This weekend was a busy one. I had it in my mind that I would be making THREE types of homemade marshmallows. Add to that TWO kinds of cookies, a pot of chicken chili, and a tasty ham dinner, and you have yourself one busy, happy weekend!
Up first…the marshmallows!
Making marshmallows myself was nothing I ever really considered until I read the book City of Light by Lauren Belfer. The book itself had nothing to do with marshmallows, BUT the book did have a scene during which the main character went to a candy store and purchased a marshmallow covered in chocolate. Since the book was set in early 1900s, the marshmallow would have been made right there…IN the candy store. This made me think…if THEY could do it then…I should be able to pull it off now! Thus began my quest to find the best marshmallow recipe I could find.
My quest ended with an Ina Garten recipe. This recipe can be found on the Food Network website, so I’m not going to take the time to post it here. But know this….ANYONE can make marshmallows. BUT…if you make them once, you will never want to eat store bought marshmallows again. These are divine! Her recipe is called Toasted Coconut Marshmallows and the picture you see above is the product of following her recipe.
So now that I’m comfortable with the recipe and method (disclaimer: you need a heavy bottomed sauce pan, a candy thermometer, and a KitchenAid mixer with a whisk attachment to try this at home), I decided that this was the perfect time to start playing with the recipe.
How could I not create a pink peppermint marshmallow? This is just the basic recipe with 1/8 tsp. red food coloring and 1 tsp. peppermint extract, and only 1 T. of vanilla instead of 2.
This is the basic marshmallow recipe sans coconut, but dipped in melted caramel. PS…don’t put your dipped marshmallows on waxed paper to dry…the paper doesn’t come off. The good news…it was nothing a serrated knife and a little powdered sugar couldn’t handle!
Now for an action shot…
Yes, my mixer has a name. So what? She and I spend a great deal of time together on the weekends, and she’s never complained about all the work I put her through! That’s the marshmallow batter (I couldn’t come up with a better word to use) being whipped to fluffy perfection.
Now…after all this marshmallow making, this girl needed a good lunch. Something healthy to cut through all the sugar, but something easy because marshmallow making is no small task. My solution? My “cheater” chicken chili…
That’s ground chicken and a bunch of canned food. What would we do without canned food? Anyway…you just brown the chicken and season with salt, pepper, and cumin to taste. Once the chicken is browned, just add the contents of the cans, bring to a boil, and you’ll have some of the best chicken chili you’ve ever tasted!
Are you smiling yet???? I know I am! The food and treats this weekend were so good! To end, I’ll throw in the picture of the cookies I made — Peppermint Crinkles, and a shot of the triad of marshmallow fabulocity! I did also make my Chai Sugar Cookies, but apparently did not take a picture of those! I’ll make sure to share those in a future post!
And no…I will not give out my Peppermint Crinkle recipe — it has taken tons of trail and error to get this one perfected. I do, afterall, want to own a small bakery someday! If I give out all my recipes, why in the world would anyone pay ME to bake for them?!!!
And to end on a super sweet note…
I hope (at the very least) you’re feeling inspired to do the thing that makes you most happy. For me, that’s spending time in my kitchen making things for the people I like best.
So tell me…what activity makes you happy?