So it’s that time of year. You know, the beginning.
Where people vow to do ridiculous things.
You can do that too if you want.
Or, you can do something way yummier than gulping a seaweed spritzer every morning. And way more comfortable than hiking spandex up to your ears to join the trendy gliding yoga class every Saturday.
Like what about this year pushing your culinary experience into new territory?
Most people I know play with new cake or cookie recipes. Maybe occasionally they add a fruit pie to their repertoire.
Today I give you a simple and delicious recipe to break into that world of things that are fun to pin on Pinterest but that you would never actually make unless you had a week off work, the Food Network became the Car Network (Ick. And hey, why make it when I can watch it get made) or fluffy candy suddenly replaced the dollar bill as the USA’s new form of currency: Vanilla Bean Mallows.
And during this time of year, there’s enough bare hot cocoa to whip up as many as you’d like.
Hey, what sounds more fun: Putting on a puffy coat and driving to the gym OR putting on puffy slippers and sliding to the kitchen?
I thought so.
These fluffy candies will literally melt in your mouth.
Springy and bouncy, pillows should be made of these. Your face- err…umm…finger imprint disappears only seconds after it’s pushed in the surface of one of these airy squares.
From a sticky beginning to a graceful finish, these mallows are confections at their finest. Whether floating across a sea of cocoa or oozing from graham impact, there is no finer a vanilla canvas than these.
Imperfectly perfect with unique strokes on the top of each mallow representing their geographic location in the pan at the time of spatula spreading. The fingerprints of the baking world.
Another name for these was going to be “Proud Mallows” because when completed, the flush of pride that runs through you is wondrous. Who makes their own mallows? Oh yeah, YOU do. People will be amazed. Including you. Promise.
New year, new baking challenges. Go for it!
Witness the wonders of gelatin.
Hot sugar gets fed to whipped whites.
Tame the sticky with some snow. Cool and cut.
Munch the mallows.
Vanilla Bean Mallows
Fluffy and speckled, these are going to be your leading ladies for all culinary productions from s’mores to cocoa – with no understudies needed. Bouncing back when poked, vanilla bean mallows are everything those packaged puffs are not: simple, tender and whimsical. You will never buy your clouds bagged again.
- 1/2 C confectioners sugar
- 1/2 C potato starch
- 3 1/2 packets of gelatin
- 1/2 C cold water
- 2 C sugar
- 1/2 C light corn syrup
- 1/2 C water (115F)
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla beans
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Sift together the confectioners sugar and potato starch to create the dusting mixture. Oil a 13×9 baking pan with any neutral oil such as vegetable oil. Generously sift in some of the dusting mixture to coat the bottom and sides of the pan- about a third or more of the mixture. Do not tap out excess dust as the mallows will then stick to the bottom.
- Place the cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Allow to sit 10 minutes.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks (preferably in a standing mixer). Then add vanillas and beat briefly. Set aside.
- Once gelatin has sat to combine, put the clumpy mixture into a large pot and set next to the stove.
- In a separate large pot on the stove, place the sugar, corn syrup, hot water and salt. Place the burner on low heat and stir until sugars dissolve. Move heat up to medium and stop stirring. Let mixture slowly get up to 240F on a candy thermometer. This may take a while, but don’t rush it.
- Once at 240F, pour hot mixture over the gelatin in the new pot. Stir until gelatin melts and then quickly move onto step 7.
- Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg whites while beating fast the entire time. A small amount of hot liquid should stream into the whites until the sugar mixture is all in the whites.
- Beat until slightly shiny, white and thick. The mixture should almost more than double in volume. This takes about 5-7 minutes in a stand mixer and longer if not.
- Spread into prepared pan and then dust the tops completely with dusting mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate at least three hours or overnight. Remove from pan, cut squares and toss in dusting mixture, patting off any excess. Store in an air tight container up to one week- enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Epicurious