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Oh My! These are to die for. When I first made them last month, my husband and mother-in-law ate almost the entire batch in one sitting. I mean, they really are good. Well, that’s if you like cookie dough, and really, who doesn’t?.  I had to actually hide the latest batch deep in the freezer from my husband since every time I turned around another 5 would be gone. He was not happy with me, but you will be after you try these.

Some time ago I  saw a recipe for cookie dough frosting over at the Cupcake Project that really intrigued me, and then over at the library I stumbled upon “The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook” and I knew I had to give some of these recipes a try. The concept is simple, just delete the eggs from the recipe and replace the lost moisture with a little cream or milk. You also don’t need any leavening since these are not going to be baked. This only takes minutes to mix up, but then the wait… at least an hour in the fridge so the dough can firm up. You then roll the chilled dough into bite sized balls, freeze for an hour, then dip into chocolate candy coating, such as Wiltons. Do not use regular melted chocolate such as chocolate chips or block chocolate unless you plan on tempering it first, which you can do, but for this recipe it is a pain and unnecessary .The flavor combinations are only limited to what you put into them. I promise these will be a huge hit with your family and friends during the holidays. Bake On! Oh wait, you don’t need to bake……

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First: The Basic

1/2 Cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 Tablespoons cream (or half and half or whole milk)
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon black walnut extract (optional, but adds a really nice depth)
1  1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt  (I prefer to use kosher)
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

8 oz dark chocolate candy coating

1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening (this is to help your coating be more fluid)

Beat the butter and sugars together in your mixer (using the paddle attachment), or by hand, for at least 3 minutes, or until it becomes fluffy and light in color. Mix in the extracts and cream. Stir in the flour and salt and mix just until everything is incorporated. Finally, stir in the chips. Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for at least an hour (or up to 3 days)

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls  and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Put the tray into the freezer for 30 minutes.

Melt the chocolate coating. This can easily be done in the microwave; just place the chocolate into a glass bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Let it sit for 30 seconds then cook for another minute. Stir in the vegetable shortening until it is completely combined and fluid . Drop in one ball at a time and lift out with the tines of a fork, gently tapping it against the bowl to remove excess; immediately transfer back to the parchment lined sheet. Since the cookie dough is now frozen the coating will set up really fast. If you want to put some sprinkles on them only do a few at time so the coating doesn’t firm up too fast.

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These will keep in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month.

Second: The Reverse

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1/2 Cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 Tablespoons cream (or half and half or whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (I like Barry Callebaut extra brute)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini white chocolate chips

12 ounces (1 bag) white chocolate candy coating (you will need to double dip these so the dark chocolate filling doesn’t show through)
2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening

Beat the butter and sugars together in your mixer (using the paddle attachment), or by hand, for at least 3 minutes, or until it becomes fluffy and light in color. Mix in the extract and cream. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder and salt and mix just until everything is incorporated. Finally, stir in the chips. Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for at least an hour (or up to 3 days).

Form into 1 inch balls and freeze for 30 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate candy coating. Follow the procedure above for dipping them, except for these when you get to the end start back at the beginning and dip them a second time so the dark filling doesn’t show. Decorate with sprinkles if desired.

Third: Vanilla Sugar Cookie Dough Studded With Roasted Cocoa Nibs

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1/2 Cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cream (or half and half or whole milk)
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean
1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup roasted cocoa nibs

10 ounces dark chocolate candy coating
1 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening

Beat the butter and sugar together in your mixer (using the paddle attachment), or by hand, for at least 3 minutes, or until it becomes fluffy and light in color. Mix in the extract and vanilla seeds. Stir in the flour and salt and mix just until everything is incorporated. Finally, stir in the cocoa nibs. Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for at least an hour (or up to 3 days).

For these I rolled the dough out between two pieces of parchment until it was about 1/3 inch. Then using a small 1 1/2 inch circle cutter I cut out 28 circles.

Dip into the melted chocolate as above (only one dipping required).

Hope you LOVE these!

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Time for the monthly Bakers Challenge. Already?? !  Tempering chocolate AND candy?!!!

