homemade marshmallow eggs

marshmallow eggs

  I make marshmallows so often I might have to rename this blog. I’ve made honey based marshmallows, gingerbread men marshmallows, giant vanilla bean marshmallows to go in hot white chocolate….And here’s the thing: I don’t really like to eat them.  Ella will eat as many at a time as I let her (and that she thinks she can get away with.  She’s still young enough not to realize that the lid to the glass cookie jar is LOUD.  I told her I have super powered hearing).  But I rarely eat more than one myself.

  But I love to make them.  They are almost like magic the way they turn into soft, spongy confections of any shape and color you want. And once you make them once, and realize how crazy easy it is, it’s hard to stop.  Plus, they fall into the category of things that seem impressive to other people when you tell them you made them, which I love.  I admit it.

  So marshmallow eggs just had to happen.  Especially this year, when we all need an extra dose of spring and color wherever we can find it.  These marshmallows are exceptionally cute.  Roll them in sparkling sugar, and nestle them in Easter grass. Display them in those cute little stoneware egg crates that you didn’t realize you really needed until Anthro showed you.  Or empty all your real eggs into a bowl and hijack their carton.  Just don’t keep the marshmallow ones in the fridge.

ingredients:

inspired by Thomas Keller

makes about 1 dozen eggs

  • 1 tbl. & 1/4 tsp. plain gelatin
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c. water, divided
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • food coloring
  • plastic Easter eggs, washed

  Lightly spray insides of plastic eggs with non stick cooking spray.  Set aside.  Sprinkle gelatin into a bowl filled with 1/4 c. cold water to bloom.  Set aside.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, remaining 1/4 c. water, vanilla extract and salt into a saucepan.  Stir to combine.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.  Heat mixture over medium heat until it reaches 240°.  Remove from heat and stir in gelatin.  Set aside.

Put egg white into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat egg white on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Slowly add gelatin mixture and a few drops of food coloring. Continue beating on high speed until mixtures doubles in size and looks thick, about 10 minutes.

  Scoop marshmallow into each half of the plastic egg, being careful not to have any air pockets.  Close egg and place upright in an egg container to set, at least 6 hours to overnight.

marshmallow eggs marshmallow eggs

  When eggs are ready, carefully remove them from the plastic egg.  Blot them with a paper towel if necessary to wipe up cooking spray.  Roll in sparkling sugar, sprinkles or  nonpareils.

marshmallow eggs marshmallow eggs


gumdrops

gumdrops

  I have been starving for color all winter.  So many bleak days.  I wore bright lipstick, knitted some cheerful yellow mittens, considered painting everything in the house bright aqua and kelly green and tried (only somewhat successfully) to stay positve.

  Finally, it has winter has eased up.  My well used uggs are in the back of the closet, along with my Michelin man shaped down coat.  It’s officially spring, and I am silly happy about it. And with Easter only a few weeks away, I thought I’d try making some candy to fill the Easter basket, and get my color fix in at the same time (it may be warmer, but nothing green has starting showing up here, yet).

  Gumdrops are one of my favorite candy fixes.  They’re small, so you don’t feel like you’re doing anything that bad, unless you eat 20 at a time (like me).  There is so something down right cheerful about them, I don’t even mind how they stick to my teeth.

   I expected these to be harder; I don’t know why.  You don’t even need a candy thermometer for them.  And these don’t have any strange ingredients in them like store bought candy.  The only drag is waiting overnight for them to set.  So plan ahead.

   I used orange, lemon and mint extracts for flavors.  I know, that’s only three.  I didn’t have any flavor for red, so I made them orange, too.  So my red and orange gumdrops are like fruit loops:  different colors, same flavor.

ingredients:

makes about 1 pound of candy

adapted from Betty Crocker
  • 3/4 c. cold water
  • 3 packages powdered gelatin
  • 2 c. sugar
  • extracts for flavors
  • food coloring
  • sanding sugar
  • non stick cooking spray

  Pour 1/2 c. cold water into a bowl.  Sprinkle gelatin over the water.  Stir, then set aside.

  In a saucepan, combine remaining 1/4 c. water with the 2 c. of sugar. Stir, then bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin until dissolved.

