Monday, December 21, 2009


This past week we cooked nonstop. But I haven't found a spare moment to sit down and write. So here's the plan. A 10-day recipe countdown to New Year's Day. One recipe a day. A few photos. That way I can catch up. Then we can move on to some more cookbooks and bigger posts in 2010.

I thought it was marshMELLOWS. They are mellow. Cocoa makes you mellow. S'mores make you mellow. I guess not.

These make a good present. Something about marshmallows makes people very happy.

 Dash measures the dish. "Eleventeen. Yup. Good."
He paints on the vegetable oil with such care.
He shakes the heck out of the pan to distribute the powdered sugar.
 I spread around the unbelievably sticky gooey mess.
 Dash licks. 

What a crazy texture. It is impossible to cut it with a knife. I have to snip the marshmallows with my poultry shears.
We have to try them in cocoa with Oreos. We shriek with joy. They taste JUST LIKE MARSHMALLOWS. Crazy cool.
And then we give them all away in pretty packages.

These are absurdly sweet. But I figure that marshmallows are supposed to be. This recipe is adapted from about 40 recipes I found on the internet. Some don't use egg whites. Some flavor the marshmallows with mint extract. Look around a bit at other recipes to make sure this is the one you want. The one good thing about making this recipe without egg whites is that you won't be dealing with uncooked egg. But I tasted it before and after the egg whites and decided they added a lightness that I prefer. Just eat them within a week or store them in the fridge.

Some tips: 
1. You must have a candy thermometer. 
2. Don't attempt to whisk this by hand. Use a standing or handheld electric mixer. 
3. Give your kids lots of measuring jobs early on because once the sugar is on the stove they need to stay across the kitchen.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup powdered sugar for dusting pan AND for the finished marshmallows
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin (2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup room temperature water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup warm water
big pinch of salt
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla and seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod

Grease a medium-sized rectangular or square baking pan with straight sides (metal, ceramic, or glass) lightly with oil. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and shake the sugar around the pan around until entire inner surface is coated (same way you would flour a cake pan). Turn pan upside down over sink and smack out excess sugar.

Separate your eggs so that you have the whites ready. Set them aside.

Empty gelatin into your mixing bowl. Pour room temp water on top to and set aside. It will harden back up really fast. Don't worry because it will soften up again with the hot liquid.

Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, and warm water into a medium-sized saucepan and turn heat up high. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Turn down to medium heat. Boil until sugar syrup reaches around 240° F degrees (this took 5 minutes one time and 10 the next—and once the temp accidentally reached 250° F and it wasn't a big deal so don't stress). Remove from the heat. Pour syrup over the gelatin. Gently whisk mixture until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Whisk mixture using a standing or handheld electric mixer until the sugar syrup has tripled in size and is no longer hot—but still warm.  This takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on your mixer. Add vanilla and vanilla bean (or any other flavoring ) during the final minute. In a mixing bowl with clean and dry beaters whisk egg whites until frothy (about 30 seconds). Add salt. Keep whisking until peaks are firm. It's very easy to overbeat so don't walk away. Pour beaten whites onto whipped sugar syrup and combine well. I needed to use the mixer to combine them but you can try to do this by hand. Be warned. It can be a big sticky mess. But so much fun. Pour mixture into oiled/powdered sugared baking pan. Even out the top surface as much as you can. Using a powdered sugar shaker, a sifter, or a fine strainer, sift powdered sugar all over the top. Put uncovered in the fridge for a few hours if you want to cut it soon. Or leave it out room temp and you can probably cut it about 6 hours later.

You can loosen the sides with a knife and remove marshmallow loaf onto the counter. Or you can just cut pieces out of the pan as needed.  I had no luck with a knife. Use scissors or shears to cut into any shapes you want. Funky squares look pretty good. Put all cut marshmallows into a big bowl and sift over more powdered sugar and toss with your hands until all sides are lightly coated. Store room temp for a few days in a bag or jar. Eat within a week or so or keep them in the fridge.


  1. Maya says "Eleventeen" too! I'm very impressed. I'm just sticking to biscochitos this holiday.

  2. i just had to look up biscochitos. they sound great. one recipe recommended flavoring the sugar overnight with orange rind. i'm going to try it. thanks for the idea.

  3. Thanks for the Marshmallows, Phyllis! They were Super-Yum, and they do, indeed, taste JUST LIKE MARSHMALLOWS! Laurel and August prefer to eat them on toothpicks. Mommy . . . can I have a marshmallow for breakfast?