At the time of this writing, it’s 2015…we, up in Massachusetts/Boston, are in the middle of another “Snowmageddon”. I swear we have one every year now…these weather reporters are kinda wussie – we’ve had worse up here…for example:
The “Blizzard of ’78″…’nuff said.
So…while one is snowed in, the mind wanders…and dwells…and obsesses…damn, I need chocolate.
But chocolate isn’t what this is about….
What I started thinking about was Easter…it’s coming.(..or it passed – kinda depends on when you’re reading this.) And one of the most…most…aw dagnabbit – we want us some Peeps!
What are peeps? Created in 1953 in the little town of Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) Peeps are little marshmllows shaped like chicks…and bunnies…and now trees…snowmen…bears…hearts…I mean what’s up with that, really? And flavors – who really wants lemonade-flavored marshmallows? Why mess with a good thing?
Again, I digress…hmmmm…I seem to do that a lot, don’t I…
But the reason for the post…when Easter coming: we’re giddy about the peeps…at Easter, we buy all the colors (Or is that just me?) then…we realize what we’ve done…
And what do we do with all those peeps???
Well, aside from just eating them…
………letting them go stale and crunchy (my sister’s personal favorite) and eating them….
(According to the folks at Just Born – home of the Peeps – 25% of their customers prefer them that way)
Throwing them in cocoa…or…
…adding them to our breakfast foods…
How about sushi…?
….you can always WEAR it!!!
Or…create a diarama and take part in the Washington Post’s annual “Peeps Show”
(The winner and runner-ups from the 2013 contest)
..*sigh*…Seems almost a shame to eat ‘em…
Now…for those kitchen divas…or food lovers…or Do-It-Yourself-ers: The Food Network (and Alton Brown) has a GREAT recipe for making your own marshmallows…and once you try them you’ll never go back to store bought ones.. (Unless you’re making rice krispie treats then you might as well just go with the store bought…I wont tell…but add about a 1/2 cup or so of peanut butter to the recipe…makes it SO much better)
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
Total Time: 4 hr 45 min
Prep: 35 min
Inactive: 4 hr
Cook: 10 min
approximately 9 dozen marshmallows or 1 1/2 pounds miniature
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
For regular marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
For miniature marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.
Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-marshmallows-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback
And until Easter…
“Good Thing” – Fine Young Cannibals