When I first saw what this months challenge was going to be I must admit I wasn’t all that excited. Who really wants to fooling around with melted chocolate and boiling sugars in the middle of the summer? Not me. So I kept putting it off, and putting got off, and then thinking about – and then putting it off some more. Man, am I mad at myself for that. It was really fun (and messy)  and produced some really tasty chocolate candy treats in the house. There were two components to this challenge- one had to be chocolate (preferably tempered) and one candy. I knew all along I wanted to make lollipops, though I had much grander visions in my head than I allowed myself time for. The chocolate part was another matter. I have made truffles before so I knew I wanted to try something different. I have also tempered chocolate before , but for dipping, so I ended up with making filled chocolates. While  La Maison du Chocolat has nothing to be worried about, I must admit they came out mighty tasty. I just wish now that I had given myself more time to make many more flavors. Oh well, I can’t cry over spilt chocolate now, can I? I’m sure my husband is happy this is all I got done  since I ended up with bits of splattered chocolate and lollipop bits everywhere.
Three flavors of filled chocolate  were completed; milk chocolate ganache and pistachio paste, white chocolate-cardamom ganache with cashew butter, and vanilla butter rum caramel. Wow… All three were insanely creamy and delicious.  I still need to work some more on coating my molds, as I found that the outside coating was a little on the thin side. I think I was worried  about it being to thick and went a little too far the other way.  That being said , all else was fine.  As far as the lollipops go, they are so super easy and fun! I went with the old window pane look. We used to do this in 4-H when I was a little kid with the inside of cookie cutouts, except we used broken bits of lifesavers instead of homemade lollies. When I read about this old technique in Sugar Baby I totally knew this was the way I was gonna go. While you can go crazy with flavors I just went with orange and lemon for summer. Come Halloween time though, I know I will be making anise, cinnamon and clove versions.

BEFORE GOING ANY FURTHER, PLEASE NOTE: YOU NEED A CANDY THERMOMETER FOR BOTH LOLLIPOPS AND TEMPERING CHOCOLATE. Treat yourself to one, they come in very candy, err… I mean handy.

For this challenge, I am going to let Lisa and Mandy explain how to temper chocolate. I don’t think I could properly explain it without making it sound confusing. Just remember, it’s not that difficult.

The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage,Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two fine ladies challenged us to make candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at http://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy.

What is tempering?
“Tempering is a method of heating and cooling chocolate in order to use it for coating or dipping.Proper tempering
gives chocolate a smooth and glossy finish. Tempered chocolate will have a crispsnap and won’t melt on your fingers as easily as improperly tempered chocolate.Properly tempered chocolate is also great for molding candies because the candies will release out of the molds more easily and still retain a glossy finish.” – Ghirardelli

Why is it necessary?
If you simply melt chocolate and let it cool it will set with unattractive grey streaks or spots, called blooming. If
eaten, the texture will be grainy and it won’t melt smoothly in the mouth.
When you temper chocolate the end result is shiny, even colored, smooth melting and with a crisp snap.Basically,tempered chocolate is what you want because it’s better in every way.
The reason for the difference is a bit complicated, it has to do with different types of crystals forming in the cocoa butter at different times, to understand it fully you’d have to learn about the behavior of the chocolate
crystals at a molecular level.
For our purposes all that we need to know is that with tempered chocolate the crystals have formed in a uniform way which gives us great looking and tasting chocolate.

What is couverture chocolate?
“Couverture chocolate is a very high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter (32-39%). The higher percentage of cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering, gives the chocolate more sheen, firmer “snap” when broken, and a creamy mellow flavor.
The total “percentage” cited on many brands of chocolate is based on some combination of cocoa butter in relation to cocoa solids (cacao). In order to be properly labeled as “couverture”, the percentage of cocoa butter must be between
32% and 39%, and the total percentage of the combined cocoa butter plus cocoa solids must be at least 54%. Sugar makes up the remainder, and up to 1% may be made up of vanilla, and sometimes soy lecithin.
Couverture is used by professionals for dipping, coating, molding and garnishing.

