Thursday, June 25, 2009

Homemade Marshmallows

Ages ago, while hunting for honey recipes, I stumbled upon a book at our library that was printed in the early 1900's. The exact date truly evades me, as I've long since returned the book. Either way, the book had some amazing recipes in it, and I copied a few out for myself as the book is long since out of print. The funny thing about the book was that it was written well before the use of things like electric mixers and microwaves. So, the marshmallow recipe I made required something like 20 minutes or MORE of whipping the mixture.. by hand. I was truly amazed, because I was pretty sure my arm would have fallen off well before I would have reached the consistency the recipe required.

I've since made the recipe many times over using a variety of honey, and today (or tomorrow) I will be making lemon marshmallows. So far our favorites were the Raspberry ones I made and then rolled in toasted coconut. I despise coconut (especially rolled on my marshmallows), but it smelled divine. Why did I do it then? Because my husband likes coconut and I love making him happy. Plus it kept me from eating the whole pan full in one day!

We obtain most of our honey (or at least the flavored stuff) from The Honey Farm. We're about 45 minutes or so away from it, but they will mail order. That includes those of you who live outside of Australia. It's well worth whatever they may charge you, I promise! They only sell a very small portion of their fruited and infused honeys online, but if you ever come to Tasmania you must make a point of stopping into the shop. You get to taste HUNDREDS of different honey flavors. Chocolate, orange, clover, medicinal, chili spiced, and the list goes on and on. You can also get an ice cream cone in the shop which is made with 100% honey, no sugar!

Yup, that's a finger smear in the bottle. Jayden asks regularly if he can "have a lick" of honey. He's not the only one though. I caught Daddy dipping his fingers in the lemon and the raspberry so he could try mixing them together.. Morgan will only take dips of the vanilla honey, because he's not fond of any of the rest of it unless I make it into something like yogurt or cakes, etc.

Honey Marshmallows

1 cup of honey (we have used plain or flavored)
1 Tablespoons gelatin
1/4 cup COLD water

Put the water in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let it set until soft. Warm the honey, this takes about 30 - 60 seconds in the microwave. Next place your bowl of gelatin in the microwave and let it come to a full boil (only about 90 seconds on high). Mix the gelatin with a fork or wire whip until it's fully dissolved. Then add both the gelatin and warm honey to a mixing bowl. Mix on high until very light and fluffy (I wait for firm peaks to form which takes anywhere from 8 - 10 minutes).

Once you have some stiff peaks butter a 9x13 pan (I often use non-stick spray) and spread the mixture evenly in it. This will give you pretty thick marshmallows! You could use any pan you wanted though..

I cover my pan with plastic wrap (you can oil it if you want) and set it up on top of the fridge for 24-48 hours. We usually test them before bedtime. They'll be strong, test them the next day, they're usually still a wee bit strong (if using plain honey) and by day 2 they are great. You just cut them into squares and serve!

We don't roast these per-say because they do melt quickly, but I like to top a warm graham cracker with them and some of my agave sweetened chocolate. It makes a really tasty smore! Homemade graham crackers can get soft when reheated in the microwave so I simply stick two graham crackers in the toaster (yes for real, I don't own a toaster oven) and I set it to the lowest possible setting. They get soft for about a minute and then crisp right back up. It's long enough to melt my chocolate and marshmallow. However, these marshmallows are very tasty on their own.

If you want to roll them in toasted coconut use about 1 cup of coconut toasted on top of the stove in a non-stick skillet. I cook it on a medium low heat until it turns golden brown and becomes very fragrant. You could also roll them in cocoa before storing in an airtight container.

Thanks to the handy folks at pccrafter I was able to "write" this recipe on a downloadable recipe card for you. You can download it here. This is a pdf file, so please be patient while it loads. For best results print on cardstock. After downloading simply print, cut, fold, and laminate. Enjoy!