Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blonde Rocky Road

Things have been a bit crazy over here at Mimi's Kitchen. Five baby chicks have moved into our house and they are a lively bunch. They keep us pretty busy, from building them a brand new home in our backyard, to holding them and getting to know their personalities so we can appropriately name them, and keeping an eye out for cats ready to pounce at any moment. We did, however, have time for some Marshmallow Madness in the midst of all the chick madness. Homemade marshmallows are nothing like the ones you buy in the grocery store. While those work just fine for campfire roasting, the made-from-scratch marshmallows that result from just a little bit of effort are in an entirely different category. We actually enjoyed popping them in our mouths plain, which is something we never do with the store bought bag. 

Marshalllow Madness, the new book by Shauna Sever, published by Quirk Books, is full of fun and tasty marshmallows and marshmallow treats. Shauna covers all the basic of marshallow making, from marshallow creme, flavored marshmallows,  and other treats with marshmallows as a component. Her recipes are well written and easy to follow, which is important when attempting something that sounds as complicated and intimidating as marshmallows (even though they are actually pretty easy!). We had success with all three of the recipes that we made, so I know we will use this book again for any marshmallow related creations. 

First, we made the marshmallow creme for our Tropical Carrot Pie. It was smooth and creamy with a delicious vanilla flavor. 

Next, we tried the classic vanilla marshmallow, but since we had never made miniture marshallows before we decide to give that a try. They couldn't have been easier, both to make and to snack on!

 Once we had those mini mallows in hand we made the Blonde Rocky Road candy featured in the book. This was spectacular. It was sweet from the butterscotch, salty and crunchy from the peanuts, and the marshmallows were soft and melt-in-your-mouth tender. It was those fresh little marshmallows that really made this candy special.We made it as written the first time, and were surprised that we liked the butterscotch flavor since it is not usually a favorite. We see all kinds of flavor combination for repeats of this recipe, and I think Mini Me would be pleasantly surprised to see a peanut butter version in her next care package. 

Blonde Rocky Road
Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever.

1- 12 ounce bag butterscotch chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into tablespoon size pieces.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups homemade mini marshmallows, divided
3/4 cup salted peanuts, divided.

Line and 8x8inch (I used a 9x9inch) pan with a large sheet of aluminum foil pressing is neatly into the corners.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the butterscotch chips, peanut butter and butter.  Microwave on 50% power for about 3 minutes.  Stop to stir well.  Place back in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds on 50% power and stop to stir again- it should be smooth after a bit more stirring.  If not, give it a couple more 20-second bursts of high power and stir until smooth.
Stir in the vanilla and salt.  Stir in 2 cups of the marshmallows and 1/2 cup of the peanuts.  Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining marshmallows and peanuts evenly over the top and press lightly into the candy with your palms.  Chill until set, about 15 minutes in the freezer or 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Remove the candy slab from the pan and cut it into 1 1/2 inch squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Printable recipe

Classic Vanilla Marshmallows
Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever

4 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
1/2 cup cold water.
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup, divided.
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt.
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1/2 cup classic coating, plus more for dusting

For regular marshmalows: Lightly coat an 8x8 baking pan with cookling spray

Whisk together the gelatin and cold water in a small bowl and let soften for 5 minutes.

Stir together the sugar, 1/4 cup of corn syrup, water and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Boil, stiring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F.  Meanwhilw, pour remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Microwave gelatin on high until completely melted, about 30 seconds.  Pour it into the mixer bowl. Set the mixer speed to low and keep it running.

When the syrup reaches 204 degrees F., slowly pour it into the mixer bowl.  Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes. ** Beat on the highest setting for 1-2 minutes more and beat in the vanilla: the finished marsmallows willo be opaque white fluffy, and tripled in volume.  pour into prepared pan.

** for mini marshmallows omit the last 1-2 minutes of beating on high speed instead add the vanilla during the last minute of beating on medium high speed. Load the batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round pastry tip.  Pipe long lines of marshmallow in parallel rows across a bakaing sheet dusted in clasic coating. Dust more clasic coating over the marshamllows and let cure.  When set, use kitchen siccors to snip the marshmallow ropes into 1/2 inch wide bits.  Roll the mini mallows in the coating right on the baking sheet, dusting off excess. Store in air tight continer.

Classic Coating:
Sift together 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar and 1 cup cornstarch or potato starch.

This was a really fun book and we will be making many more of Shauna's recipes.  If you want to add this book to your cookbook shelf you can find it at Amazon.com.

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Links: Foodie Friday @Designs by Gollum