Sheri Ann Richerson's exotic gardening, elegant cooking, crafty creations, food preservation and animal husbandry... all on two and a half acres in Marion, Indiana!

marshmallow root

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Hot chocolate with a cinnamon stick and snowman marshmallow is sure to delight children and adults alike.

Ah – nothing quite compares to coming in out of the cold and drinking a warm cup of hot chocolate frothy with melted marshmallows. This is a tradition I’ve loved since I was a young child. The highlight of snowball fights, sledding, building snowmen and igloos – for me – was drinking hot chocolate and eating toast with butter afterwards while warming up indoors.

Use a peppermint stick – or candy cane – to stir the hot chocolate with. As it melts, it adds a peppermint taste to the chocolate.

Some people prefer making their hot chocolate from scratch using cocoa powder and others prefer buying the mix that you simply add milk or water to. Either way you can spice it up by adding peppermint sticks and marshmallows. If you grow your own marshmallow in your garden, you can make marshmallows completely from scratch. If you don’t grow your own marshmallow, I will share a recipe with you that uses items found at your local grocery. In fact you may already have many of these items in your pantry. The advantage to making your own marshmallows is you can mold them or cut them into any shape you desire – snowflakes, snowmen or other holiday shapes.

Making your own marshmallows is easy – and a great project to do with your children.

 

The first recipe provides instructions on how to make marshmallows using marshmallow root. The second recipe tells how to make marshmallows using ingredients you may already have on hand.

Marshmallows From Marshmallow Roots

Use fresh marshmallow roots whenever possible. Make sure the roots are not too woody – and if you are using dried roots, be sure they are not moldy. The mucilaginous gel the marshmallow roots give off when placed in water is equal to twice the weight of the root.

  • 4 Tablespoons marshmallow root
  • 28 Tablespoons refined sugar
  • 20 Tablespoons gum arabic
  • 2 cups orange flower water
  • 2 eggs whites, well beaten

 

Simmer the marshmallow roots in the orange flower water for thirty minutes. Add additional orange water if necessary.

Remove the marshmallow roots, carefully saving the water and mucilaginous gel. Place this in the top of a double boiler.

Bring the water in the bottom of the double boiler to a boil. Sit the pan with the marshmallow gel on top of the pan with the water in it.

Add the gum arabic to the marshmallow water mixture and stir until the gum arabic is completely dissolved.

Quickly stir in the sugar.

Once the sugar is completely dissolved, add the egg whites, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat source and quickly pour the marshmallow mixture into greased molds or spread it out on a greased cookie sheet to dry.

Once the marshmallow mixture is cool, unmold it or use greased cookie cutters to cut it into the shapes you desire.

 

Homemade Marshmallows From Store-Bought Items

2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin

2/3 cup cold water

1 1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cup light corn syrup

1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Pour 1/3 cup of cold water into a large bowl. Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top of the water and allow it to sit – undisturbed – for five minutes.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to boil the mixture – stirring occasionally – until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage which is 238 degrees F.

Begin mixing the gelatin and water together using a mixer on the lowest speed. Slowly add the hot syrup to the gelatin mixture while continuing to mix.

Once the two liquids are combined, gradually increase the speed of the mixer until it is on high speed.

Once the liquids look thick, white and are triple the volume you began with (this process takes about 12 minutes), add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.

Quickly pour the marshmallow mixture into greased molds or spread it out on a greased cookie sheet to dry.

Once the marshmallow mixture is cool, unmold it or use greased cookie cutters to cut it into the shapes you desire.

 

The marshmallows from both of these recipes should be used immediately. Their shelf life is approximately one week if they are stored in sealed containers at room temperature.

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