Smores Galore

All good things must come to an end, so this is my final post for Kim's blog. Rested, relaxed and full of yoga-rific spirit, our favorite mango-lover will be back with a blog post later today. Thanks for letting me share some of my favorite of-the-moment cooking tips and finds. - Erin

Summer nights conjure certain indelible images in my mind: baseball, fruit salad dinners and fireflies. They also make me think of smores, the go-to treat at campfires and barbecues. Over the years, I've experimented with my tried-and-true recipes for smores. I've tried different crackers (chocolate wafers, cinnamon crisps), gourmet chocolate (hunks of Valrhona, minty squares) and skewering devices, but I almost always stick to the same jet-puffed original Kraft product. So, this weekend I decided to shake things up -- I made my own marshmallows.

I warn that this is not a clean project: You must work quickly to transfer the sticky marshmallow to the pan, but these marshmallows beat the bagged variety hands (or smores) down. I added cinnamon to my batter, but a small dose of vanilla, lemon zest or other flavorings would work equally well.

As for the question of how these balls of fluff work in smores, have no fear. A friend and I took them to Cosi and tested them against the giant Cosi smores product. The homemade batch had a delicious runny consistency and the cinnamon flavor worked perfectly with the melting chocolate. If you do plan to use your marshmallows in smores, omit the final step of coating each marshmallow in confectioners' sugar.

Marshmallows
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

Ingredients

Canola oil
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water (about 115°F.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cinnamon - optional

Method

Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners' sugar.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. In a large bowl with cleaned beaters beat whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites, vanilla and cinnamon or other flavoring into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan and sift 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar evenly over top. Chill pan, uncovered, until firm for at least 3 hours.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up 1 corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and let drop onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into desired cubes or other shapes. Sift remaining confectioners' sugar into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches, tossing to evenly coat. Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.

Makes about 96 inch-long marshmallows.

By Erin |  July 28, 2006; 8:02 AM ET  | Category:  Desserts
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Did you have to make any adjustments with making the marshmallows due to the heat and humidity of summer? I've only made them during the winter. But then we make s'mores when we've got a fire going in the fireplace.

Posted by: julie | July 28, 2006 11:11 AM

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