The term “couverture chocolate” should not be confused with “confectionery chocolate”, “compound chocolate” or “summer coating”: these products have a lower percentage of solids, and they may also contain vegetable oil, hydrogenated fats (“trans fats”), coconut and/or palm oil, and sometimes artificial chocolate flavoring.
Some brands of couverture chocolate are packaged tempered, and others are packaged un-tempered. Subsequent tempering may or may not be required, depending on the usage and the desired characteristics of the final product.” –
Wikipedia

Why is it important to use couverture for chocolate
making?

It is by far a superior product to the average chocolate bar like Cadbury’s etc. which may also contain ingredients like vegetable/coconut/palm oil, hydrogenated fats and sometimes artificial chocolate flavoring which can have unpredictable results when tempering and used to make your own chocolates.
As far as flavor, couverture chocolate is also superior in this regard as manufacturers like Valrhona, Callebaut etc. are very strict with sourcing their cocoa pods and only buy the best.
Make sure that if you’re using chocolate chips or callets that they are also couverture and specifically meant for chocolate making. For the above reasons as well as that normal chocolate chips have other additives in them that help them maintain their shape in baked goods like cookies. These additives stop the chocolate from tempering properly. If you’re not sure, rather buy your couverture in bars or slabs.
Basically, to get a great end result you need to use the best ingredients that you can get. That applies to all baking and cooking, and especially to chocolate making.
If you can’t get couverture or a higher end chocolate and would simply prefer to get your chocolate at the local market, choose brands like Lindt, Ghiradelli or Green & Blacks. Just remember, don’t get ordinary chocolate chips, they have additives in them that will hinder the tempering process. One thing, Ghiradelli does not liquefy as much as couverture chocolate when in temper, so you’ll have to do a lot of tapping off to get a thin, even coating.
There are other methods of tempering that don’t require a thermometer and can either be melted in a double boiler or in the microwave, but here are two  methods of tempering that use a thermometer for very accurate tempering.

I use Trader Joe’s bittersweet chocolate (72%). This is one of my favorite chocolates. It contains Cocoa, Sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithen and 72% cocoa solids. For the milk and white chocolate I used callebaut

Tempering Chocolate ——— Method 1
you will need a marble or granite slab, bench scraper, and chocolate thermometer

Tempering Ranges:

Celcius
Dark: 45°C-50°C > 27°C > 32°C
Milk: 45°C > 27°C >
30°C
White: 45°C > 27°C > 29°C

Fahrenheit
Dark: 113°F-122°F > 80.6°F > 89.6°F
Milk: 113°F >
80.6°F > 86°F
White: 113°F > 80.6°F > 84.2°F

Chocolate is melted and heated until it reaches 45°C / 113°F. It is then poured onto a marble surface and moved around the surface with a scraper until it has thickened and cools to 27°C / 80.6°F. Once cooled it is then put back into the bowl and over heat to bring it back up to 32°C/30°C/29°C /89.6°F/86°F/84.2°F depending on the chocolate you’re tempering. It is now ready for using in molds, dipping and coating.

Watch this excellent video on tempering your chocolate this way:
http://www.ghirardelli.com/bake/videos/temper.aspx

Method 2 – seeding with tempered chocolate

Tempering Ranges:

Celsius
Dark: 45°C-50°C > 27°C > 32°C
Milk: 45°C > 27°C >
30°C
White: 45°C > 27°C > 29°C

Fahrenheit
Dark: 113°F-122°F > 80.6°F > 89.6°F
Milk: 113°F >
80.6°F > 86°F
White: 113°F > 80.6°F > 84.2°F

Chocolate is melted and heated until it reaches 45°C / 113°F. Tempered un-melted chocolate is then stirred and melted in until it brings the temperature down to 27°C/80.6°F. It is then put back over heat and brought up to its working temperature of 32°C/30°C/29°C /// 89.6°F/86°F/84.2°F depending on the chocolate you’re using. It is now ready for using in molds, dipping and coating.

