One thing that you should know about me, if you haven’t already guessed it, is that I have an obsession with Martha Stewart. Not so much her as a person, but her brand. I love “her” style, garden, house, crafts, food ideas, dinner party deco, etc. You name it, I love it. I know that if it has her name on it, it has to be somewhat awesome (unless it’s some of her crafting supplies which I haven’t really gotten into). I want to be her (minus the whole prison thing..). When faced with any sort of domestic situation “W.W.M.D?” (What Would Martha Do?) continuously flashes through my head. So when I went in search of a homemade marshmallow recipe to try out for the Fourth, I figured I’d go straight to my reliable source. I did research with other recipes to see if there were any big differences, or if people had a different method, and it was all pretty much the same. Everyone said it was so “simple and easy! And oh so delicious!” I thought “why not?” and gave it a go.
Readers, I am here to tell you that they are lying.
Yes, putting together the ingredients might’ve been simple enough. But honestly, some recipes need to come with warnings. Like “Do not attempt if by yourself and have a 2 year old child running around throwing diapers in the microwave.” “Do not attempt if you’re already irritated.” “Do not attempt if you are trying to get a family of three packed up and ready to go on a 4 day vacation.” “Do not attempt if you are kinda weak.”
If it had said all these things, I would’ve listened and waited. But I didn’t, readers. Everyone said it was so simple. How was I supposed to know?
I am a very careful recipe follower. I read and reread to make sure I have everything right and am doing everything right. Baking, to me, is like surgery. I study the books. One wrong move and you might ruin the whole thing. So let me tell you that I followed that darn recipe through and through. At the end it says “pour into the prepared greased-parchment paper lined pan and smooth out with an offset spatula”. (Just to let you know I didn’t need to look at the recipe for that line. I had it memorized.)
What it didn’t say was “ok, now this stuff is going to be sticky as crap. It won’t simply just pour, you have to have your left elbow at a slightly obtuse angle and your rotator cuff at a perpendicular obtuse angle while holding a 7 lb bowl filled with marshmallow fluff, and then on top of that pulling the “fluff” (which should be called tar), out of the bowl and into a pan with paper that will slide all to high heaven as you aim the helpless mess into it.”
Are you starting to get a mental image?
To help with the visual let us paint my child, who was supposed to be playing nicely in his room, charging all around the kitchen with his Batmobile, who then started taking the Swiffer mop, that I had just cleaned the floor with, and spread the crumbs from breakfast and dog hair all back to where it originally came from. As said earlier, he then thought it would be a hoot to put his diaper that I had forgotten to throw away, into the microwave. Quickly after he started filling the dog bowl with dog food, and figured it would be extra nice to over fill it and feed the floor as well. All the while howling like the Hounds of Baskerville. Except this time, Sherlock Holmes would not be saving me…
Pan over to where you see me furiously scrapping the “fluff” into the pan and almost every movement brings unwanted “fluff” onto either my arm, the handle of the spatula, or my hand which then makes it more strings of marshmallow to flowing from the bowl. I couldn’t touch anything. I knew if I did, we would be glued together for what would seem like eternity. I especially knew I couldn’t grab my child who was creating the above scene, so I just had to stand there and yell at him (more like a loud, firm talking…ugh or yelling ) to go back to his room. He just stared blankly at me.
I knew he knew what I meant, and he knew that I couldn’t do a darn thing to follow through. AARGH!
I decided to give up on the flimsy spatula and go for a wooden spoon. That wasn’t working as effectively as I wanted. I had the bright idea to use my hands and scoop. With all the chaos going on and not thinking very well, I forgot to put oil on my hands.
I’ll let you sit and stew on that bright idea for a moment.
During that battle, marshtar had dripped on the side of the bowl, which was against my shirt from holding onto the bowl. Now not only did I have to get the cemented bowl detached from my shirt, but without my hands since they were completely incapable of handling anything without inheriting a thousand strands of white goo (that I’m convinced is the same substance they use to glue the tiles onto the space shuttles), that I then had to do a convulsion/dance type movement that would even make Miley Cyrus cringe.
These darn things had better be freaking worth it.
I’m also convinced that Martha does not make these things. Her multiple amount of helpers must do it. If I had as much money as she did, I would make someone make them for me too. She’s no dummy. We all know she’s built her empire up from the bottom. She’s put her time in. My hats off to you Martha, but good Lord, could you at least let us know that we’re not going to look as perfect as you in the end?
I’m sharing Martha’s recipe. Just so you know exactly how she told me to do it.
- Vegetable oil, for brushing
- 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
Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil; set aside.
Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
Wait for the set….
Sift 1 cup confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners’ sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days
Alright. So I just tried one of these suckers and to tell you the truth. It’s totally heaven. Have you ever taken a marshmallow and made it into taffy with your fingers before devouring it? It tastes like that!! I mean don’t get me wrong, you should not do it if you fall into any of the warnings above. But I would totally recommend making these before the Fourth so you can cook these bad boys over an open fire and slap ’em on a s’more. OOOOHH LAAWWD! It’s going to make it aaall worth it…
-The -Not as perfect as Martha- Wife