Friday, December 23, 2011

Peppermint Marshmallows

Did you know that you can make marshmallows in your very own kitchen? Neither did I, until I saw them on Joy the Baker's blog. I decided I NEEDED to make them for myself. So do you!

Pour some gelatin and water into your stand mixer. If you don't have a mixer....borrow a friend's. I don't think there's a way around it.

While the gelatin and water are getting to know each other, combine corn syrup, sugar, and water in a pan. Don't count the calories. Just tell yourself that marshmallows are mostly air.

Bring this to a boil and keep it there for a minute.

Take it off the heat, turn your mixer on high (the gelatin has now become....well, gelatinous), and slowly stream the boiling sugar mixture in. FOR THE LOVE, please be careful! Burning sugar isn't something to mess around with!

This is what the mixture looks like at first. Not very marshmallow-y.

Five minutes in, it's more recognizable.

After 10 minutes, add peppermint extract (but only if you're feeling crazy!) and pour the whole mixture into a pan that's oiled and lined with plastic wrap. Grab another piece of plastic wrap, spray it with a non-stick spray, and press it against the top of the fluff.

Marshmallow fluff....mercy.

Wait a couple hours for the mixture to set up, and then get ready to make a mess.

Set up a coating station. Marshmallows are sticky, and they need to be contained. Powdered sugar is just the guy for the job.

Peel off the top plastic wrap, lift the whole concoction out of the pan, and turn it upside down. Slowly peel the bottom plastic wrap off, and voila!

Spray a sharp knife with non-stick spray, and cut the fluff into cubes.

Toss them in small batches in the powdered sugar. Aren't they adorable!

These were so easy and didn't require much time or effort. This was a great addition to some goodie boxes I made this year - much easier than rolling out and cutting cookies!

Here's a link to the original from Martha Stewart. She even has a video! I figured, if she can do it, I can too! :-)

Skillet Cookie

Once upon a time, a girl named Paige had a blog. She enjoyed baking and taking photos to post, but then life happened. It does that sometimes. She spent the next 11 months travelling, taking classes, teaching some punk kids, and figuring out life. While she doesn't have ANYTHING figured out yet, she decided that it was time to bust out the camera.

And the cast iron skillet.

To make cookies.

Yes, cookies. In a cast iron skillet. Just get over it and join the fun.

Start by melting some butter over low heat. Add sugar and vanilla, and remove it from the heat for about five minutes.

When it's cooled down, add an egg. Then stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Throw in some chocolate chips and walnuts and spread it out evenly in the pan. Do NOT eat the dough! You're trying to lose weight, remember?...maybe that's just me.

Pop this beauty in the oven for 15 minutes or until it comes out golden brown. I had mine in for about 20 minutes, and it was really set in the middle (so leave it in less for a gooier cookie!).

The beauty of this is that I couldn't sneak a bite before taking it to a Christmas party!! If you steal a normal chocolate chip cookie, nobody knows! But this required patience.

It divided up nicely into 16 servings. These pop right out of the pan because of the melted butter they started with.

Here's a link to the original for the recipe. I HIGHLY recommend it! Did you notice that I didn't use a mixer or any mixing bowls for this? That is my favorite part! Only one dish, start to finish - and it looks cool to serve in, too!