It is early December and I should be in the mood for Christmas. Usually I have listened to the stash of Christmas music I have on my iPod; and started making cookies, and finishing up all the gift making and buying. But I just can’t find my Christmas spirit this year. Maybe I just need to bake some Christmas-y things. Or find a tree and drag my box of Christmas stuff out of the shed (after I shovel through the drifts in front of it).
The thing is, I really need to get my ass in gear and finish all the gifts I have been making before I run out of time. So I need to find my Christmas spirit, or else nothing is going to get done this year.
Even watching Elf on Netflix didn’t help me.
But then, I was scrolling through my facebook news feed, and Joy the Baker’s “Bonkers Awesome Gingerbread Spiced Marshmallows” popped up. Something in my brain told me that I needed to make them. I had all of the ingredients (and you probably do too), so I ran to my kitchen to make them… at 10:30pm. Which, as it turns out, is a pretty good time to make some marshmallows.
These were a HUGE hit. So huge in fact, that I am making at least 2 more batches of them. They helped us get through the -40 or lower windchills we had this last week. Plunked into a mug of hot chocolate, they add a hint of spice, and takes me back to the Mexican Hot Chocolate I had when I was 8.
Two things you will really want to use for this recipe: A Stand Mixer (I imagine you could get by with the electric hand beaters if you don’t have a kitchen aid-But you will probably want someone to help you with pouring the hot sugar), and a Candy Thermometer (Super easy to find, and can be very cheap. I think mine was $5 at a grocery store… But don’t skip this, it is kind of essential). Also- keep your icing sugar handy, you will need about 1 cup, give or take, for dusting the sides of the pan, and the top of the marshmallows… and the sides of the pieces once you cut them.
This recipe is slightly tweaked from Joy the Baker.
1/2 cup cold water
2 pkgs of unflavoured gelatin (Knox is really the only brand I have seen around here, but I am sure there are others out there)
In the bowl of your stand mixer (with the whisk attachment), sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water, and leave it to bloom for 10 minutes – this can be done while you get everything else going)
Also at this time, spray a pan (8×8 or a 9×13 – it all depends on how “tall” you want your marshmallows to be) with non-stick cooking spray, and then generously powder with icing sugar. Make sure all sides and corners are well coated. Tap off the excess if needed.
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated white sugar
2/3 cup Golden corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
At medium heat, in a medium saucepan with high sides, combine the 4 ingredients above. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then clip the candy thermometer to the side of your pot, and don’t stir again – The mixture will self-stir as it boils. Watch the temperature closely. (This is easy- I find boiling sugar very mesmerizing).
As soon as the mixture reaches the soft ball stage (240F), remove from heat. Turn your mixer on very slowly, and gradually pour in the molten sugar mixture into the bloomed gelatin. Make sure you are very careful, so you don’t get sugar burns. Once the sugar is all in with the gelatin, gradually increase the speed of your mixer until is at “high”. You can watch as it goes from a rather dull yellow colour, to almost pure white. Beat this for about 8 minutes. While that is going, measure the spices:
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (rounded, so there is slightly more than 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg (sift to remove any large pieces)
pinch of ground cloves
Once your Marshmallows have been beaten for 8 minutes, slowly add in the vanilla, then the spices, and beat for another 2 minutes until the mixture is combined again.
Now, pour the Marshmallows into your prepared pan. Use a clean, wet spatula to help spread the mixture into the corners. Don’t fuss with it too much, or you will be covered in marshmallow fluff.
Dust the top of the marshmallows very liberally with icing sugar, and cover with plastic wrap, and keep in a safe, dry place over night (or for at least 8 hours) to cure.
Once they have cured. You can cut them. I find that using a sharp knife dusted in icing sugar (and cleaned as needed) works well. As you cut, remove the piece of marshmallow and dust the edges in more icing sugar.
Serve as desired. They are good on their own, but even better in a mug of hot chocolate! It lends that slightly spicy kick as it dissolves.