Thanksgiving weekend is one of the highlights of my year. I absolutely love it. And it has very little to do with the big turkey dinner.
|Abby and Grace sporting their Indian vests and turkey headbands they made this week|
The year Cameron and I were engaged we spent the day after Thanksgiving visiting some old friends of mine. We went to the temple afterwards then stopped in at a tepanyaki grill in the area for dinner. I'd never been to a tepanyaki grill before that night. The chef did a great job with all the typical tricks--making an onion-ring volcano, spinning eggs on his spatula, flipping shrimp into everyone's mouths, etc. I snuggled up to Cameron and enjoyed it all. On our way home we remembered that they would be turning on the Christmas lights on Temple Square, so we stopped to enjoy all the lights and nativity sets. The snow was falling softly, we were so in love, and everything seemed magical. We decided to make it a yearly tradition.
So now every year on the day after Thanksgiving we haul out all the Christmas decorations and have a wonderful morning setting up our tree and lights and listening to festive music. Cameron and I go on a lunch date to a tepanyaki grill. In the late afternoon we bundle everyone up and go to Temple Square to see all the nativity sets and be there when they turn on the Christmas lights. Then we go home for hot cocoa and our annual homemade marshmallows. We only make these once a year, but Cameron and the kids really wish it was more often!
Here's the recipe:
2-1/2 T. unflavored gelatin (I use 3 individual packets of Knox)
1 c. plus 1 T. water
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
dash of salt
2 t. vanilla extract
First you want to coat a square pan with cooking spray and dust it like crazy with powdered sugar.
Then stir 1/2 c. of the water and the gelatin in a stand mixer and let it rest for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 c. water in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then turn the heat up to medium-high and bring it to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium and boil and stir till it reaches 244 F on a candy thermometer--maybe 15 minutes or so.
Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, turn the mixer on to medium low. Now slowly pour the sugar mixture into your stand mixer bowl. Turn the mixer up to high and beat 15 minutes. Your mixture will be thick, white, and maybe triple in volume.
Add the vanilla extract and 1 T. water and beat till combined. Your marshmallow batter will be very sticky. Spoon it into the prepared pan and let it stand uncovered overnight.
If you don't mind a sticky mess (or if you need an excuse to give your kids a bath) you can let your kids go to town with the bowl, whisk, and such. It makes you very popular with your kids for at least a few minutes.
|This was our kids last year enjoying the marshmallow scrapings|
When you're ready to cut the marshmallows the next day, ease your huge chunk of fluffy goodness out onto a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar. I must admit that cutting something this sticky isn't easy, and we've experimented with some different methods through the years. Our best success is by using some kitchen scissors which we wet occasionally to make the process smoother. Cut it into squares and dust them with powdered sugar.
We also like to dust some of our marshmallows with baking cocoa or toasted coconut. (I just toast my coconut in a non-stick skillet on the stove. But keep an eye on it--those lovely sweetened flecks can burn in a hurry!)
Because they don't have any eggs (as some marshmallow recipes do), you can just store these in an airtight container for a few days.
Enjoy! (And may these wonderful little pieces give you just one more thing to be grateful for this Thanksgiving...)