no fail recipe.  Enjoy!

Homemade Marshmallows

Makes 24

Vegetable oil, for brushing
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1.  Brush a 9 x 13 inch glass pan with oil.  Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang over the sides.  Brush parchment with oil.  Set aside.
2.  Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into a bowl of an electric mixer.  Sprinkle with gelatin.  Let soften 5 minutes.
4.  Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  With mixture on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture.  Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes.  Beat in vanilla.  Pour into prepared dish and smooth with an offset spatula.  Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
5.  Sift 1 cup confectioners sugar onto a work surface.  Unmold marshmallows onto the work surface.  Remove parchment.  Lightly brush sharp knife with powdered sugar then cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares.  Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar into a small bowl and roll each marshmallow into sugar to coat.  Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Original recipe adapted from
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