As Easter approaches at an accelerated pace, my boys (and no doubt, my Dad) start craving those ooey gooey fluorescent covered confections that are a trademark of the holiday. Any parent can start to read the ingredient list and just cringe knowing that their children will be ingesting boatloads of sugar and be bouncing off the walls in a short amount of time. This behavior will be followed by a sugar crash that results in a meltdown of epic proportions (if your children are anything like mine).
Knowing that my kids love these, I started searching for ways that I could replicate the recipe. I found a few, but all of them still included using a lot of sugar. I had to adapt my recipe so that it included natural sweeteners (ones that do not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar), and this is what I came up with:
- 1 cup filtered water (split into half cups)
- 3 Tbls gelatin ( I use grass-fed beef gelatin)
- 1 cup organic honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
Take the gelatin and put it into the bowl of a stand mixer, cover with 1/2 cup of the water. Pour the other 1/2 cup of water into a pan, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat (stirring the whole time so the honey doesn’t burn). Once it has reached a rolling boil, use a candy thermometer to bring to 240 F (it takes about 7 minutes), stirring occasionally. After it reaches 240 F, slowly add this mixture to the gelatin in the mixing bowl. You need to start whisking this on high (be careful, it may splatter at first and is very hot, I worked my way up to high-speed). After approximately 5 minutes, it will begin to look like this:
This is about 10 minutes into the whisking on high speed…ummm marshmallowy….
While this continues to whisk into ooey gooey perfection, grease a jelly roll pan (I use coconut oil, but butter will work as well) so that you will have it ready to pour the mixture into.
After 15 minutes of high-speed whisking, you should be able to lift up the attachment and have a nice “stiff peak”.
This looks perfect! now it is time to grab that greased jelly roll pan and scrape the whole she-bang into it. It should spread out, but you may need to coax it a little bit by spreading with a greased spatula. Cover the pan with an inverted pan for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
After the mixture has settled for the amount of time you were able to leave it alone, turn it over onto a surface that has been lightly oiled. You can then take any shape cookie cutter (we used a bunny head), dip it in a cornstarch/powdered sugar mixture, and start cutting away! Once you have all of your shapes, the fun of decorating begins! There are so many options to choose from! You can use dusting sugars (made specifically for baking confections), coconut, nuts/seeds. The sky is the limit!
These were dusted with palm sugar that had been tinted with a few drops of beet juice.
I can’t say that my boys will always stay away from the commercial brand, but at least we have an alternative now…. and I can’t wait to use the marshmallow recipe for s’mores this summer!