Snowed in again. On days like this there is absolutely nothing better than a big cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows to make a grumpy girl feel better. They don't call them comfort foods for nothing!
If you buy marshmallows at a grocery store, the list of ingredients probably looks something like this...
Ingredients: Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dextrose, Modified Corn Starch, Water, Gelatin, Artificial Color (Includes Blue 1), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate.
Umm... no thank you.
Luckily marshmallows are super easy to make, and take relatively few ingredients. Oh, and the texture is absolute heaven. You'll be surprised how much more satisfying they are than store-bought ones.
2 Tbsp gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Start by warming the coconut oil and greasing a baking dish. Put it in the refrigerator to chill.
Dissolve gelatin in cold water and set aside.
In a pot, combine boiling water, sugar, and salt. Whisk and boil to 236 degrees, stirring occasionally to create a syrup.
Add the syrup, vanilla (or other flavoring, and any food color you might want) to the gelatin and beat on high until it doubles in quantity.
Pour into chilled baking dish and refrigerate to stiffen.
Cut into squares and roll in confectioner sugar.
1) Coat any of your tools (spatula, knife) with coconut oil to keep marshmallow from sticking.
2) When mixing the marshmallow it won't look like much right away. You'll mix and mix. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing... then *BAM!* marshmallow!
3) Allowing the marshmallows to warm back to room temperature before removing them from the baking dish will make the process infinitely easier. Just gently peeeeel them loose, one at a time.
4) Some flavors are more concentrated than others. You may need more or less flavoring, depending on whether you are using orange, mint, vanilla, or something else.
5) You can go as high or low quality as you like, depending on the type of sugar and gelatin you use. I highly recommend Great Lakes Gelatin. It's the best quality that I've found and it's not crazy expensive.
6) If you need marshmallow cream (like "Fluff") for a recipe, you can simply make your marshmallow and not chill it. I'll admit, before I chill the marshmallow, I like to plop a spoonful of the mixture into a cup of cocoa.
Sure, it's not Paleo. I'm going to keep tinkering to see if I can actually make a relatively "healthy" marshmallow, but for now this is a lovely treat. Real ingredients and they taste 1000 times better than those stale foam balls at the grocery store. You'll be amazed at the difference.