Now watch this video:
http://video.about.com/candy/How-to-Temper-Chocolate.htm

Tips:

• If you’re using the chocolate to dip a lot of truffles etc. which means the chocolate will be sitting off heat for a while it will naturally start to thicken as it cools. To keep it at an ideal viscosity for even coating, put the bowl over steam for 30sec – 1min every 10 – 15mins, just do not let the temperature go over the working temperature!
• Having the chocolate in a warmed glass bowl and wrapped in hot kitchen towel can also help keep the chocolate at its working temperature for longer
• It is also easier to keep the heat if you work with larger amounts of chocolate rather than small amounts. Any leftover chocolate can be kept to be used later and then re-tempered
-Remember, don’t let any water get into your chocolate at any stage of the tempering process!
• Unless you’ve been working with chocolate for a while and have developed a feel for the tempering process and can tell the chocolate’s temperature by touching it to your lower lip like a pro, it’s imperative that you use a thermometer to determine the temperature, as going a few degrees either way can ruin the temper.
• If at any stage you do make a mistake with the tempering process you can simply start again from the beginning.
• While a marble or granite top is ideal for cooling the chocolate in the first method, you can also cool it on a countertop that’s laminated, glass or steel. It will take longer to cool, but it’s possible! (but I definitely wouldn’t recommend a wood or rough textured counter top  )
• Any chocolate left over after making your molded or dipped chocolate can be stored away in a cool place and then re-tempered before using again. There’s no need to ever waste chocolate!
• Wooden spoons can retain moisture so it’s best to use a rubber spatula while tempering

How to fill the molds:

 Equipment:
A small brush,Chocolate molds,A Ladle, Bench or plastic scraper OR A small brush or spoon

Directions:

1. If using colored cocoa butter and plastic molds, paint designs at the  bottom of the wells in each mold. Let dry. You can also use lustre dusts mixed with a bit of extract or vodka, instead of colored cocoa butters for a nice sheen. Let painted molds dry.
2. When coating the molds with the tempered chocolate, I like to do it how the chocolate pro’s do it (much faster and a lot less tedious). While holding mold over bowl of tempered chocolate, take a nice ladle of the chocolate and pour over the mold, making sure it cover and fills every well. Knock the mold a few times against a flat surface to get rid of air bubbles, then turn the mold upside down over the bowl of chocolate, and knock out the excess chocolate. Turn right side up and drag a bench or plastic scraper across so all the chocolate in between the wells is scraped off cleanly, leaving you with only chocolate filled wells. Put in the fridge to set, about 5 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, you could take a small brush and paint the tempered chocolate into each mold, or spoon it in if you’d like.
3. Remove from refrigerator and fill each well with the filling of your choice. Again take a ladle of chocolate and pour it on top of the filled chocolate wells, knocking against a flat surface to settle it in. Scrape excess chocolate off the mold with the bench scraper then refrigerate until set.
4. When set, pop your beautiful filled chocolates out of each well and enjoy!

Ganache

you can use this for either filling your chocolates or for making truffles

Ingredients
1 ¾ cup (9 oz/250 gm) Dark/Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup (5 oz / 160 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% -48% butterfat)
OR
1 ¾ cup (9 oz/250 gm) Milk Chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (4 oz / 120 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% – 48% butterfat)
OR
1 ¾ cup (9 oz/250 gm) White Chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup (2 oz / 60 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% – 48% butterfat)

Finely chop or grate the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl In a saucepan, heat cream until just about to boil (it will start bubbling around the
edges of the pot) Pour the cream over the chocolate and gently stir the mixture until all the chocolate has melted and it is smooth
Stir in your desired flavorings. For my white  chocolate variation, I steeped the cream with 1/4 tsp cardamom.

Vanilla Butter Rum Caramel

3/4 C (150g)  granulated sugar
1/8 C (30 ml) water
squirt fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean, scraped (I know I sound like a broken record, but save your pods!)
1/2 C (120 ml) heavy cream
1 Tablespoon + 1 tsp dark rum
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

In a medium sauce  over medium heat, combine sugar, water, lemon juice, vanilla seeds and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves and then stop stirring. Bring to a boil and let it it go until it is a light-medium caramel color. DO NOT LET YOUR EYES WANDER- IT GOES FROM LIGHT TO BURNT VERY QUICKLY.

