This is hot chocolate season, and we've been going through the marshmallows, almost as fast as the cocoa. Every time we've emptied another bag, I've thought about trying to make a batch from scratch. I keep seeing them pop up in the blogosphere, and they look so yummy.
But, the last time I tried to make marshmallows, it was quite a disaster. Of course, then I didn't have any gelatin at home, and tried a no gelatin, egg white, recipe. I've never been very good with egg whites.
I've also read about how messy marshmallow making can be. I don't own one of those big mixers, and I don't have any kind of splatter guard for my hand mixer, so I wasn't sure. But, after some research, I discovered marshmallows can be mixed in a blender. I have a blender, and with the lid on, there couldn't be much mess.
So, I proceeded. I picked a recipe (there are dozens available online), pulled out the blender, and started gathering the ingredients. Then, I remembered I had used the last of the sugar for the children's morning muffins - bummer.
Not to be mocked by a blender, sitting idly on my kitchen counter, I went to the Internet for advice. Surely, there was a substitute for granulated sugar in a marshmallow recipe. I was just about to throw caution to the wind, and toss some brown sugar in, when I came across a couple honey marshmallow recipes.
I was intrigued. Honey marshmallows sound almost healthy. After reading a little further, I was completely convinced to give it a try. There was no boiling, no candy thermometers, no endless beating with a mixer. It looked easy enough for the kids to make...and it was. Leaning heavily on this recipe from MomsMenu.com, this is what I came up with:
Easy Honey Marshmallows
1 packet of unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup of cold water
1 cup of honey
Enough powdered sugar for tossing the marshmallows in.
Grease a 9''X9'' cake pan.
Pour the water and gelatin into the blender, and leave it for five minutes, while the gelatin softens.
Warm the honey in the microwave for 45 seconds, and add to the blender.
Quickly, place the lid on the blender, and blend the ingredients for 10 minutes.
Pour the contents of the blender into the greased pan, and leave it to firm up overnight. Ideally, you should leave it for 24-48 hours, but who can wait that long?
Using a butter knife dipped in cold water, turn the marshmallow out onto a piece of powdered sugar, covered wax paper. (It's really cool, because if you touch the marshmallow, it's completely sticky, but it comes right out of the pan, leaving it clean.)
Cut the marshmallow into squares (you might want to dip the knife into water a few times, as you go), and toss in the powdered sugar.
Or, use a small cookie cutter, also dipped in cold water, to make fun shapes.
Store the marshmallows in an air tight container for up to a week (or so I'm told).
You might not care for these, if you don't like honey, or if you like a really dry marshmallow texture. But, plopped into a cup of hot chocolate, they take on the same smooth, melty texture of their store bought cousins.
It's great to be a homeschooler.