No matter how badly you might want one of these marshmallows, you could never, ever, possibly, in your life, want one as badly as this small person:
"Do you see my tears, Mommy? Just look at how big they are.
They are as big as my love for you if you just
please give me one more marshmallow."
You might be thinking about what a heartless person I must be to deny my sad child just one more marshmallow. But don’t feel bad for him. Feel bad for me. Because I’m crying like that right now, too. For my marshmallows are gone. Devoured. Engulfed . It doesn’t matter who ate them, let’s just say they are gone forever.
You also might be thinking that instead of you feeling bad for me, I should be feeling bad for you, since you didn't get any marshmallows and I did. But in this case, it is better not to have loved at all than it is to have loved and lost, for my entire family loved and then lost and now we are miserable and our life just sucks without our chocolate covered marshmallows.
I can’t even look at this picture without enormous tears of anguish welling in my eyes. No, not the picture above, the picture below:
And look at these. They’re stuffed with peanut butter. I hope you are crying now, too.
Let me tell you about this marshmallow experience. It was a gooey mess. Goopy, goopy globs stuck to my knife and cutting board and fingers and elbows and hair and iphone and every other single surface in the entire universe. Well, at least one person enjoyed working with the batter:
I almost trashed the batch! The first few marshmallows I cut were globby, pathetic mounds that did not merit consumption by even the most wretched and miserable creatures on our planet. But I was in it too far to quit. I allowed the massive patty of uncut marshmallows to dry out a for 6 more hours until they were hard enough to maintain the approximate shape of a cube. Then I dipped them in chocolate and even salvaged the globby-glob ones by stuffing them with peanut butter and then dipping those in chocolate, too. I am happy to say that the hard work was worth it!
These are special. Sweet, soft, melty in your mouthy, everything you could want a marshmallow to be. They are a pain in the ass to make, though, so only attempt them if you are patient person whom stuff doesn't tend to stick to, and even then, only if you know will be able to graciously tolerate their absence once your supply is depleted.
Homemade Marshmallows, Peanut Butter Filled and Chocolate Dipped
~Basic marshmallow recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa. Next time, I’ll be trying Martha Stewart’s recipe, which looks quicker and easier.
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup*
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract*
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
*Fancy Toast Notes:
- Do not use dark corn syrup (like I did) or it will take at least 24 hours for the marshmallows to set.
- Use the best quality vanilla extract you can find, since the vanilla flavor is so prominent in these marshmallows. I’ve been using vanilla bean paste, which is loaded with flecks of vanilla bean.
- Instead of one tablespoon vanilla extract, I did two teaspoons of vanilla paste and one teaspoon of almond extract. I highly recommend this combination, especially if you’re not planning on adding the peanut butter component.
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
(If you don't have a candy thermometer, let the mixture come to a boil and remove from heat after it has boiled for one minute.)
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly. (Do not mix for too long, or the batter will become too thick and difficult to work with.)
With a sieve, generously dust an 8 by 12-inch nonmetal baking dish with confectioners' sugar. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth the top, and dust with more confectioners' sugar. Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out.
Turn the marshmallows onto a board and cut them into squares. Dust them with more confectioners' sugar.
Makes 20-40 marshmallows, depending on the size.
Melt 2 cups of good quality chocolate (I use Ghiradelli 60% cacao) at 30 second intervals, stirring between each one, until chocolate is melted. Using fingers or toothpicks, dip the marshmallows halfway in the chocolate. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Peanut Butter Stuffed AND Chocolate-Dipped
Cut a marshmallow almost in half and spread the inside with creamy peanut butter. Close up the marshmallow and dip the whole thing in the melted chocolate. Repeat with remaining marshmallows.
(I welcome any suggestions for making it easier to work with marshmallow batter. Some people suggest using cooking spray on a piece of plastic wrap, the knife, and your fingers, but I fear that the delicate flavor of the marshmallow would suffer when one's tongue detected traces of cooking spray. Some sites recommend confectioner's sugar sifted over everything, but that wasn't enough for me. Goodness gracious that was sticky stuff.)