blogging by mail

Though this is primarily a crafty-ish blog (heavy on the ish), sometimes it likes to pretend it is a food blog. Okay, so the truth is I like to read food blogs and fantasize about being able to cook like the foodbloggers! When Nic of bakingsheet came up with her blogging by mail idea, I had to jump in. It is basically a swap of homebaked goodies or edible treats. YUM.
Look how great a hostess Nic is. SHE SENT THE PARTICIPANTS TREATS:

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I got chocolate-cherry biscotti and some hot cocoa to wash it down. YUMMY.
And Jessica sent me these goodies!
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Yummy homebaked green tea biscotti and lots of CANDY.
And what did I send my swappee? I decided to make marshmallows, since it is WAY too hot to turn on the oven, and I wanted to make something that would keep on the journey to Canada. I added some cocoa, and darn if these weren’t pretty tasty little chocolate marshmallows:
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Read on for the marshmallow recipe …

I have always used the Martha’s Marshmallows recipe in the blue Martha Stewart Cookbook, but at some point, I printed out her marshmallow recipe from her web site. Interestingly, the recipe in the book has TWICE the sugar. Some of the other ingredients are a smidge different, too. This time I decided to use the recipe from the web site, and it turned out just fine:
2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (about 3 envelopes)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting
OPTIONAL: 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
1. Prepare a pan, either 8×12″ or 9×13″, depending on how tall you want your marshmallows, by greasing the bottom and sides and dusting the whole shebang with powdered sugar. Set aside.
2. Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of your electric stand mixer (if you don’t have a stand mixer, well, you should either buy one or borrow one, since it does most of the work!). Make sure the whisk attachment is on there. Let the gelatin bloom by leaving it to sit about 15 minutes (Martha says 30, but who wants to wait half an hour?).
3. In the meantime, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, plus 1/2 cup of water in a heavy saucepan, medium size. Turn the heat to low and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Keeping a candy thermometer handy, raise the heat to high. Cook the syrup WITHOUT stirring until the mixture reaches the firm-ball stage, or 244 degrees on the candy thermometer. It will be all bubbly and fun. Once you read 244 degrees, immediately remove the pan from the heat.
5. Turn the stand mixer on low and slowly drizzle the syrup into the softened gelatin. After the syrup has been incorporated, add the cocoa if desired. Once it’s mixed in, kick the speed up to high, increasing one speed at a time. Let the stand mixer do its job for about 15 minutes, until the mixture is really thick and white and nearly tripled in volume. Add the vanill and beat in.
6. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan. This is pretty darn messy and STICKY. Stay strong! I try to pour it into the pan as evenly as possible. Martha says to dust the top with powdered sugar then wet your hands and pat to smooth, but I just struggled with a rubber spatula instead. Anyway, once it is relatively even, dust the top with powdered sugar and allow to stand overnight, uncovered.
7. The next morning, put on an apron or dirty clothes, because you’re going to have powdered sugar all over yourself. Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar and turn the marshmallow out onto the board. You can be cute and use little cookie cutters to make fun shapes, or you can just cut squares. Martha says to use a dry hot knife. I used a metal bench scraper, and it worked quite well. Dredge the cut sides with powdered sugar so they don’t stick to everything in sight.
8. Store in an airtight container! You should probably share these with your friends and neighbors, because it makes a lot, and really, can you eat 40 marshmallows on your own?

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9 Responses to blogging by mail

  1. Carrie says:

    The answer is YES I could eat all 40, but I really, really shouldn’t. Those look DIVINE. What a fun idea!

  2. amineko says:

    i could eat 40 if they wouldn’t expand into small mattresses in my tummy.

  3. clare eats says:

    How much fun was blogging by mail? *grin*!!

  4. Kitty Kitty says:

    Those marshmallows look so good. I may have to make them tonight. I am hungry thinking about them. Blogging by mail sounds so cool.

  5. kelly says:

    I always thought that making homemade marshmallows was the sign of the ultimate foodie… Congratulations! You’ve passed the test! Now I’m sure you’re on to spun sugar bubbles, right?!?

  6. Nic says:

    Oh c’mon everyone. Marshmallows are fat free. And we all know that means we can eat as many as we want. At least that’s what I tell myself every time I make a batch.
    Great post, Mariko. I’m flattered! And I can’t wait for the next round.

  7. gee says:

    Have you had Dewar’s Chews? Everytime you write about your love of candy I wonder this. If you haven’t, I’d love to send you some. I’m not a crazy stalker or anything. I found you through Smallhands.

  8. Linda says:

    Hi Mariko! Those WERE delicious marshmallows… Thank you so much. Love this blogging by mail ;D
    PS Loved all the other candy as well….

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