Homemade Honey Vanilla Marshmallows

A new home for my blog, a lesson in photography and a new recipe!  Homemade Honey Vanilla Marshmallows

 

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Yeah! My blog is finally at its new home here at wordpress. So excited, but also a little nerve wracked. I took 3 tries at posting this today. It kept deleting and I am having formatting issues with the recipe plug in. I still have some details to edit and customize but I am here now and am so happy to be where all the cool food blogger kids hang out! Now I just need to buy wordpress for dummies…. But first a new recipe! Honey vanilla marshmallows.

I have been “known” for my homemade marshmallows for several years now. I usually make them every Christmas and send them out with my usual Christmas cookie care package to friends and family. I first discovered this recipe watching an episode of Alton Brown’s ” Good Eats” on Food Network. I loved watching his show, I learned so much about the whats and whys of cooking and baking. I like sciency nerdy food stuff like that. I think store bought marshmallows are so bland and tasteless and I had tried a homemade marshmallow at a coffee shop once and wanted to try them myself. Watching this episode gave me the confidence to make them. What a fun mess it is to make these. They taste so amazing too. I have made many different flavors over the years from candy cane to chocolate to coconut. They are all so good. The recipe calls for corn syrup and I am not a fan of corn syrup so I decided to swap it for honey. So glad I did. These are super light and fluffy and just a hint of honey. So these are adapted from his recipe.

 

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I have a good friend in town that is a professional photographer, mostly modeling, fitness and lifestyle, but has done some food photography for magazines in the past. I was telling him and his wife, also a good friend of mine, about my blog and my desire to become a better food photographer, and I showed him a few pics I had taken with my trusty iphone for instagram.

iphone photo 1024x1024 Homemade Honey Vanilla MarshmallowsThis is one photo I took with my iphone that I showed my friend. He started asking me questions about the photo, ” What is going on in this picture? What time of day is it? Is the person making these a mom? Is she making these with her kids to create some family memories? Is this a snack for her kids? Or is this later in the evening for marshmallows for s’mores or hot cocoa? Is she an organized woman or does she not mind making a mess? Where are the kids? Are they helping? ” And a bunch of other questions that really made me start thinking about my photos differently. One wants their food photos to tell a story, not just a picture of something to eat on a plate, but you want to pull your reader in with a story and pictures that make them want to be right there at that very moment, making those memories and enjoying that food. There are several blogs that I love to read that do just that, and I stare at their pictures wondering not only how they made them technically but what was the feel of the picture they were going for? What mood is the scene setting? Some of these blogs have awesome stories to go with the beautiful pictures and some just let the pictures tell the story. I want my photos to be like theirs, to tell a story, to make people want to be there in that moment, not just a photo of food on a plate and ” hey look I made this here is the recipe”. I want to stand out in the world of food blogging and I am going to practice my tail off with my photos. My friend offered to help teach me the technical aspects of photograph  ,and he told me I already have an artistic eye for setting a scene, I just need to hone in my skills and learn the technical parts and my photography will improve greatly. I can’t wait. I just hope he is okay with accepting payment in the forms of baked goods, actually I know he would be.

DSC 8985 1024x685 Homemade Honey Vanilla MarshmallowsAnother point of photography my friend talked to me about was lighting. My current house we are in has horrible lighting. Pretty much no natural light coming in to the house that is decent for photos. The garage is south facing so I have a make shift photo booth set up in there, its okay but I can’t wait to move into our new house ( fingers crossed the bank approves the offer) because the kitchen and living room both have HUGE south facing windows and french doors with fantastic light all day long. Can’t wait. Until then I get to learn to utilize Adobe Lightroom for adjusting exposure issues.

I have been employing my 4 year old to assist with holding my foam boards to help bounce light and other tasks. She likes the job because she gets paid in food.

PicMonkey Collage Homemade Honey Vanilla MarshmallowsShe does a great job as my photo assistant. I got some pretty funny shots of her taking her marshmallow payment.

marshmallow collage 2 Homemade Honey Vanilla MarshmallowsShe seriously took one bite and put it back and tried to get another one, you know, to see if they all tasted the same. Like I was holding out on her or something.

3.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Honey Vanilla Marshmallows
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Honey Vanilla Marshmallows
Ingredients
  • 3 packets of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup of ice cold water
  • 1 c granulated organic sugar
  • 1 c organic honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp bourbon vanilla extract
  • ½ c confectioners or powdered sugar
  • cooking spray (olive oil or sunflower oil spray)
Instructions
  1. Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and generously dust with powdered sugar, set aside
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer combine the gelatin with ½ c of the cold water and have the whisk attachment in place.
  3. In a high sided sauce pan, 4-6qt size, combine the other ½ c of water, the sugar, honey and salt.
  4. Stir to combine and clip on a candy thermometer to the side
  5. Over medium heat stir until the sugar dissolves, then let heat until the mixture reaches 240 deg F, watching carefully so it doesn't boil over
  6. Once the mixture almost reaches 240 deg f, start the mixer on low to break up the gelatin and once its at 240 remove from heat and slowly pour into the mixer, careful not to splatter
  7. Once all the honey syrup is in, slowly raise the speed to high and whip until the mixture is very thick and white and the mixer bowl is lukewarm to the touch, about 12 minutes
  8. Add in the vanilla extract and whip 1-2 min more
  9. Quickly spread the marshmallow into the prepared pan, using a greased silicon spatula.
  10. It is sticky so try to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl and whisk as well as you can, and smooth out the mixture in the pan so it is even.
  11. Generously dust with powdered sugar again and let dry out at least 4 hours to over night.
  12. Once they are dry take the slab of marshmallow out of the pan onto a cutting board.
  13. Using a greased knife or pizza cutter, slice the slab into strips then squares, dusting the cut parts with more powdered sugar.
  14. Marshmallows will keep up to two weeks in an air tight container at room temp.
  15. They also keep well in the freezer
Notes
You can easily make these into any flavor you want with different extract flavorings, adding in ½ c cocoa powder and subbing cocoa powder for the powdered sugar. I like to use peppermint extract and mix in crushed candy canes for candy cane marshmallows. Really the possibilities are endless

 

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Comments

  1. Your new site is perfect, so clear and crisp. Your pictures are great, I can almost taste those marshmallows. I hope your future posts go up stress free.
    I loved Alton Brown’s show too. I learned so much about the science of cooking. Who was his nemesis? Was it Q?
    Congratulations on successfully making the big move!

  2. Homemade marshmallows are the best! Love the flavor combo and great photo tips :)

    • Thanks Erin! I was a little taken aback by the questions my friend asked, just not something I had expected but he is so awesome and he really gave me a lot of great advice and things to think about. I will continue to share what he teaches me.

  3. Beautiful photos!!! The marshmallows look amazing!

  4. April Bartholomew says:

    So, I must say I love what you’ve written. You have great talent in writing and photography. I just made these marshmallows, and after letting them sit for over 5 hours, I’m not liking them. It could be because I used the wrong pan (I only had an 8×8 pan) and they just need to dry a little more. While I tasted the honey after initial preparation, I don’t taste it in the final product. I won’t give up though!

    • I let them dry out overnight – I know that Alton Brown says they are good to go after I think 4 hours of drying but the first time I tried them that way they weren’t the right consistency and still really sticky. Its a very subtle honey taste, but a better flavor than using corn syrup. Don’t give up though, try again and let dry out at least 12 hours. I have even had them dry for 2 days before I cut them before ( not on purpose) and they were great! Also if you use the 8×8 pan they will be thicker and need longer to dry. When in a 9×13 pan they are thinner and don’t take as long. Let me know if you try again!

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