We had our first real snow flurries of the winter season last week. I must admit – I’m not a fan of snow. In fact, I only enjoy snow when I don’t have to leave the comfort of my home for a few days. As a grownup, that seldom happens. What happens is this: I drop my kid off at school and then battle through whatever the skies throw at me; whether it’s solid compact accumulating snow, or nasty slippery slush.
Now my Moonbug – she’s five and loves snow, much like any five year old would.
Her plan this snowfall: Await enough ground accumulation for a large enough snowball to throw at her brother – whom she says – deserves it because; “He’s a poo!”.
As I walked her to school she continuously relayed her excitement over that afternoon’s snowball plans, while intermittently sticking out her tongue in an attempt to catch a snowflake.
I fell in love with her all over again.
We belted out a crackly rendition of “Let it snow” as we walked. Then I watched her navigate her way towards the school entrance. After a few steps she stopped, bent down in an attempt to accumulate enough snow for a snowball, realized it was a “No Go”, shrugged her shoulders and continued walking.
That’s when I realized: She won’t be this small forever.
It made me sad.
I feel I’m missing crucial moments in her development and it fills me with immense guilt. Yes, I see her daily. I ask about her day and help with homework. I taught my Moonbug to read 3 weeks before her 4th birthday. I squeeze her until she can’t breathe sometimes. I kiss her like Cuh-razy. She’s my sidekick – Always game for a random bout of silliness. She’s my girl…
Yet… Life gets in the way.
The constant rush of it.
The “I have to get this done!”
The “Wait mama doll – I’m almost done and then we can play”.
The “I’m just too tired mama doll – Can we do this tomorrow?”
And tomorrow is, more often than not, three days later.
I’m missing… Her… The subtle changes in her personality, in her features. I’m missing her ability to remember everything and recount it verbatim, like a parrot in pigtails. I’m missing her energy and sunshine demeanor. Even how exasperating she can be at times. She, of my two children makes me feel simultaneously like mush and in need of a very stiff drink.
And so it’s with her in mind I bring you these pumpkin bourbon marshmallows.
Did you know you can infuse liquor into a marshmallow? As in, not brush ’em with liquor – but actually infuse liquor into a sugar syrup?
Let me school you.
I created a course collision of flavors – BANG ZOOM – Straight into these little delectable pillows. If you’ve never made marshmallows before – I don’t know what you’re waiting for. The hardest part of marshmallow making is achieving the sugar syrup’s 240° Fahrenheit – with bourbon in this case – Then bringing it down to 210° Fahrenheit.
Your mixer does the rest; the marshmallow mixture solidifies overnight.
The other half of this marshmallow SPECTACULAR is gelatin, along with a pumpkin puree mixed with fragrant fall spices and a hint of orange juice. I love adding citrus to pumpkin; it adds a nice bright zing and the flavors meld together perfectly. Paired with bourbon is like adding icing to an already delicious cake.
A marshmallow cake.
OOOOH – Marshmallow cake!
Add these fluffy pillows to your next mug of hot chocolate for a pumpkin spice flavor and smack of bourbon. Then and only then will you understand how it feels to simultaneously love with abandon, while yearning for a nice stiff shot of booze.
- For the marshmallow coating
- Confectioners' (powdered) sugar - 1 1/2 cup
- Cornstarch - 1 Cup
- For the bloom
- Gelatin - 3/4 ounce (3, .25 ounce packets)
- Freshly squeezed orange juice - 1 ounce (2 tablespoons)
- Pumpkin puree - 4 ounces (1/2 cup)
- Ground cinnamon - 1/4 teaspoon
- Ground cloves - 1/4 teaspoon
- Ground ginger - 1/4 teaspoon
- Grated nutmeg - 1/8 teaspoon or very large pinch
- For the sugar syrup
- Light corn syrup - 5 1/2 ounces
- Granulated sugar - 14 ounces
- Bourbon - 3 ounces
- Freshly squeezed orange juice - 1 ounce (2 tablespoons)
- Vanilla bean paste - 1 tablespoon
- Maple syrup - 1 tablespoon
- salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Prepare the coating:
In a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Cover and set aside.
Prepare the pan:
Spray an 8”x8” square pan with PAM spray and lightly sift the marshmallow coating to bottom of the pan. You are looking for a light even coat. Set the pan aside.
Prepare the bloom:
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the gelatin, orange juice, pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Stir with a fork lightly to combine and prevent the gelatin from clumping at the bottom of the bowl. Leave in the mixer while you prepare the sugar syrup.
Prepare the sugar syrup:
In a medium stainless steel pot combine the light corn syrup, granulated sugar, bourbon, orange juice, vanilla bean paste, maple syrup and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover the pan with a lid and continuing boiling, covered, for 5 minutes. Covering the pan allows steam to form which melts any sugar which may have crystalized. After five minutes, insert a candy thermometer and bring up the temperature of the syrup to 240° Fahrenheit.
Once the syrup has reached 240° Fahrenheit, remove pan from heat and allow the temperature of the syrup to reduce to 210° Fahrenheit. This can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. You can help it along by partially submerging the pan in a bowl of ice water and stirring the syrup.
Once the syrup has reached 210° Fahrenheit, carefully pour the syrup (be careful – It will still be HOT!) into the mixing bowl. Start your mixer, on low at first as you add the syrup, and then increase the speed to high. Whip on high speed until the mixture thickens and becomes fluffy.
Turn off the mixer and using a silicone spatula very lightly sprayed with PAM, pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Smack the pan a few times against your counter to remove air bubbles and sift some of your prepared coating over the top of the marshmallow mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to set.
To cut the marshmallow:
Remove marshmallow pan from the fridge. Liberally sift a cutting board with the marshmallow coating. Remove the plastic wrap from the pan. Use a knife (or your fingers) to loosen the marshmallow from the pan and pull it out. Place onto the powdered cutting board and then flip the giant marshmallow square to coat the other side.
Using a large chef’s knife (or the largest knife in your kitchen), cut 8, 1” vertical strips. Periodically clean your knife because marshmallows stick! Now with your knife make 1” increment cuts horizontally. You should now have a crap load of marshmallows squares - Or rectangles, if you have linear issues. And I say a crap load because I forget to count. OK – OK – You got me! It’s because I’m eating the marshmallows.
As you cut the marshmallows, toss them into the marshmallow coating to prevent sticking. Store them in an airtight container or a large ziplock back. They last forever…Really - weeks and weeks.
Adapted from: A demo given at Techmunch by the lovely Emily of Nomnivorous