As summer sheds into fall, we feel the vibes shift from sweet and mellifluous to flannel and gingery, and with it too, our sweet cravings. Cotton candy and insect sweets will soon become brisk nights of hot cider and s’mores, but in classic Silver Spork style, our campfire snacks are bringing together more than just friends.
Marshmallows were originally used as a medicinal substance among Romans and Greeks to help alleviate sore throats. We’re not talking about today’s white gooey cube; Spartans weren’t serving Peeps at their victory banquets. Rather, they used the roots of the mallow plant for its mucilaginous extract. It later evolved into the candy form in 19th Century France, where cooks began to whip the extract with egg whites and corn syrup for a more moldable texture. Today, they’re so culturally engrained that enough Peeps are made annually to circle the globe twice. How you like them mallows?
As we see it, marshmallows are still being used medicinally as a remedy to social boredom (side effects may include sticky fingers, swarming adoration of children, or campfire #winning. Those with althaiophobia should not eat, buy, or look at marshmallows). Get your doctorate in homemade goodness with these flavor-infused marshmallows.
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract (mint marshmallows)
6 tablespoons instant espresso (coffee marshmallows)
2 tablespoons lavender (lavender marshmallows)
½ cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1tsp ginger, ¼ tsp nutmeg, and ¼ tsp allspice (pumpkin marshmallows)
2oz of tequila and finely grated rind of 1 lime (tequila marshmallows . . . tequila shots are for amateurs)
*Proportions subject to adaptation
Mix granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and ¾ cup water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is around 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (about 9 minutes). Separately, mix ¾ cup cold water with gelatin in an electric mixer and let soften for 5 minutes. Mix the hot syrup in with the gelatin on a low speed and gradually raise speed until mixture is stiff (that’s what she said). Add vanilla (also what she said?) and favorite flavor option. Pour into dish and set aside for 3 hours.
Sift 1 cup confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface, place marshmallow on workspace, cut marshmallow into squares, and go crazy with the rest of that confectioners’ sugar.
Post by Eli Becker.