Last year as part of our Cozy Christmas basket we gave away some really delicious marshmallows and today I’m going to post the link for the recipe I used and also reveal my process and hopefully give some helpful tips. Like most of the recipes that I find on Pinterest I like to tweak them to suit my needs… I’m selfish like that. To start, these babies need to cure for over 12 hours. Don’t wait until the day of to start them if you want them in time.
I have had quite a few people ask me about making marshmallows and are quite flabbergasted to hear that they are fairly easy and straight forward. At least this recipe is…there are quite a few marshmallow recipes that are straight up cray cray. The amount of dirty dishes alone is enough to just let it go and go spend $1 at the store for a whole bag. This recipe is super easy.
For the Marshmallows in the basket I used a Sam Adams Irish stout, but you can use any type of beer. The darkest and bitterest beers are going to give your mallows more flavor. In any case you’re going to really have to be paying attention to pick up the beer flavor. So go out there are find something really harsh if you want a BEER marshmallow. I also used dark chocolate where the original recipe calls for milk chocolate. The dark chocolate is really good but it tones down the beer so… once again if you want a BEER marshmallow, use milk chocolate ;).
Everything in my life revolves around my stand mixer and I really wouldn’t suggest making these marshmallows without one. Just trust me here. So first I put the gelatin in the bottom of my mixer bowl and pour the beer and vanilla for the bloom on top. With the whisk attachment in place I mix it up until there are no lumps.
While that is mixing I start the syrup. The original recipe calls for a four quart sauce pan because the syrup supposedly “foams up to the top”. I still use a larger sauce pan but I have yet to really see a lot of foam… maybe its the elevation? I don’t know and don’t really care… I’m not a scientist. Anyhoo… if you don’t foam up don’t stress. If you do and you live up high let me know, I’m probably doing something wrong. My mallows still turn out though.
Just before your candy hits the hard ball stage (250 degrees) get your mixer going again, keep it slower, like around speed 5 or 6. The mixer will splash the syrup around and the last thing you want is hard ball temp syrup cooling on your skin. When 250 is acheived… slowly pour your syrup down the side of the bowl. When the syrup and the bloom is incorporated enough that you won’t be rained with fiery hot magma, crank your mixer up to ten and let it whip for about 6-8 minutes (soft peaks are formed like meringue).
While your mixer is whipping, get out the Crisco. I absolutely HATE Crisco and think it is super disgusting, I have tried butter with this recipe…it sucks. Now…spread crisco all over your kitchen… and yourself. Ok, maybe I’m being a tad dramatic, but all it takes is once for a person to cut it short on the crisco to know why you get dramatic with the crisco. Marshmallows (uncured) have got to be the stickiest, messiest pile of goo I have ever seen. I grease up my hands PAST THE WRIST. I grease up a spatula, half way up the handle. I grease up a 8X8 pan fully to the rim. I apply crisco repeatedly to both my hands and the spatula as I am transferring the marshmallow goop to the pan. When the goop starts to stick to something… that means its time for more crisco. Don’t mess around with this stuff. My first time making marshmallows, it looked like I (and my kitchen) had been shot by a Spider-Man web. It gets everywhere if it has a surface to stick to.
When your mixer has done its thing, take your goop and move it to your greased 8X8 inch pan. With VERY greased hands smooth the goop down so that its flat and even. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top, dusting it evenly. If there is excess powdered sugar, don’t sweat it… you can just shake it off when your marshmallows are done curing. Cover the pan loosely with parchment paper, tin foil, a towel (whatever) and set out of the way to cure for 12 or more hours.
After curing, the outward appearance wont change but the texture will be nice and firm. Pop the large square marshmallow out of the pan and dust the entire thing with powdered sugar. The goal is for it not to be sticky. If I’m making marshmallows for somebody else I trim off all the rough outer edges so that all the marshmallows are uniform. If you’re making them for yourself don’t sweat it. I like to make mine about 2″ or so, and square. It would probably be easy to make these into cute shapes, but the thought of that makes me shudder.
Crush up your pretzels for garnish and set close to your stovetop.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. and set it next to your stove top. Put two forks close by as well.
Now…if you have a double boiler, get it out and prepare your chocolate chips (I use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a bag) for the ultimate melt down. I do not have a double boiler and never will. I just use a stainless steel bowl and a sauce pan. If you are at all like me, the sauce pan you used 12 hours prior will still be sitting shunned in the sink, coated with rock hard candy, waiting for your to attack it. I fill that baby up a half to two thirds (rock candy and all) with water and set it on the stovetop to boil. This little technique dissolves all that candy without stress and boils my water too, plus I waste less water (however minimal, it all counts). Put your stainless bowl in the pan, not floating. Hopefully, you will have found a bowl big enough or with a rim so that its not held up by water. The steam from the water should be what is melting the chocolate. A little water touching the bottom of the bowl is ok, but if your sauce pan is too full, you run the risk of getting water into your chocolate, this will make your chocolate seize and after that happens…you have no chocolate. If I have time and patience, I will melt the chocolate in bursts. 2 minutes in the pan and two minutes out. This keeps the chocolate relatively cool. If your chocolate is too hot your marshmallows will start to melt while your coating them. However, I never have time and more importantly, I rarely have any patience. SOOOO I put my stovetop on high, put a sock on my left hand and a spoon in my right and vigorously stir until all the chocolate is melted.
I remove my chocolate from the stove, leaving the water boiling. Pick up the two forks I have ready with my left hand and grab my first marshmallow. I quickly roll the marshmallow around in the chocolate so that it gets covered and scoop (don’t stab) it out with a fork in my right hand. There is going to be a TON of chocolate on it so I bang the marshmallow/fork on the rim of the bowl until the coating is thin but still covering the whole marshmallow. I use the other fork to gently nudge the marshmallow off the first fork onto the cookie sheet. Sprinkle a small amount of crushed pretzel on the top of it.
Repeat this process until your marshmallows are all coated. This is easily the longest, most time consuming, annoying part of making theses marshmallows. So if your just wanting to make marshmallows, don’t coat them in chocolate.
If your chocolate starts to set back up, pop it back into the sauce pan and heat it up. towards the end your chocolate is going to start to look shabby. I usually just finish it out and keep the ugly ones for myself. Put your cookie sheet in the fridge for about 30-45 minutes or until your chocolate has cooled and set up. BOOM done.