it’s a snow day!
people in the city got a little frantic yesterday about winter storm juno. the supermarkets were packed with people stocking up on supplies while the mayor and governor both used the words “life-threatening” and “historic” a lot. there were bans put on the roads, flights were cancelled, mass transit was suspended, and schools were closed. and facebook was covered in snowpocalypse hashtags and warnings about flashlights and power outages.
… and still, every time i see a headline about the storm, all i can think about are a quirky indie teen film and an obsolete dial-up internet provider.
that said, i do hope everyone is safe and cozy inside. i’ll also point out that while others were stocking up on bread, bottled water, and flashlights, i was stocking up on chocolate chips and all-purpose flour.
anyway… any time there is a snowstorm, the first thing that comes to mind is always hot cocoa. and when i think of hot cocoa, i think of marshmallows.
to be honest, i was never the biggest fan of marshmallows. they taste decent, but there was always something about their texture that i didn’t love, so i never really saw the appeal.
but it turns out, homemade marshmallows are a completely different story. these marshmallows are a million times better than the ones you buy at the store. they are sweet, chewy, light, fluffy, and just a bit sticky. they make you feel like you’re biting into a sugary cloud that melts in your mouth into a pool of happiness. and when i dropped them into a steaming cup of hot cocoa, magic happened.
so, if you’re looking for the perfect accompaniment to your hot cocoa on this cold winter day, here it is. make some marshmallows, pop them into some hot cocoa, and curl up on the couch with a blanket. this is what snow days are all about.
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 3 envelopes powdered gelatin (3/4 of an ounce, or 21 grams, total)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- line a 9x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly coat it with non-stick spray.
- pour ½ cup of the water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. sprinkle the gelatin over it and let it sit for about 15 minutes, until the gelatin has absorbed the water and softened.
- in a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and the remaining ½ cup of water. heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and raise the heat to medium high. let the mixture boil, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F.
- take the saucepan off the heat and with the stand mixer on low speed, gradually pour the hot sugar mixture down the side of the bowl so that it slowly becomes incorporated into the gelatin. increase the mixer speed to high and continue to whisk the mixture for about 15 minutes. it should be very thick and stiff by the end. add the vanilla and continue whisking for another 30 seconds to incorporate it.
- using a spatula sprayed with non-stick spray, scrape the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan. smooth down the top as best you can. let the pan sit, uncovered, at room temperature for at least 4 hours.
- combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. pour some of this mixture out onto a flat surface and spread it around. take the entire block of marshmallow out of the baking pan and turn it onto that surface. peel the foil off from the marshmallow and spread more of the powdered sugar-cornstarch mixture over the top.
- using a sharp knife dipped into the powdered sugar-cornstarch mixture, cut the marshmallow block into pieces. i cut mine into 1-inch squares, but you can make them as big or small as you want. or, for a fun twist, use cookie cutters!
- once the marshmallows are all cut out, toss them in the remaining powdered sugar-cornstarch mixture so that they are coated, and shake off as much of the excess mixture as you can. store the marshmallows in an air-tight container at room temperature.