gooey goodness

with valentine's day upon us, i can't help but want to bake and create in the kitchen.  i love to bake.  feels so therapeutic to me.  my mom loves to bake.  i have tons of memories of delicious smells coming from our kitchen growing up.  she is amazing at making cakes, cookies, and other desserts.  mmmmmm.  and she always let me lick the spatulas and beaters.  yep, even if the batter included eggs.

since i am on a quest to eat healthier and lose, gulp, 20 more pounds, there is NO way i can have sweets on hand.  and that is exactly why i decided to do my baking and give it away to unsuspecting neighbors. :)

i have four recipes that i want to take a crack at but i also have two little girlies running around the house.  so, i devised a plan to "bake" one recipe a day with hopes to package it all up and deliver this weekend when the weather people are calling for a warm up.  yesterday, i made valentine chocolate bark.  yum.  i had a small bite and it was FAB!  i found this devilish, er i mean, delish recipe on my new favorite blog, bake at 350.  check it out.  that girl has her stuff together.

tonight's recipe is homemade marshmallows.  um, yeah.  ok, so i'm not a huge fan of marshmallows but i was intrigued to make my own.  a few years ago, there was a cute little coffee shop in downtown fortville.  (yes, you read that right)  i used to stop in before work some days to get their version of a caramel macchiato.  well, if i managed to get up early enough...  anyhoo, the shop also had gorgeous jumbo muffins and other various snackies to go with coffee.  and someone local made homemade marshmallows in different flavors, packaged them pretty, and sold them at the coffee shop.  never bought them but always admired them while i waited for my drink.  so, when i came across a recipe for homemade marshmallows i had to do it.

here's what you need:

2/3 c. water, divided
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin (next to the other gelatin)
1 c. sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar

here are the steps:

1. spray an 8x8 pan and coat it with powdered sugar  (WARNING:  use a clear spray, not butter flavored.  i used the butter flavored and it made the bottom of the marshmallows yellow)

2. pour 1/3 cup of water and gelatin into a stand mixer and let it sit for 10 minutes

3. meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup water, sugar, syrup, and salt in a pan over medium-high heat.  cook without stirring until it reaches 240 degrees

4.  on low, add the hot syrup mixture to the gelatin and add the vanilla (NOTE: you may want to use clear vanilla extract because the brown kind will turn your batter colors)  increase to medium-high and beat for 8 minutes.  you'll know it's ready because the batter starts to pull away from the side of the bowl.

5.  spread into the pan.  this was the trickiest part... it is so stinking sticky!!  a spatula was not doing the trick so i kept wetting my hand and using it to scrape out the batter.  use your hand to pat it down evenly.  set aside for one hour.

6.  carefully remove the goop from the pan and put on a cutting board.  cut into cubes.  i cut it into 36 cubes.  the key is to keep rewetting your knife!!  toss the cubes into powdered sugar.

7.  package into pretties :)

how jealous are you?

oh, and aunt joyce...wouldn't these just knock the socks off the raccoons over memorial day?

now, if your kitchen is a mess like mine was, find yourself two little helpers to put the messy dishes into the dishwasher. 

love them more than marshmallows

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