Thursday, October 13, 2011

Time for Hot Cocoa and Marshmallows..... yup it's gettin cold up here

So yesterday was a whirlwind of stuff to do.  You know, get food so we don't starve, school, doctor's appointment, Dunkin D with other school moms, and my fav of the month MOPs!  I was up way too early, 310, and so was Mitchell, 4, thanks to daddy's need to slap the alarms for an hour before he gets up.  We love him anyway! Mitchell and I slept all night and got up around 9 this morning. He slept almost 12 hours! WOO HOO!!!!  So now I know today is going to be a good day. We got up and made breakfast and sat to watch a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and check emails. I sat here and thought Hot Damn it's cold!! I went to get my hot cocoa mix and make a glass only to realize i have no marshmallows..... WHAT?!?!?? How can this be.  We all know you can't have hot cocoa without marshmallows. My mom is the only one that doesn't get that, but she's also a black coffee drinker and doesn't like sweets, but thinks my marshmallows are yummy! So I got to to gettin and started making them.  This is a tutorial on how to make the marshmallows. They look better than last time, fluffier and filled the pan up more.  The original recipe calls for cornstarch and a stand mixer. I don't like the taste of cornstarch, even mixed with powdered sugar, and I don't own a stand mixer, BUT i have a hand mixer. My hand mixer isn't my mom's hand mixer and the beaters aren't the old fashioned looking ones.  It's 4 wire like thingies that make up the beater.  I used the whisk attatchment last time and it actually separated so i tried the beaters this time and it worked out great.  This is a small spin off Alton Brown's Recipe on Food Network.  I believe the episode is Puff The Magic Mallow.  here goes..... 

Whacha need 

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided (I put tap water in a glass with ice and dish it out as needed) 
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (if you use table salt just 1/2 the amount as it takes up less space) 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • Nonstick spray
No need for the bottle of water, I fill them up so I know how much water I am drinking. 

add 1/2 cup of the ice water to what ever bowl you are going to use and sprinkle the gelatin  over top of it. It looks gross but the end product is so yummy!! 

Add the rest of the water, sugar, salt, and corn syrup to a medium pot and cook it over medium high heat.  Once you see it start to bubble put the lid on and time 4 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook another 8 minutes.  Mr. Brown says till it reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer but another thing I don't have. (The hubster tried to help one day and piled the dishes and pots on top of it in the sink... it broke! It's OK he was trying to help) But the time works fine apparently. 

Whilst the sugar mixture is cooking you may as well get the pan prepped.  I use a butter flavored cooking spray and spray the heck out of it. I may have used a little much but oh well... we learn from our mistakes. 

The next couple steps i don't have pictures of because... well, I only have 2 hands and Mitchell likes to steal the camera.  Ahhh my budding photographer. 

Once the sugar is cooked the to temp, or time, you want to slowly drizzle it into the gelatin that now looks like wet sand.  If you have a stand mixer this part is easy. If not, add   small drizzles at a time and keep the mixer moving to get all the gelatin mixed into it good. I put a little at a time to keep the gelatin from jumping out of the bowl and when it was all incorporated to the little that was there I continued with small amounts at a time. (because who REALLY wants to try to clean the hardened sugar mixture off your hand mixer... not me) When the mixer moved to the back of the bowl I would add another small amount until it was all in. 

Then get to mixin.... This is what it looks like after you get it all mixed together and start adding the air to it.  Not so much like marshmallows yet, but give it 5 minutes.  My arms got tired so I held the mixer steady on my body and moved the bowl in circles. 

This was after a few minutes it started to get thick and looking like marshmallows. You can see the traces of the beater movement in it.  Add the Vanilla at this stage. I didn't and the Marshmallow started to crawl up the beater. If this happens slowly lift the beater out of the bowl and gravity will pull the Marshmallow back down

Here you can really see the tracking of the beater movements and it's almost ready.  As soon as I put the camera down it started to crawl up the beaters so I had to go fast and add the vanilla.  Once the vanilla is mixed in, if you are brave, sit your child at the table and give a beater. 

Mitchell enjoying a little marshmallow, don't mind my collection of crap  bar. 

 What it looks like in the pan. I used a spatula and press it from the center and move to the corners to spread it out.  I tried other ways but found this the best.  You can coat it with powdered sugar now but I wait. 
Give your child the spatula used to spread it out.... what's a little more sugar? 

I use a pan that has a cover and slap the cover on it to keep dust out
I have to put mine very high.  I can get it up there but need a chair to get it down. Yeah I am short. I have to do this to keep my child out of it!!  I usually make this at night and let it set for about 10 hours.  I made this this morning so I can cut it up tonight but I will wait until the morning.... maybe!  

Heavily coat the surface of the Marshmallow with powdered sugar. I used clean hands and brushed it around. 

Coat the counter, or a glass cutting board, with powdered sugar and turn the Marshmallow slab out onto the powdered surface. 

Coat a pizza cutter with powdered sugar and cut into small squares.  This recipe should make 9 dozen marshmallows, but I don't count.  I am just happy to have marshmallows in my hot cocoa. That recipe I will post tomorrow. 

Put about a cup (i just dump, don't measure) of powdered sugar into a 1 gal zip lock bag and add a strip of cut marshmallows at a time and shake it up to coat them. 

I leave them in the bag and zip it up and put it in the cabinet for later.  Or maybe use some right away THEN put them out. 

When you add them to the Hot cocoa they don't dissolve like the store brands do, the make a wonderfully thick impenetrable layer of melted marshmallow. 

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