Here I am. The longest day of the year, and actually a very exciting day if you think about it. We're on the downhill slide to summer. Yeah! And I have sick children as well. Seth lost his lunch on the bus ride home yesterday. Poor child. So we're home bound today, but I'm OK with that. The shopping is complete, there is cooking to be done, and recipes to share.
I noticed the other day, a friend who lives far far away, made these little babies this week. Great minds must think alike:) "Happy Peppermint Marshmallows Christine!" So last week I gave a demonstration on making homemade marshmallows for a bunch of ladies at church. They're always such a nice audience and so kind. These marshmallows are always the perfect treat in the summer, but I don't always make them for Christmas. They do add a little extra special touch to the holidays though don't you think?
I ripped this recipe out of a Martha Stewart Living magazine probably 14 years ago. I think we still lived in Pocatello and it took me a few years to dare try it. I don't know what took me so long. Something about the fact that I had no idea how a marshmallow was made. It was a mystery and something you just bought in bags I thought. It's really an easy recipe, and quite impressive to make. People think you're magic! In years past I've tinted the peppermint marshmallows pink and dipped them halfway in chocolate. Now that was yummy, but this year I did as Martha Stewart showed and marbled those babies. My kids thought I was amazing and Martha Stewart herself. The ladies enjoyed them at church, and we are still enjoying them with our hot chocolate every night as a family.
As a kid, my mom would make homemade hot chocolate for us, and I loved it. It wasn't a powder you added to water, but hot milk with loads of cocoa in it, and just the right amount of sugar. My kids love this hot chocolate now as well. Something is just extra special when milk is warmed and there is a giant hot pot of steaming cocoa on the stove.
Make some marshmallows, and cocoa for this weekend. Family and friends will think you're amazing, and it really isn't hard at all. It's extra special and fun to have. Enjoy!
courtesy of Martha Stewart
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 (or 2 t. peppermint extract)
1t. red food coloring
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil; set aside.
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.
Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer 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. Drop the red food coloring all over the marshmallow and use a toothpick or a kabob skewer to marbelize. Not to hard. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours. Better if overnight.
Sift 1 cup confectioners' sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners' sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.
Homemade Hot Chocolate
courtesy of my muther:)
1 gallon milk or a combination of milk and cream or half and half. It all tastes good!
2 c. sugar
1 c. cocoa powder
1/2 t. vanilla
Add all these ingredients together and bring the milk to a simmer. Adjust the sugar and cocoa to your liking. I also like to add 1/2 t. of cinnamon sometimes for a Mexican Hot chocolate. Serve with homemade marshmallow, or big dollops of whipped cream.