Quarantined

The most beautiful day of the year and I’m stuck inside!!!!! Why, why, why? With at least a foot of snow on the ground and ginormus snowflakes still falling, it looks like Narnia, AND I CAN’T GO OUTSIDE!!! Of course, every time I get sick it’s a weekend, vacation or snow day! I mean, I’m glad I won’t have work to make up, but I’ve been waiting for this kind of snow all year, and I’m supposed to stay inside and “rest”. I will drive myself NUTS (even more than usual) and so, in order to stay partially sane I am blogging! I wish you could see the snow, but I can’t transport you to my window, so here’s a picture:Finally, a lot of snow in little ole' Burnt Hills

Second announcement (I feel like the lady on the loudspeaker at school, but I won’t make you say the Pledge of Allegiance), WE GOT MORE VANILLA! 1 gallon to be exact, don’t believe me? Here’s a picture:The Best Little Thing on Earth

I know! It’s the most fantabulously amsomely amazing thing EVER! If you are like my family (or if you have been reading my blog and know my rule about vanilla [recipes are wimpy and skimp on vanilla, add more] then this is the best way to get your vanilla. Here’s the website: http://www.vanillaproductsusa.com.

So, yes our recipe for today includes vanilla, but it is also crucial to a snow day. After playing outside and coming in sopping wet the only thing kids seem to think about is hot chocolate. But, this is not a recipe for hot chocolate. It’s about the marshmallows that go on top. Yes, this is a recipe for homemade marshmallows.

The story behind it all, Christmas was coming and I don’t buy presents, I make them. So, mom’s presents check. Biruk’s presents check. Dad’s presents, shoot, I need one more. So, off to the cookbooks I go, to find something to bake. And then it hit me, what about homemade marshmallows, that would be so much fun! And, something new, plus it’s perfect for winter! So, after spending about an hour looking for a recipe to make just plain marshmallows, not a rocky road pie, not store bought marshmallows covered in fondant, JUST PLAIN MARSHMALLOWS! And so, as I search through http://www.foodnetwork.com, I come across a recipe titled “Homemade Marshmallows”, by Alton Brown, well that only took forever! Shesh! But, I found it, the perfect recipe. Only one problem, when can I make these without Dad seeing? Tuesday night, okay, he’ll be at the Pasta Factory, perfect, maybe not, I have a social studies test the next day. So as I’m freaking myself out by over thinking this test, I realize that when I’m in the kitchen, I’m relaxed. So, with my millions of note cards and my recipe I enter the kitchen.
Perfection, I actually got all of my studying done, didn’t have a mental breakdown, AND made my daddy’s Christmas present! Phew.
So now that I’ve made you listen to my stories, I have a recipe to give you.

And, the, V.I.P.’s are…
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1-cup ice cold water (divided in two)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-cup light corn syrup
1/4-teaspoon kosher salt
1-teaspoon vanilla (keep it this way, this is a recipe you don’t want to mess with)
1/4-cup 10x (confectioners) sugar (this has WAY to many names)
1/4-cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray

Directions:
1. Place the gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer (kitchen aid) with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment nearby, but don’t use it yet. Gently stir the two ingredients together and watch them congeal (it is SO cool, and yes, I know I’m a dork)
2. In a small saucepan mix together the remaining water (1/2 cup), sugar (granulated), corn syrup, and salt. Cover this mixture and let it cook over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes (I would do 3 1/2 minutes).
3. Remove the cover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Breathe, it’s okay, I had never used a candy thermometer before, and it’s a LOT easier then I thought. Also, my pan was to short and thick to have the candy thermometer clipped to the side, so I just let it rest against the side of the pan.
4. Let the mixture continue to cook for about 7-8 minutes, until the mixture has reached 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off the heat once the mixture has reached this temperature.
5. Turn the mixer (kitchen aid recommended) on low. And continue running while slowly pouring the sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture. After adding the sugar mixture to the gelatin mixture increase the speed to high.
6. Continue to whip until the mixture has become thick and is lukewarm in temperature. This should be approximately 12-15 minutes.
7. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping.
8. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pan.
To do this: In a small bowl mix the confectioners sugar and cornstarch. Spray a 13 by 9 inch pan with cooking spray. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and shake it around so that the cornstarch/sugar completely covers the bottom and sides of the pan. There should be extra to the bowl, it will be used later.
9. Once the mixture is ready pour it into the pan using a spatula that has been greased (the mixture is a sticky).
10. Dust the top of the marshmallows (which may not look like marshmallows) with some more of the cornstarch/sugar mixture so that the mixture is LIGHTLY covered (do mot overdo it, there may be some leftover, save this).
11. Let the marshmallows sit for at least 4 hours if not overnight.
12. After the mixture has sat turn the marshmallows onto a cutting board (they should not be white and spring back into shape if you poke them). Cut the marshmallows into the desired shape and size (the recipe says to cut it with a pizza cutter, but I cut it with a chef’s knife). Make sure to dust the knife with confectioners sugar/cornstarch mix.
13.Once the marshmallows have been cut, dust all sides with confectioners sugar/ cornstarch mix to keep from sticking 9 I forgot to do this and instead of picking up one at a time you got 4 J). These marshmallows are recommended to keep for 3 weeks, but I have found that they stay fresh for at least one month.

It’s not as hard as the recipe is long. Enjoy the snow, drink lots of hot cocoa (or tea in my case), go for a snowshoe, build a snowman, and enjoy the marshmallows.

Stay healthy,
Marley, Sammy, and Izzy (they keep alternating with who’s sitting on my lap, they’re to cute for words)

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