I have had a recipe torn out of a past Martha Stewart magazine for years on making homemade marshmallows. When, I saw Wendi's post on making them - I was re-inspired to give it a try!
Top all of this inspiration, with a Christmas box that soon arrived from my sister including one of her tasty looking S'mores kits - and I was done for.
I planned to make the marshmallows for our Advent Walk coming to serve with hot chocolate. So, Friday evening when we had plans to eat out for dinner and I didn't need to cook - I used the time saved to make marshmallows! It was easier than I had thought it might be and here is how everything turned out.
First of all, this made a LOT of marshmallows - so the next morning, I am looking at all the marshmallows and thinking, "What am I going to do with all these marshmallows?" Well, being inspired by Carrie's idea - and knowing I still needed to come up with a gift for our neighbors for Christmas, I decided to copy her idea.
I made the graham cracker recipe (with modifications) from this book and packed everything up. I think they turned out so cute!
Here are my marshmallows, chocolate chips and grahams packaged for giving:
Some of my marshmallows are red and white swirled as that was how the recipe was written. But, the food coloring did not swirl below the very top. If I made these again, I would skip the food coloring.
I also made skewers for the marshmallows to be toasted on ~ a wooden skewer with a star taped on bearing Christmas words was just the ticket!
I made little instruction tags on the computer and layered them with cute scrapbook paper. Then, I "laminated" them with photo laminating pouches that my Mom gave me!
I packaged the goodies in a brown paper lunch sack, punched holes in the top and tied a piece of homespun fabric through. Then before tying the bow, I added some fresh evergreen clippings and then the bow.
Of course, I had to sample one before I shared the recipe with all of you!!! :) Yummy! I warmed the marshmallows over a candle and eventually in the microwave, sprinkled with chocolate chips and layered a second cookie on!
Peppermint Marshmallows (from Martha Stewart Living Magazine)
2 c. sugar
1 T. light corn syrup
4 packages (1/4 oz. each) unflavored gelatin
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract (I left this out as not everyone likes peppermint - though I do!)
2 large egg whites
2 tsp. red food coloring
Prepare an 8x8 baking pan by spraying with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper and then spray the paper. Set pan aside.
Put sugar, corn syrup and 3/4 c. water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring; let mixture come to a boil. Raise heat to medium-high; cook until mixture registers 260 on a candy thermometer. (My thermometer is broken, so I had to guess at this, but it worked out well.)
While that is cooking, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 c. water in a heatproof bowl; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water; whisking constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in extract; set aside.
Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture; with mixer running, gradually add to egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick - about 12-15 minutes.
Pour mixture into lined pan. Working quickly, drop dots of red food coloring across surface of marshmallow. Using a toothpick, swirl food coloring into marshmallow to create a marbleized effect. Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.
I also cut some of mine with star and snowflake cookie cutters to be used in hot chocolate!
Honey Graham Crackers (From Mary Jane's Farm book)
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. salted butter
2 T. honey
2 T. molasses
1/3 c. coconut milk
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
Preheat oven to 350. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium pan, warm the butter, honey, molasses, and coconut milk just enough to combine. Add the coconut extract.
Pour the milk mixture into flour mixture and mix (I used my Kitchen Aid) until the mixture is gathered together in a ball.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently. Divide dough into smaller pieces and roll each piece between two pieces of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thickness.
Cut with a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (I used a Christmas tree). Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 10 minutes, or until crackers are slightly crisp.
Yield: 20 crackers
Now for the changes I made: I tripled the recipe and did not have any molasses, so used corn syrup in place of that. I would have preferred to use honey - but after three batches did not have enough! I also subbed whole milk for the coconut milk and omitted the coconut extract. I intended to put vanilla extract in, but forgot - I think that would have made them more flavorful! I also left the salt out.
I hope my neighbors will enjoy this little treat they can create together!