Like on facebook Follow on Twitter Subscribe to Posts! View Instagram Feed Pastry Affair on Pinterest
RECENT POSTS




subscribe
Subscribe to posts! Connect on facebook! View flickr page! Add to google reader!

To receive RSS updates
Click here
subscribe via email

Entries in marshmallow (16)

Monday
Dec162013

Peppermint Marshmallows

Peppermint Marshmallows

The past two weeks have been dreadfully cold, as winter fully sets in up here in the North. The air is so chilled that it seems to take one's breath away, burning down the windpipe fiercely. Everyone scurries around from place to place to do last minute shopping, bundled up from head to toe in coats and scarves and mittens until nothing but red cheeks are showing. Fashion has given way to practicality. Though the wind is fierce, the earth's thick coat of white is beautiful enough to make up for winter's ferocity, at least in part.

A few degrees of warmth might make the ice and snow a bit more tolerable.

Peppermint Marshmallows Peppermint Marshmallows Peppermint Marshmallows

With all of the below zero temperatures, I have spent my time indoors, cuddled up with a hot cup of tea and an overdone holiday movie. When I have a spare bit of time, I like to find an excuse to turn on the oven, whether making a batch of my boyfriend's favorite cookies or finding an excuse to treat my coworkers.

Last weekend, I had it in my head that I would make a batch of gourmet peppermint marshmallows for the holidays. Midway through the recipe, as the sugar was wildly boiling, I came to the unfortunate realization that my candy thermometer was broken. After trying to salvage the recipe, with the sugar certainly overcooked, I ended up throwing it entirely into the trash bin.

Peppermint Marshmallows

I have never come across a recipe for marshmallows that did not require a candy thermometer. In fact, the vanilla bean marshmallows I shared with you earlier this year is one of the few recipes where I insisted you needed one. However, suddenly candy thermometer-less and with no less of a desire to make marshmallows, I began the search for a recipe that didn't require one. And find one, I did.

With a red swirl and drizzle of dark chocolate, these Peppermint Marshmallows exceeded my expectations. While they are glorious on their own, I wholeheartedly suggest adding them to a mug of hot chocolate for a moment of divinity.

Peppermint Marshmallows

These Peppermint Marshmallows are easier to prepare and less fussy than other marshmallow recipes. The addition of extra gelatin ensures that the marshmallows will set without the worry of boiling sugar to a specific temperature (as there is with traditional marshmallows). Red food coloring is dropped on top and swirled with a toothpick before the marshmallows have a chance to set. Drizzled with dark chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes, the marshmallows are elevated so that they could be given as a holiday gift or served at a holiday party.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb142013

Hot Cocoa Popsicles

Hot Cocoa Popsicles

This weekend brought about a furious blizzard, with flakes falling wildly from the heavens and a fierce wind blowing snow into drifts tall enough to bury cars beneath walls of snow. I spent Sunday with a cup of hot tea between my palms, watching Mother Nature roar outside my window. There is a peacefulness in being in the warmth of indoors, safe and snug, while the elements play outside, just out of reach. The world outside quietly shuts down and responsibilities are forgotten as the front door stays closed.

I think sometimes we all need a snow day.

Hot Cocoa Popsicles

Even though it goes against all reason, on the coldest days of the year I crave frozen treats. Throughout the winter season, it seems there is only so much tea that can be sipped and soup that can be ladled. In order to satisfy my cravings for something cool, I often beg family or friends to accompany me to the nearest frozen yogurt shop. Bundled up in winter jackets, scarves, and over-sized mittens, we trudge through the frosted doors and eat until our insides turn delightfully cold. When the cold ice cream finally brings about a case of the goosebumps, we wrap ourselves back up and head out into the winter air.

Though this small tradition may seem misunderstood, there is something restorative about spending time in an empty yogurt shop on a chilled February evening.

Hot Cocoa Popsicles

After the blizzard struck (and the obligatory mug of hot tea had been consumed), I found my taste for cold treats begin to seep into my bones. With no choice but to stay in the warmth and safety of the indoors, I decided to create my own winter delight with the food already in my kitchen. A few minutes on the stove is all it takes to whip up a quick cocoa. After I waited for it to cool down, I married it with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips in a popsicle mold to produce a frozen treat that closely mimics its namesake.

While hot cocoa is a winter favorite, I have found that "cold" cocoa can be just as gratifying.

Hot Cocoa Popsicles

Hot Cocoa Popsicles combine the flavors of the beloved winter drink and turn it into a treat that can be enjoyed whether the weather is warm or cold. A rich hot cocoa is layered in a popsicle mold with mini chocolate chips and marshmallows. The popsicles are frozen in two parts to evenly spread out the mix-ins, which keeps all of the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom and all of the marshmallows from rising to the top. Once frozen, the popsicles can be enjoyed over the course of a couple weeks, reached for whenever a craving may strike.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan242013

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

It is cold outside. The small corner of my world has been in a bitterly cold spell the last few days, keeping everyone indoors and wearing thick wool socks. The weatherman cheerfully informed me this evening that the windchill will drop to -40 degrees F/C, which is actually colder than the South Pole at the moment (I checked). While my mind drifts to white sandy beaches and hot sunshine, my body reluctantly heads out into the cold air, bundled up in so many layers I can scarcely see the sidewalk beneath my feet.

The cold bites and slashes against my face, bringing tears to my eyes like a punch to the gut. The wind, when it strikes just so, steals my breath away as I gasp and struggle to open my lungs against the icy air, muttering unheard expletives from my lips.

Can it be spring yet, please?

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

These past few evenings, I have found myself beneath a pile of blankets with a hot drink between my palms. With nowhere I need to be, I've turned the oven on for heat, roasting up dinners and making simple comfort foods. Staying warm can be its own art form.

As I finished off another mug of hot cocoa this afternoon, I was fondly reminded of the several batches of homemade marshmallows I made over the winter holidays. Though I have had this recipe in the cue for a little while, the time finally seemed right to pull it out. I can't be the only one with a hot chocolate addiction this time of year, can I?

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

When the idea of homemade marshmallows was first proposed to me, I wasn't terribly interested. Couldn't I just buy what I needed from the store? Nevertheless, I wouldn't be a proper baker if my curiosity didn't get the better of me so I set out to make a batch of them for myself. The process was surprisingly easier than I had imagined it to be, but the results are what really knocked me off my feet. Friends, homemade marshmallows are divine. Store-bought marshmallows pale in comparison, both in texture and taste. I can't turn back.

I was so smitten with my marshmallow discovery that I made several gift bags for friends and family over the holidays and served them alongside the Christmas cookies. Plain or dipped in warm chocolate, these marshmallows will certainly bring a smile to your face.

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows are soft and pillowy, with a bright flavor profile. Both vanilla beans and vanilla extract lend an intense flavor to these sweet marshmallows. Whether plain, chocolate dipped, or soaking in a mug of hot cocoa, there is no wrong way to enjoy this simple treat. Though the directions for the recipe may appear long, the process is simple. I wanted to provide you with the clearest instructions so there was no confusion along the way.

Click to read more ...