Remove from the heat and add the cream and rum. It will bubble up and spit like wild. When the volcano stops, clip on the candy thermometer, add the butter, and stir vigorously until everything is well blended. Place back on the heat . Boil the caramel until the temperature reaches 240 F(116C).

Pour into a bowl and let cool completely before filling the chocolates.

Whooooo… this is a long post…..

Onto the lollipops!   These were a big hit

2 C (400 g) granulated sugar
3/4 C (180 ml) light corn syruo
squirt of lemon juice
1/2 C (120 ml) water
food coloring
extract of your choice (I used orange and lemon oil

In a large saucepan (the heavier the better) over medium heat, add the the sugar, corn syrup lemon juice and water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring. Increase the heat to high and heat the sugar syrup to 300F (149C). I CAN’T STRESS ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SUPER CAREFUL AROUND BOILING MOLTEN SUGAR!!!!!

For various colors, pour the molten candy into a few heatproof containers with spouts and add 1 or 2 drops of food coloring and 1/2 tsp extract. Give it a quick stir and pour into your lollipop molds with the sticks.

For just one color, just pour all of your hot syrup into large heatproof container and add your color and flavor. Stir and pour into your molds.

You need to work really quickly as this will start to set almost immediately. Do not under any circumstances be tempted to touch your candy- you will be severely burned!

To make the patchwork lollipops, Just pour the various colored syrups directly onto a parchment lined sheet, being careful not to have the colors touch each other. Let it sit overnight to set (it was nighttime when I made the syrup), then smash hell out of them with a covered hammer into  smallish sized bits.

Preheat the oven to 250F

Lightly spray cookie cutters with vegetable oil and lay on baking sheet lined with parchment. Lay down pieces of the colored candy inside the molds, trying not to overlap the pieces. Bake for 10 minutes or until the candy melts. Let cool and pop out. Take a few more pieces of broken candy and heat them up in the oven for about 5 minutes. Dip the tip of a lollipop stick  into one of the melted bits and stick onto the back of the lollipops. Let set.

Couverture Chocolate Supplies Online: UK
http://chocolatefalls-scotland.co.uk/choccart/index.php?main_page=index&…
http://www.squires-shop.com/ibf/index.php?p=product&id=530&parent=59
http://www.cakescookiesandcraftsshop.co.uk/acatalog/Chocolate-Making.htm…
https://www.vantagehouse.com/chocolate-ingredients

Couverture Chocolate Supplies Online: US
http://chocoley.com/
http://www.chocosphere.com/
http://www.worldwidechocolate.com/

Equipment & Moulds Online: UK
http://www.squires-shop.com/ibf/index.php?p=catalog&parent=76&pg=1
http://www.squires-shop.com/ibf/index.php?p=catalog&parent=74&pg=1

Equipment & Molds Online: US
Everything and anything you need
chocolate related:
http://chocoley.com/

More places to purchase:
Thermometers
http://www.amazon.com/CK-Products-81-178-Ateco-Dipping/dp/B0000E2OF1
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-k…

Molds
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%253Dgarden&field…

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Candied Orange Peel 101

 

I sometimes take things for granted, like thinking that everyone knows how to make their own candied orange peel, and I end up looking  smug and foolish. “You make your own peel?” “Yes, don’t you?” Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?. The fact of the matter is, candied orange peel is one of the easiest things you can make.  If you google it, you will come up with 170,000 entries! So you can imagine my surprise at the frequency of times that I hear people say that they never have made it, nor do they know how. So, here is to 171,000…

The peel of a citrus fruit is one of its greatest treasures. Lemon,lime, grapefruit and orange  zest are key components in many cookie and cake recipes, or add it to rice, or sprinkle it over feta cheese with some olive oil. You get my drift. Yet when we think of the peel, visions of  multicolored bits from the inside of old fruitcake come to mind. Please don’t let that ruin it for you. Fresh candied peel is absolutely divine. It has all the brightness of the fruit but none of the bitterness of raw peel. I am laughing to myself as I am writing this and thinking of my dear friend Kathy, who hates anything citrus. She, of course, would not like this, but to rest of the citrus loving world, enjoy.

