Don’t Eat a Boring Marshmallow
Did you know you could make homemade marshmallows? Would you ever want to make homemade marshmallows? Just the thought of doing the seemingly impossible was inspiring….All I know is that you should start getting excited and be glad it is marshmallow season.
I can have normal conversations. I do read the news. And I can certainly hold my own on pop culture. But, it’s olive oil and marinara sauce, chocolate and almond butter that runs through my veins. Some people remember what they wore to certain events — a.k.a. Kelly and Molly — but not me. I remember what food was served – and the last flavors on my tongue. I read about food, dream about food, and play with food all day long. (Ok, you get the picture.)
So with this constant fascination and hunger (pun intended) to learn more about food I’m a pretty easy person to buy for at Christmas. Last holiday season, my mother-in-law bought me a subscription to a food magazine. I was like a little kid and wanted to jump up and down – the gift that keeps on giving all year long. Needless to say, every month I save the magazine for a quiet night.
I savor every word, every recipe and keep avid notes. Pages are bent and bookmarks are added, and I consider this just a part of my continued culinary education. It was from the pages in the magazine that I began my love affair with homemade marshmallows. One month, the magazine posted an entire essay about making homemade marshmallows. It was written by a female blogger so it was candid and light-hearted – an easy read that made you hungry at the adjectives describing the fluffy goodness.
Did you know you could make homemade marshmallows? Would you ever want to make homemade marshmallows (homemade marshmallow recipe)? Just the thought of doing the seemingly impossible was inspiring. I saved the article and immediately went to the grocery store for gelatin. For as complex as it is to describe what a marshmallow feels like in your mouth, it is actually surprisingly easy to make. I made my first batch, I dipped them in chocolate, dusted them with graham cracker crumbs and voila. Now (months and months later) I’ve flavored them in unique ways and have made a lot of marshmallows.
Several weeks ago I started to get an itch. I don’t know if it’s just because I saw them on TV or because it’s officially campfire weather (i.e. s’more weather) but I was anxious to make marshmallows. Much like the first time I made the recipe, I went out and bought a big box of gelatin. This time though I wanted to play with flavors. We made 5 different flavors and then fed them to the people we know and love. Here were the results from our personal case studies.
Original—How can you go wrong? Especially smothered between chocolate and a graham cracker it becomes heavenly.
Cocoa and cayenne—I simply added dried cocoa and cayenne for a little heat. They were delicious but not overpowering. Next time I try these I’ll add a dash or two more of cayenne so it’s a more obvious heat. I liked this flavor the best because you got the marshmallow and chocolate combination without getting sticky and messy from the melted chocolate bar and roasted marshmallow.
Almond—If I made these for the fellow mothers at preschool I would be the coolest mom in the class. Definitely a crowd pleaser and still amazingly easy. I just added almond extract instead of vanilla. Be careful when adding the almond extract though because a little goes a long way, make sure to taste as you go and add a little at a time.
Mint—The mint extract was delicious and added a really pretty light green hue to the marshmallows. Just like the almond flavoring I added the mint flavor instead of the vanilla. Also like the almond, make sure to add a little at a time. The mint extract is potent so don’t overwhelm the marshmallows.
Smoked—I was the most excited for this experiment! Instead of vanilla I added liquid smoke. Liquid smoke comes in an assortment of options in the grocery store (it is found near the BBQ sauces and marinades). I chose hickory smoke and added a little at a time and tasted as I went. Once they set they honestly tasted like a roasted marshmallow which was great and what I was looking for, however it was just a little confusing while eating because what you tasted would normally, texturally be crunchy, soft, gooey and it was firm. Great thought, so-so result.
Homemade marshmallows are super easy to make, fun to play with flavors, and they roast just as easily and great as store bought marshmallows. They brown and become just as gooey as the professionally-made marshmallow treats. AND, you can control the size of your treats. Cut them perfect for Fall and make them worthy of roasting or dice them up for hot chocolate in the Winter. YOU can control the outcome. All I know is that you should start getting excited and be glad it is marshmallow season.