I gave my mother a tin of Mexican hot chocolate from the fabulous, and aptly named Hot Chocolate restaurant in Chicago’s Bucktown. She was rapt with delight last winter when we’d stopped there for steaming cups of cocoa topped with their signature marshmallows. For Christmas, I’d hoped to replicate the experience for her at home.
The first recipe I made, while delicious, involved a quantity of uncooked egg whites, which I found both annoying to work with and nerve wracking when my 89 year old grandma wanted to try one.
Imagine my delight upon discovering another, simpler recipe in the winter issue of Martha Stewart Weddings. This version was far, far easier to make and involved a small number of easy to find ingredients: gelatin, sugar, powdered sugar and water. I added some vanilla for flavor and….YUM.
They were delicious, fluffy and sweet but not too sweet. Perfect for plopping into a cup of cocoa but perhaps even more of an unexpected delight in my morning coffee. So good in fact, I ended up wrapping 6 mallows into some wax paper wrapped with a satin ribbon, adding a Starbuck’s giftcard and giving them to my co-workers as belated holiday goodies. You wouldn’t believe the “oohs” of delight that people make when unwrapping a packet of freshly made marshmallows.
They might sound intimidating, but these babies come together in a snap. They only possible irritation is there inherent stickiness. When slicing the slap into cubes, I suggest spraying your knife with a bit of nonstick cooking spray; you’ll have nice, even mallow blocks in no time. Yum!
About 36 mallows
2 packets unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup water; 1/2 cup water (divided)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract (the paste makes lovely little flecks in the mallows)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted for dusting
Combine gelatin and 2/3 cup of water in the bowl of a stand mixer and let stand for about 5 minutes, until softened. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with wax paper, then spray with cooking spray.
In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of water and the granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 2 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat. Using the whisk attachment, turn mixer on to low speed and slowly begin adding the sugar water to the gelatin mixture. Once all of the sugar water is combined, turn mixer to medium high speed and beat until thick and cool, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla and continue whisking the mixture until it is white and thick and starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Using a rubber spatula sprayed with cooking spray, spread the mixture into the prepared pan and let stand until firm. The original recipe suggested leaving this to sit at least 7 hours or overnight, but I found mine to be firm after just a few hours. Use your judgement.
When the marshmallow is firm, spread a piece of wax paper over your work surface. Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar liberally over the top of the marshmallow then turn out onto the wax paper. Peel the top layer of wax paper from the marshmallow and sprinkle top with additional confectioner’s sugar.
Place remaining confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl. Using a knife sprayed with cooking spray, slice marshmallow into evenly sized cubes and toss them with the confectioner’s sugar to coat evenly. Place in an airtight container to store.