I must admit, I do not have a measured recipe. We never throw away the peel of a citrus fruit around here, so sometimes I might only be using the peel of one orange, sometimes 3 lemons – whatever – but, there is a basic recipe to always follow.

1.  Cut your peel into thin strips

2. Submerge in a pot of cold water.

3. Bring to a boil

4. Strain and repeat steps two and three two more times times. You will have boiled the peel in fresh, cold water a total of three times. Taste a small piece. If it still tastes overly bitter, boil it one more time. A total of three times is usually enough but every once in a while you need to do an extra boil.

5.  Put  equal amounts fresh water and granulated sugar into your pot. The amount will depend on how much peel you are making. When I make the peel of 2 oranges, I use 1 1/2 c water to 1 1/2 c sugar. You really just want to make sure that the peel is fully submerged. Bring it back up to a boil,  lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes. Drain* and lay out your peel in a single layer on a cooling rack to dry. After about 2 hours you can gently toss the pieces in some more granulated sugar, if you wish.

You are now done! At this point you can finely chop the peel for bread or cookies, or dip the slices into bittersweet chocolate as a hostess gift the next time you are invited to someones house for dinner. Or, as a gift to yourself.

* You can save the sugar syrup. Cool it , then store in the fridge and use as a simple syrup for various cocktails.

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Peppermint Marshmallows

I wanted to make the perfect Valentines Day treat, but what?? There are a few (that’s an understatement!) cake recipes I want to try but it all seemed to much for today. MMmmmm… how about fluffy marshmallow? Better yet, how about fluffy, cool, peppermint marshmallows? How about dipping those fluffy, cool, peppermint marshmallows in some bittersweet chocolate? Now we are talking!! It’s been  a while since I made marshmallows and I forgot just how darn  easy they are to make. Really. The only trouble is that they can be very messy to make as well. Here are a few pointers:

When beating the marshmallow mixture, resist all temptation to scrape down the sides of the bowl, or the beater for that matter. You will just end of with strings of sticky marshmallow EVERYWHERE.

After it is set, tightly cover the entire top with plastic wrap and then flip it over. This prevents clouds of confectioners sugar from flying all over your kitchen. (this is when you can dust the bottom of it).

These are so delicious and are outrageous in a mug of hot cocoa. Your family and friend will love you for these.

You will need to 9×13 inch pan

PEPPERMINT MARSHMALLOWS

about 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water (about 115°F.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites*
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (0r 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)

  • *if egg safety is a problem in your area, substitute powdered egg whites reconstituted according to manufacturer’s instructions

Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and line bottom and sides with plastic wrap. Dust with about 1/4  cup confectioners sugar.

Ina small bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, hot 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 8-12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and in gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, using very clean beaters beat whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. You can use a standing or hand-held mixer. Transfer the egg whites to another bowl while the sugar is coming up to temperature. Try to time these two as close together as possible so your egg whites don’t sit too long while waiting for the sugar. Don’t bother washing the bowl or whisk, just add the hot sugar mixture.

Pour the sugar/gelatin mixture into a standing or a hand-held electric mixer and beat mixture on high-speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer (At this point your beaten egg whites are waiting for you in  a separate bowl).

Beat whites, peppermint  and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and sift 1/4 cup confectioners― sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least 3 hours, and up to 1 day.

Cover the entire top of pan with plastic wrap and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Grabbing one corner, lift up plastic wrap and peel away the wrap. Dust with about 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar.Trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly 1-inch cubes. Sift another 1/4 C confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches, tossing to evenly coat.

Melt some bittersweet chocolate (about 4 ounces) and dip each marshmallow. Allow to cool on a sheet of parchment paper for a few minutes.

Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at  room temperature for 1 week.
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, December 1998

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