A Sh*t Ton of Snow, AKA Blizzard of 2013

So for once, the weatherman earned their pay.  More than 3 ft of snow were dumped on us. although I am pretty sure Alaska is laughing at us New Englander for all being stuck, when this is just another normal day for them.  Laughing or not, the reality of things is that half of the streets are still not plowed.  We are lucky, we live on a street that tends to be a drive-thru so our street is very well plowed.  Plus David worked hard the past couple of days  and snow blow the driveway out.  But just to give you an idea, this is what it looked like when David started…

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And of course, with this much snow, one HAS to take advantage of all the potential on a snowball fight!  Well, alright, there was no real snowball fight, but there are definitely snow playing!

 

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So while all the snow is going on, I decided to try my hands on homemade marshmallow.  I’ve seen them, eaten them and been wanting to try to make them for a long time, but it seems kinda time consuming.  I saw a few recipes online, and me being me, made up my own recipe based the ones I linked above:

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Step 1:  Ingredients

  • 3 packets of gelatin powder
  • 1/2 + 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • oil and confectioner’s sugar (powder sugar) for the dish
  • confectioner’s sugar for dusting

You can totally change up the flavoring by adding different extracts, although if you are interested in a minty flavor, I would start by 1 teaspoon, taste it, then add more, since the mint flavor is much stronger.  You can also substitute vanilla bean paste instead of using vanilla extract.

Step 2:  Prepare Your Dish

I used vegetable oil in my handy dandy Pampered Chef Oil Spritzer, but you can totally use Pam, or just put some oil on your paper towel and wipe the dish you are using.  Then dust generously with powder sugar. I used a 9 by 13 pyrex dish, but you can do various sizes.  If you use a smaller dish, it just means that the final marshmallow cubes will be taller.

Step 3 & 4:  Preparing the Gelatin

Put three packets of unflavored gelatin powder with 1/2 cup cold water in the mixing bowl.  Let it sit while preparing the rest of the ingredients.  Now there are other forms of gelatin, such as gelatin sheets.  I’ve never used it before, but I don’t see how they will be any different than the powder. 

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Step 5 – 8:  Cooking the Rest of Ingredients

In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup cold water, sugar, corn syrup and salt.  On low heat, stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula . Turn the heat up to medium, and bring it to a boil. Without stirring, let the mixture simmer until it reaches 240 F by the thermometer.  Remove from heat and immediately pour it into the gelatin mixture.

If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can still make this.  This took about 10 – 12 minutes.  As seen in picture 6 to 8, you can see the progression of the mixture color.  Once it had become clear, let it simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes, until you couldn’t stand it anymore.

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Step 9:  Beat it, Beat it, and Beat it Some More

Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on high speed for around 8-10 minutes until white, fluffy and almost tripled in size. Add vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) and beat just until smooth and combined.

Now, this is the marshmallow fluff!  If you want to make rice crispy treats, use this stuff!  It is soft and yummy.

Step 10 – 11:  Pour the Fluff

Pour the mixture into the oiled and sugared dish, and sift confectioner’s sugar generously on top.

Step 12:  Cut and Eat

Allow the marshmallows to set for at least 3 hours in room temperature. Remove from the dish and cut into rough cubes using a sharp chef’s knife. Instead of back and forth movement, just press down with the knife. This way the knife won’t get stuck, and the cubes will spring back up.  

Now, there are a few ways I’ve seen on the net regarding the knife.  I personally prepped it with some powder sugar, just in case it sticks, but some say to use oiled knife, and some just go straight in without anything.  Your mileage may vary.

As I cut them into strips, I turned them and dust power sugar on top, then turn them 180 to make sure there are sugar on the other side.  And I repeat to ensure all sides have powder sugar to prevent sticking.  I then put them back into the pan they came from and covered it with plastic wrap for storage (less dishes to wash!). Although air-tight storage is probably a better choice.  Store in cool room temperature up to a week.

This is the time where you can put them in pretty packaging and give them away along with some hot cocoa mix, whether homemade or store bought.  

I hope you try it and let me know what you think!

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