We’re firm believers in the maxim that the best holiday gifts (after ModCloth ones, of course) are handmade. So, we’re celebrating this season with festive guest posts from some of our favorite DIY and food bloggers!
To ease you into a cozy sense of cheer, we’re kicking things off with Abi of Vanilla & Lace, whose to-die-for homemade marshmallows will convince you to never go store-bought again. The Georgia-based blogger describes these treats as perfect for gift giving, or, you know, keeping for yourself.
“These homemade marshmallows are springy and fluffy, [and are] perfect atop a mug of hot cocoa, smooshed between two graham crackers, or to snack on,” Abi says. “The instructions may look a tad intimidating, but they are extremely easy!”
So roll up your sleeves, get out your sifter, and let’s head to the kitchen!
Vanilla & Lace’s Homemade Marshmallows
Makes about 96 1-inch cubed marshmallows
About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 ½ envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 ½ teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla
1. Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.
2. In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.
3. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.
4. With standing or a hand-held electric mixer, beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer.
5. In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan. Sift 1/4 cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
6. Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.
7. Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.
8. To package for gifts, cut a 4-inch x 8-inch rectangle of wax paper (it may vary depending on the size of the marshmallows).
9. Place 4 marshmallows in the middle of the wax paper. Fold long sides in and place tape in the middle. Fold in short sides and tape.
10. Wrap with ribbon or bakers twine, and add a cute tag!
For more from Abi, head over to her blog. And keep watching the ModCloth Blog for our next guest DIY and cooking posts!