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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jimmy & Martha Stewart

I had this romantic notion of all of us snuggled on the couch together drinking hot chocolate and watching classic Christmas movies this month.  First up, I order "It's a Wonderful Life" on Netflix and the boys and I tried out a Martha Stewart recipe.  What could go wrong?

The boys were suspicious.  Brennan said, "What do you mean 'classic'?  Like Jim Carrey's Grinch movie?  Is it going to be really old?  Why can't we just watch 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' (for the 100th time this week)?"  I wouldn't tell them what treat we were making because I wanted to see the looks on their faces when it all came together so this caused Thomas to ask a million questions from his spot at the kitchen table doing hours of homework yesterday.  David was all for it, but we did have to schedule around the SEC Championship game (of course).  Otherwise, everyone liked my plan :)

Well, the hot chocolate and new recipe were a hit.  A couple of years ago I saw a recipe in Martha's magazine on making your own marshmallows (why in the world?) but what caught my eye was that you would then turn them into SNOWFLAKES using a cookie cutter - super cool!  So yesterday, that's what Brennan and I did - see recipe and photos below.

The movie on the other hand - not quite so successful.  The squirming began almost immediately.  The flirting between George Bailey and his future wife ent Thomas into fits of burying his face in Daddy's sweatshirt.  Brennan asked repeatedly "What does all this have to do with Christmas?"  Turns out - not a lot the first hour or so.  After 30 minutes, I let everyone off the hook.  The boys ran out of the living room faster than I've ever seen them move (in case I changed my mind), and David and I decided to watch the other Netflix movie - James Bond "Quantam of Solace" instead.  Finally, some enthusiasm!

Snowflake Marshmallows
I have never made candy or marshmallows before so I got to buy a candy thermometer! This was a lot of fun making.  Brennan couldn't believe it when he saw the clear liquid turning into marshmallows before his eyes!

2 enveloped unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c light corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Pam cooking spray

Coat the edges of a large baking sheet (12x17 or so) with cooking spray and then line with parchment paper.  Spray the parchment paper.  Pour 1/3 c cold water into the electric mixer bowl.  Add envelopes of gelatin and stir to mix.

Place 1/3 c water, the sugar, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Remove the lid, swirl the pot occasionally and cook about 5 minutes until the candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees/soft ball stage.  (Ours only took 3 minutes)

Set the mixer onto low and slowly add the sugar mixture to the gelatin mixture.  Gradually raise the speed to high and beat for about 12 minutes until the mixture is thick, white, and tripled in volume.  (Ours took considerably less time - the boys thought this step was super cool to see).  Add vanilla and beat 30 seconds to combine. (As I was typing up the ingredients it occurred to me we skipped this step.  Oops)

Pour mixture onto baking sheet and smooth with a spatula.  (This is easier to type than to do.  Ours was not that smooth and the marshmallow mixture sticks to everything.)  Let stand 3 hours or overnight, uncovered, at room temperature.

Coat your cookie cutter in Pam spray and begin cutting out snowflakes.  I found the smaller ones were much easier than the large cookie cutters.  I got a set with 5 sizes.  You can keep the marshmallows in an airtight container for up to a week which is good because it made a ton of snowflakes.  We made good, rich hot chocolate and everyone decorated their own with marshmallows.  It was really delicious!

What to do with the leftover marshmallow??  Ours went in the trash.

Brennan's, decorated with about 10 marshmallows.  It really was delicious.  Even without the vanilla!


Kate @ The Gaines Gang said...

I have always wanted to make my own marshmallows. This sounds like something I can do!

I love how you cut them out like snowflakes.

Thanks for sharing!

Kathleen said...

Very pretty! My Fri post was on marshmallows, LOL..Mine didn't come out as cute as yours!

{ L } said...

Oh wow. I'm impressed!! These are beautiful in the hot cocoa too. LOVE THEM!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog said...

I've been wanting to make homemade marshmellows- good to know that this recipe was a hit!