  Separate mixture into bowls if you are making different colors.  Add  food coloring and extract.  I made 4 batches, I used 4 drops of food coloring and 1/2 tsp. of extract for each bowl. Stir gently.  If you see some gelatin(like in the green bowl) or your gumdrops start to set, heat mixture in the microwave for 10 seconds and stir.

gumdropsSpray your molds with non stick cooking spray.  Mini loaf pans would be a good size here.  I don’t own those, though, so I made my own molds by wrapping aluminum foil around a box of butter and taping the foil together. Pour into molds and chill in the fridge overnight to set.gumdrops

Remove from molds and place on wax paper or cutting board, cut into shapes, and roll in sanding sugar.  Allow to dry at room temperature for a few hours on each side. (you can eat them right away, but the outsides get a little firmer when set).

gumdropsgumdrops

I love how these look with the sun streaming through them.gumdrops 2 gumdrops 3


blue cheese gougeres

blue cheese gougeres

  It’s the end of March, and winter here finally seems to be moving on.  The constant snow has turned into near constant rain-better, but a little glum.  A little perking up in the form of fancy carbs seemed to be in order this weekend.  Plus, for me, every spring I cut way back on carbs (or try to) out of anxiety due to bathing suit season.  So this weekend seemed to be a now or never moment for these little gougeres, which are savory cream puffs filled with cheese.

  I’ve been meaning to make these since I got the Bouchon Bakery cookbook for Christmas.  This is Thomas Keller’s cookbook, and it’s intense. There are recipes that have you starting on Tuesday to have bread on Saturday, and instructions to build a steam generating kit for your home oven.  On the scale of DIY/baking extremes, I am usually pretty far down the path.  But filling my oven with rocks and blasting them with a high powered water gun is where I draw the line.  So I have only attempted a few recipes so far, and the book has quietly been collecting dust on my shelf.

  Luckily, not all the recipes are that involved, and this one is fairly simple.  That’s one of my favorite kinds of things to make: things that are easy to make but look fancy and difficult (if you want to make the opposite-seems simple and ordinary yet challenging- give these pretzel bites a try).  He does suggest using molds to make them perfectly uniform, and freezing ahead for several hours, but it’s not necessary.  The gougeres come out lovely without it.  You can also make them, freeze them and bake them when company comes by, and it will look like you spent the whole day baking.

blue cheese gougeres

ingredients:

adapted from Bouchon Bakery

  • 2/3 c. water
  • 5 tbl. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese

  Preheat oven to 375°.  Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper and have a spray bottle filled with water handy.  Combine water, butter, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan.  Turn heat to medium and stir until butter melts.  When butter has melted,  increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a simmer.  (This step is crucial.  If you skip the simmer, the gougeres won’t come together).

  Once simmering, remove from heat and stir in the flour.  Continue stirring for a minute or so, until mixture looks like a thick paste.

blue cheese gougeresPut your pan back over medium heat.  Stir the mixture constantly for about a minute, until the mixture is glossy and smooth and not sticking to the pan.

blue cheese gougeres

  Transfer dough to the bowl of an electric mixer and let cool for a minute.  Turn mixer on low.  After 30 seconds, add eggs in 3 parts, waiting between each one to let them fully incorporate into the dough.  Turn mixer to medium and mix for 15 seconds.  Stop the mixer and check your dough.  It should form a peak when you pull the mixer blade up and softly hold a shape.

blue cheese gougeresAdd the cheese and mix on low to incorporate.

  Use a pastry bag or a spoon sprayed with non stick cooking spray to make rounded, walnut sized mounds of dough, spaced 2″ apart.  Spritz lightly with water.  Use a wet finger to smooth any jagged peaks.

Put into the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 350°.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until they turn a light golden brown.  Lower oven temperature to 325° and bake for 10 minutes more.  Gougeres should be light and hollow.  Serve warm.

*To make and freeze these, shape your dough and freeze them for up to a month.  Do not spritz with water.  When ready to bake, spritz frozen rounds of dough and put into the oven.  Do not thaw.  Increase the baking time by several minutes until they are light golden brown.

  You can also bake these ahead of time and store tightly wrapped at room temperature for a few days.  Warm them in the oven for 5 minutes or so before serving.

blue cheese gougeres 6.2


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