Thursday, December 15, 2011

Homemade S'Mores Party!

Look at that delicious chocolate and bright, white, fluffy marshmallow!
This past September my friend Ashley I took a weekend trip to Austin. While we were in Austin we had s'mores for dessert at this little coffee/wine/dessert place on 6th Street (we're so wild). To toast the marshmallows they had this little mini fire at our table. It was really funny because when the server put the fire on our table he instructed us not to light our marshmallows on fire and wave them around the restaurant. I guess they'd had problems with that...

As were we eating our s'mores, and commenting on how good they were, we came up with the bright idea of making our own homemade s'mores, with homemade marshmallows and homemade graham crackers. Back then it was only a dream, but last night we made it a reality!

The marshmallow recipe was actually really easy to follow. They were made in 13 x 9 inch pan, which made one GIANT marshmallow that had to be cut into smaller cubes. Which was fun! I was surprised at how easily the giant marshmallow came out of the pan and how easy it was to cut it into cubes. Just make sure you have plenty of powdered sugar on hand. It makes things less sticky. 
Once a marshmallow cube was cut, I dipped all six of its sides in powdered sugar so that they wouldn't all stuck together in the bag. 

 Here are all the marshmallows, happy in their Ziploc-bag home. Ready to be eaten. Homemade marshmallows are so soft. Seriously. It's a wonderful sensory experience. They're like little, heavenly pillows. I want to jump in a giant pile of homemade marshmallows. 

On my way to the s'more-eating event, I saw this beautifully decorated tree. Huge, old oak trees are one of my favorite things about Houston... 

Ashley made the graham crackers...

Paula bought the chocolate and melted it in her fondue set...

The finished product. We didn't toast the marshmallows (which I still kind of want to try), but the chocolate was melted from the fondue pot and everything was very delicious and rich

Paula enjoying a marshmallow while Samuel enjoyed an intense game of Monopoly ;)

Ashley enjoying a s'more...

The recipe...

Springy, Fluffy Marshmallows 

3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups sugar 
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites 
1 tablespoon vanilla 

Oil (I used Crisco) bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 inch rectangular metal (I used glass) baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some powdered sugar.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water, and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240 degrees, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. 

In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out. Sift 1/4 cup powdered sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes.Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.

Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.

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