Thank you so much Genevieve for your delightful post and lovely pictures.!
Hello everyone! This is Genevieve from Pretty Wit. I’m so excited and so honored to be featured on The Crunchy Conservative Herbalist! I love all the Christmas posts Elissa has done recently. Go read them. I mean it....right now! I’ll wait.
OK, now that you are back and are thoroughly inspired, here is one more fun and healthy treat for you to try for the holidays!
Marshmallows are not something that immediately comes to mind when thinking about health food- especially, I grant you, the store bought ones that are loaded with chemicals and artificial sweeteners, but there are some surprising benefits to eating these homemade confections. First of all, I’ve substituted honey in place of the Big Bad Corn Syrup and used organic cane sugar instead of refined, bleached sugar. Marshmallows also contain gelatin which has some very surprising benefits such as amino acids! Good for skin, nails, muscles and digestion to name a few. Plus, making marshmallows is like a magic trick. So fascinating to watch this brownish, strange smelling clear liquid whip into the smoothest, whitest, yummiest, FLUFFIEST substance before your very eyes. That right there has lots of benefits i.e. mood boosters and stress reducers!
OK, let’s get started! But first... put this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?
1/2 cup cold water
3 packets gelatin
1 1/2 cups of pure organic cane sugar (or any other granulated cane sugar)
3/4 cup honey (light colored and mild tasting is the best option)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup warm water
1 T pure vanilla extract (or other flavor such as maple or peppermint)
1/4 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/4 cup corn or tapioca starch
(NOTE: if you don’t want to use confectioners sugar you can just use the starch)
Step 1: Place 1/2 cup cold water in bowl of electric mixer and sprinkle 3 packets of gelatin over it and let sit while you proceed to next step.
Step 2: Combine honey, 1/2 cup warm water, sugar and salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan being careful not to let the tip touch bottom of pan. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved (about 5 minutes). Turn heat up to medium high and bring syrup to a boil, stirring constantly. Watch thermometer very carefully. When it reads 240 degrees, take off heat.
Step 3: Turn your mixer beaters on low and slowly pour the syrup into the gelatin mixture. Turn beaters on high and beat for 11 minutes (right here, you’ll want to prepare your pan for the marshmallows- grease a 9” X 11” pan with coconut oil or butter and dust with the starch/sugar mixture) Here is where the magic happens! Watch this weird mixture turn into a gorgeous, white snowdrift! Add vanilla extract and beat for 1 more minute.
Step 4: Work quickly and scrape mixture into prepared pan and smooth out with a greased rubber scraper until smooth. Dust the top with starch/sugar mixture. Let sit for at least 5 hours or overnight.
Step 5: Cut into squares and roll in more starch/sugar mixture. Keep in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers. Should keep for a few weeks.
A few of my notes and observations on the recipe:
I’ve read that you should not try to make marshmallows on a humid or rainy day. I don’t know about this because I live in a desert. But, just in case you live in a very rainy climate..beware.
I have read of people having bad luck with making marshmallows. I’ve made these with corn
syrup two other times and once with the honey and each time they turned out perfectly. I do have a very nice digital candy thermometer so that might be the secret. Invest in a good candy thermometer if you can.
Please note that these taste VERY strongly of honey. If you do not like honey, you will not like these. I’m a fan of honey...just call me Pooh. And, believe it or not, these are amazing in tea! I’ve tried “real” marshmallows in tea before and decided it was a bad idea. But these are fantastic.
Last year I made these (not with honey) and I used peppermint essential oils to flavor them. Oh my, so good! I believe I used about 8-10 drops of the EO. Also, I think lavender would be a fun one to try especially to go with Elissa’s Lavender Hot Chocolate.
Well, I hope that you all enjoy working your marshmallow magic. Have a lovely Christmas!