I spent last week in lovely San Diego (Encinitas to be exact) playing at the beach, visiting favorite high school haunts and hanging out with extended family. On Saturday afternoon, we had a big family gathering with tons of fabulous food (why didn't I know my husband makes the best carnitas?), fabulous mai tais and lots of great company. Though most people had petered out by sundown, a few hardy souls remained to create delicious treats at the s'mores bar (an idea completely
I included four different chocolates, traditional honey graham crackers, homemade marshmallows, strawberries and bananas, nutella and spices. A menu was provided to get provide some possible "recipes", but I think everyone just dug in and picked their favorite ingredients. I had never toasted homemade marshmallows before and was quite pleased that they acted just like the store bought kind - getting nice and toasty outside and gooey inside.
Barring one drippy marshmallow burn (which might have had something to do with the consumption of above mentioned mai tais), I think that the bar was a success!
(If you would like a copy of my s'mores menu, leave me a comment and I will email you the .pdf. I'm not clever enough to figure out how to link to it!)
Here's my favorite marshmallow recipe from Alton Brown:
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the
water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt together
Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a
13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into
the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Using a sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut the marshmallows into 1 ½” squares. Toss in the remaining cornstarch mixture. Store in an air tight container.