Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rainbow Marshmallows

Sometimes, approximately twice a year, I get the urge to make marshmallows.

It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's hard to shake. It usually involves some kind of camping trip where a fire will be built and, obviously, s'mores will be made. And naturally, I want to be as prepared as possible.

I also make them because marshmallows are just so weird.

I used this David Lebovitz recipe. It starts out as a gross little steaming puddle of unflavored gelatinous goo that smells fairly revolting. [Advice: do not read how gelatin is made.]

But after just a few seconds with the beater, the goo puddle starts to transform into something a little whiter, a little silkier.

A few minutes later it starts to expand in volume, getting ever thicker and silkier. [By the way, excuse the crusty beaters. I was at my parent's house in Ohio, and I believe these beaters have been around for at least a decade, possibly two. Some of those batter smudges could easily date back to the mid to late 90's.]

Suddenly it's this weird gooey, fluffy, stringy mass that tries to climb up the beaters and sticks with a vengeance to anything it touches. Once you add the vanilla, it suddenly goes from smelly mess to something you want to attack with a spoon, making you feel somewhat disgusted with yourself.

Marshmallow stringies.

I decided to make these little puppies rainbow colored [why not]. Instead of turning a big mess into an epic mess by trying to mix the colors in separate bowls, I just did it all in one. Once it was all mixed I plopped two drops of each color in separate areas of the goo-fluff.

Then I proceeded to mix with spoons. The colors came out fairly pastel and later I wished I had added more. Oh well. You live, you learn.

Then the fun part: Pouring/scraping/coercing this weird mass into a baking dish lined with plastic wrap and powdered sugar.

Part 2 of the fun part: Putting said dish into the fridge and identifying it individually to every freaked out family member that encounters it.

 The next day: slicing. I used an oiled pizza cutter and it worked magically.

The colors made me think of Lucky Charms marshmallows. I suppose you could slice these reaaaally tiny and let them air dry, and then have your own homemade Lucky Charms marshmallows. If you're hardcore like that. On certain days, I am. Not on this one.

At the end you have a fluffy pile of happy little marshmallows. Immediately upon finishing I performed a s'mores test over the stove [as I said, I like to be prepared.] These marshmallows toasted nicely but started to melt quicker than the store bought variety, so an accelerated consumption speed was required to achieve a successful s'more experience.

And after all that, it rained on my trip on the night we were going to build a fire. So I made a single s'more with a Bic lighter. It wasn't a very photogenic s'more, so it did not get documented. But it happened. Which made me happy.


  1. Interesting. I don't think I've ever had the urge to make my own marshmallows. But I absolutely love that you made them tie-dyed and mentioned making them for Lucky Charms, hehe :) Sorry you didn't get your campfire experience. How long do they last? Could you save them for the next time?

  2. they last about a week or two! not even close to as long as the store bought variety, which seem shelf stable for years.


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