Every year when Mom and I do our Christmas baking, I like to try and make something new, that isn't a typical cookie, is a bit of a challenge but if done successfully, guaranteed delicious. Last year I chose marshmallows. I love marshmallows. I love the marshmallow candies that are shaped like bananas and strawberries, I love s'mores, I love Rice Krispee treats - give me all the marshmallows! So this year for my friend Amanda's christmas party (which became more of a snowed in affair) I made gourmet marshmallows once again to be paired with a big mug of hot chocolate! I consulted both Martha Stewart and my new favourite book, Butter Baked Goods, and the results couldn't have been better. With a few "dipping" variations, I give you the recipe for homemade marshmallows:
3 packets of unflavoured gelatin
1 cup water
2 cups white, granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup (I used golden)
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of the water and sprinkle the gelatin on top, allowing to stand for approximately 10 minutes. In a medium sauce pan on high, add the sugar, corn syrup, 1/2 cup of water and salt. Stir together and bring to a boil. Let it boil for one minute and then remove from heat. Stir together the gelatin and water a few times and then slowly add the sugar mixture, pouring it down the sides of the bowl with the electric mixer on low speed. Once it all has been added, put the mixer on high and mix for 12 minutes. Line a 9x9 baking pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and prepare an additional piece to place on top. When you're done mixing, pour the marshmallow into the pan and spread evenly, placing your second square of greased plastic wrap on top. Let stand for 2 hours, or overnight.
When the marshmallow is firm, carefully remove by placing it upside down on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. With a sharp knife, cut the marshmallows into 1-inch squares. Depending on your tastes, you can either keep them plain and coat them with icing sugar, or you can coat some in toasted coconut. I also took some of the plain ones and dipped them in melted chocolate and either graham cracker crumbs (S'mores Mallow!) or candy cane pieces (Peppermint Mallow!). I can eat them just as they are or melt them away into a big cup of hot cocoa.