Marshmallow Madness

I finally did it. I made marshmallows from scratch. I've been wanting to make these since I first saw Alton Brown make them on his show, Good Eats. And I'm so happy I got around to it this Christmas. These marshmallows were light and fluffy and perfectly sweetened. They spiced up my cup of cocoa on Christmas and have been making their way into my coffee/cocoa combo in the morning every day since.

I'm going to keep this recipe in my folder and will be pulling it out every time I need some marshmallows in my life. Next time I really want to try dipping them in chocolate and rolling them in some crushed candy canes.

Source: Alton Brown

Homemade Marshmallows

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Beautiful Bolognese

I knew exactly what I was going to make for Christmas dinner when my coworker Krista mentioned lasagna rolls that her mom made the night before. They sounded heavenly. And easy! And like something you could make in advance.

So I went searching for an easy recipe online and stumbled across Giada's recipe (yes, in this house we're on a first name basis with Giada). What could be more perfect? Spinach AND prosciutto. Heaven! When I saw marinara sauce in the recipe I knew I'd want to make something more than just a jarred sauce.

So I went to the place I knew I'd find great recipes. The Pioneer Woman. Everyone in the cooking blogosphere talks and raves about her. There are recipes galore that have been tested by just about every cooking blog I read from her site so I knew I could trust her. And I didn't even do a practice run.

The sauce was perfect for these lasagna rolls! And I can't wait to make it again for spaghetti night. The only thing I changed was switching out the ground beef for italian sausage.

My only regret? Not getting a shot of this sauce bubbling on the stove. I thought about it the whole 4 hours it was simmering on the stove but had so much to do in between that I didn't have a moment to stop and take a shot. It was lovely! Looked EXACTLY like the picture in the link below.

And there was only about 1/8 of an inch of room left in the dutch oven. I was sooo worried it'd boil over and we'd lose some deliciousness. Thankfully that didn't happen and all of the sauce was used up.

Source: Pioneer Woman

Bolognese Sauce
  • 1/2cups olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1 whole red onion, diced
  • 2 pounds ground Italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 cups red wine (plus more for drinking)
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire
  • 2 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat. Add grated carrots and onions and cook for a few minutes. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and then add in the ground sausage. Cook for a few minutes until brown, gradually stirring it into the carrot mixture.

Throw in oregano and basil. Use fresh if you have it; if you don’t, it’s fine. When the meat is browned and combined with other ingredients, make another well. Add tomato paste and let it heat. Add garlic and stir to combine.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add red wine. Stir together. Add Worcestershire and stir. Add canned tomatoes. Finally, pour in milk, stir, and let simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours—however long you need.

Serve with pasta and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Compound Perfection

I am always looking to put a little extra on the dinner table. Make something ordinary a little more. So I went a searching on the interwebs (well... really just in my Google reader) for some different items for Christmas dinner. I knew I saw a recipe for compound butter on Annie's Eats but couldn't remember how far back it was so with a little searching I found it.

This is so easy to do and really makes a difference. I used fresh herbs and I think you could definitely taste that. 1/2 of the butter was gone before we even started dinner since people were spreading it onto the bread sitting out on the table while we waited for the lasagna rolls to come out of the oven.

I highly recommend using this recipe or any other compound butter combo the next time you have bread or rolls on the table. Oh, and I tried to make the butter as pretty as Annie did but had no luck with my pastry bag skills. Gotta work on those... I just scooped it all out of the bag and plopped it into the dish. No one minded.

Source: Annie's Eats

Herb Compound Butter
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely minced
  • ½-¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well with a spoon until combined and all ingredients are evenly incorporated. To serve, pipe butter into small serving dishes with a decorative pastry tip. Alternatively, place the butter mixture onto plastic wrap, form into a log, wrap tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. Allow to come to room temperature before serving so it is spreadable.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...