I think it’s pretty much an undisputed fact that marshmallows are basically the most fun food ever.
Or at least the homemade ones, that is. As for the store-bought ones, I like the idea of them way, way more than the actual taste. Not to mention all the crudness they shove into them. That’s probably the biggest reason that I love making them at home. And, okay, yeah they’re not the greatest thing nutrition-wise even homemade, but at least they start out with real ingredients like fresh berries and grass-fed gelatin as opposed to an unpronouncable list of words that starts with red 40 and ends with artificial flavors.
One of the projects I’ve been (halfway) working on since new years is using all of the randomness that accumulates in our freezers over the year. It hasn’t been a huge focus recently because I’ve been extra busy, but things have slowed down enough that I figured it was time to finish it. With so many people to feed and the added fact that I’m a food blogger who’s always making too much of a new recipe for a certain time because not everyone likes it or I’m wanting to have some things made ahead for emergencies, we have more than one and I’m constantly shoving stuff into one then moving it to the other to make space and keep things from getting lost in the abyss.
Most of what I freeze is fruit throughout the summer though, namely berries. I have a few ginormous bags of frozen strawberries that I’ve been trying to use up because I’ve really needed to defrost and clean out the deep freezer. It’s been getting a pretty thick layer of frost on the sides, and plus, I need to start packing it with all the fresh berries that I want to start freezing this season.
I finally got around to doing it yesterday. I emptied the whole thing into our other freezers and now I’m now waiting for it to finish defrosting so I can finish the job. It will be so nice to have it clean and empty for filling up again. The blackberries are about to start popping up everywhere also and I’ve promised myself that I’m going to make more time to pick them this year. I totally slacked out last year and only went picking a handful of times. I’m a little obsessed with berries, if you can’t tell.
These would be the perfect treat to make for the kiddos to pass out as Valentine’s gifts to their friends. I’m sure there will be plenty of moms who appreciate the fact that they are homemade. You could even wrap them in some pretty and festive paper and add some punny little notes like “I love you berry much!” or “You make my heart feel soft and squishy!”. Just be original please and don’t go for anything too generic like “I’m sweet on you!”. (I don’t think that even makes sense to this current generation because no one actually says that anymore.)
It seems kind of silly now that I’m older, but I used to love passing those stupid little cards out with my school friends. Us girls used to share and giggle about the ones from certain boys. I seem to remember getting one or two exciting ones from boys that I “liked”, but honestly, most of the time I was way more excited about getting the ones with candy attached. We all have our priorities right?
Anyway, these mallows are perfect for way more things than just gifts. I may even repurpose some for another recipe soon to give you guys some ideas. OOOH, wouldn’t strawberry s’mores be amazing???? Correct answer: -> YES! These really are pretty easy to make but I have a feeling that if you go through the effort of making them then you’re the type who will already have plenty of ideas for using them. So go do it and I hope you love em!
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 4 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon butter (for greasing pan)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups semi-sweet dark chocolate
- Combine strawberries with 1 3/4 cups water in a blender or food processor and blend until well mixed. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds.
- Grease a 13x9 inch pan with butter and dust with powdered sugar. Combine sugar, strawberry puree, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil slowly over medium high heat. Once boiling, cook for about 5 minutes, scraping down any sugar that starts to crystallize on sides with a rubber spatula, until it reaches 238 degrees F (115 C).
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl or bowl of stand mixer combine gelatine with 1/3 cup cold water in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
- Carefully pour sugar syrup into gelatin mixture while beating on low speed. Continue to increase speed and beat as it cools until it is thick and fluffy (it may take about 10 minutes). Add vanilla and beat in well. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
- Allow the marshmallow to cool and dry at a cool room temp for about 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Once they've set, mix the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Coat a sharp knife in mixture and use to cut marshmallows into squares. Coat all sides of mallows with mixture and place on a parchment lined tray.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip marshmallows quickly in as much chocolate as desired and place on tray. Allow chocolate to cool and dry before serving. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week or refrigerate if keeping longer.