Confession time – candy-making has always intimidated me. I’ve been brave enough to check out a few candy recipe books from the library, but always skipped right over the ones that required a thermometer. I am apparently allergic to learning new things and using new tools, and didn’t want to justify the expense. A perfectly good (and cheap!) thermometer sat on my Amazon wish list FOREVER and I still never took the plunge and bought it. Finally my husband bestowed it upon me for a birthday. Now I had no excuse!
First up to make – MARSHMALLOWS! I didn’t know these could be made from scratch for a long time. To be honest, why bother? They are seriously 99 cents a bag at any grocery store. But don’t they all taste the same? Isn’t it a hassle? Is there any difference at all in a homemade marshmallow versus a store-bought one? The answers are no, sorta, and yes, respectively 🙂
My expectation upon eating a homemade marshmallow was what comes out of a store bag: a chewy, cornstarch-coated, semi-tasteless fluff-ball, i.e. nothing to write home to mom about. But the scratch confection is unbelievably fluffy and soft, like a cloud. The ones above have a deep chocolate flavor and melt into a puddle of sugar ooze in your hot cocoa.
Are they a hassle? Yes, compared to throwing a bag in your cart. But these are so satisfying to make and you will feel like a magician. Be prepared for oohs and aahs when you share these 🙂
One thing I don’t have, which would be fabulous for this process, is a stand mixer. You will be mixing for what seems like FOREVER until it finally comes together. A hand mixer works, though. Just recruit helpers to hold the mixer when necessary 😉
A tip for those giving it a go – your mixture is ready when it starts to climb up your beaters, roughly 10 to 15 minutes in. Resist the urge to quit mixing sooner or you’ll end up with marshmallow fluff instead.
Also, be prepared to make a sticky mess everywhere in your kitchen. It will stick to your beaters, your fingers, the bowl, and you’ll probably get some in your hair. All part of the fun!
Here is the recipe I used – http://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/2015/12/homemade-chocolate-marshmallows.html
So don’t be intimidated like I was! You got this 🙂
BTW, these marshmallows were chosen for week 1 of https://www.reddit.com/r/52weeksofbaking/