I've alluded to the fact that I love a good bonfire.
It's true. I'm a sucker for a warm crackling fire, especially when there's great company to be had. Of course, the best fires include s'mores, too. And all s'mores require the almighty marshmallow.
You see where I'm stretching this, right? Good.
One of my recent family sessions was a bonfire, and it sparked an idea of something I've been meaning to do for a long while...make marshmallows! I found a digital copy of the book Marshmallow Madness! by Shauna Sever at the Edmonton library, grabbed the ingredients from the grocery store, and took on the task.
The book does a pretty great job of giving you ideas for lots of different marshmallow flavors, but we stuck to the basic vanilla. Start small, right?
It sounds intimidating but it's really a fairly simple process. Gelatin goes in your mixer while you boil a sugar and corn syrup solution to 240F. Then it all goes in together and beats for 15 minutes. I do highly recommend a candy thermometer. I bake a fair amount but I'm really horrible at accurately determining soft ball stage of a sugar syrup!
And yes, we totally cook in Halloween pajamas in January. When we're three, anyway.
Once your mixture is white, fluffy, and tripled in size, you attempt to smooth it into a greased pan. Then, of course, you lick the spatulas covered in warm marshmallow fluff.
After a dusting of powered sugar and a bit of corn starch, and a few hours of waiting, voila! Marshmallows!
Although a bit messy because of all the sugar, it was really quite easy! This would be a quick, fun activity for either families or couples, especially if you get a bit more adventurous than we did with flavors. (and you weren't also trying to document the process in photos while watching kids and the temp of your sugar!)
I've even made it extra easy to get started and created a Pinterest board of marshmallow recipes for you to browse.
Let me know if you try any! I'd love to see how they turn out. They might even make for a fun addition to a photo session, don't you think?