Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hand-Crafting in the Kitchen

Howdy.  I believe that you can 'hand-craft' a variety of things.  I also know, that sometimes, the best things in life are created.  I started making marshmallows last year. And yeah, as my husband has pointed out, 'you can buy marshmallows at the grocery store'.  So, there really isn't any need to make them at home.  I was a bit surprised that my husband took that stand.  I make his cookies, cakes, dinners, bread, and favorite dinner rolls by hand.  
I have tried several different recipes of home-made marshmallows.  And I have failed miserably at several of these recipes.  But, I didn't let that discourage me.  I'm pretty smart, and love a challenge.  
hand-crafted Vanilla Marshmallows

made @ Small {scale} Sweets shop

These vanilla marshmallows are not ridiculously hard to make.  They just take time.  I typically 'make' these in a rectangular pan. I use a serrated knife to cut these marshmallows into cubes.  As you can see, there are air pockets in the marshmallow.  I think these add character and aid in the lightness of these little pillows of sugar.  {smile}

half-recipe of marshmallows

made @ Small {scale} Sweets shop

3  envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup clear corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

You will need a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk, a heavy sauce pan, a spatula, a rectangle pan, clear plastic wrap, parchment paper, powder sugar, a serrated knife, and Pam.
*if you use homemade vanilla extract, and organic powdered sugar, you will make these light as air pillows of sugar gluten-free! {smile}
Pour the water into the mixing bowl of the stand mixer.  Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on the water. Let this sit for 10 minutes.  While your waiting, make the sugar. 
Heat the milk, corn syrup, and sugar in a heavy sauce pan, over medium high heat.  Bring the sugar mixture to boil, and boil for one minute.  
Remove the sugar from heat, stir in vanilla bean paste and extract.
Turn the stand mixer on to medium, and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture down the side of the mixing bowl.  Bring the speed of the mixer as high as possible.  Beat on high for 12 minutes. 
While the mixer is going, prep your pan and clear plastic wrap.  Spray the rectangle (9" x 13") pan and plastic wrap with Pam.  Once the sugar is whipped, pour into the rectangle pan.  You will need to use a spatula (sprayed with Pam) to help move the sugar out of the mixing bowl into the pan.  You will need to level the whipped sugar into the pan, to help create a uniform marshmallow.  Lay the plastic wrap, sprayed side toward the whipped sugar.  Lay the plastic wrap directly on the whipped sugar, and sealing the whole surface of the whipped sugar.  
Set your timer for a minimum of 2 hours.  (I personally have not let this set longer than 4hours.)  Remove the plastic wrap, and turn the marshmallow slab onto a piece of parchment paper.  Use a serrated knife to slice the marshmallow slab into strips, and then cut the strips into cubes.  Place a few cubes into a bowl of powdered sugar and toss.  Shake the excess powdered sugar off each cube.  
Store the homemade marshmallows in an air tight container.
Use these marshmallows the same way you would the store purchased ones: roast them to make delicious s'mores, dip them in chocolate, add to hot cocoa, or simply eat them just the way they are!
*if you want to make gluten-free* 'rice krispie treats', there is no need to turn the whipped sugar into a rectangle pan to have them set-up, simply add the cereal into the mixing bowl and then turn the cereal mixture into a butter rectangle pan.

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope I have inspired you to cook something home-made.  {smile}

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