• Homemade vanilla marshmallows = good.
• Homemade vanilla & smoke marshmallows = better. (More interesting flavor, with that hint of smoke.)
• Homemade vanilla & smoke marshmallows sprinkled with sea salt = even better. (A touch of salt adds a great contrast and really wakes up the marshmallow.)
• Homemade vanilla & smoke marshmallows dipped in dark Callebaut bittersweet chocolate = better yet. (Because chocolate — also the slight bitterness helps the marshmallows from being overwhelmingly sweet.)
• Homemade vanilla & smoke marshmallows dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs = best. (If you can’t be sitting by the campfire, or having a dragon toast your marshmallows for you, this will have to do.)
Dragon S’more Marshmallows
1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs, crumbled
(NOTE: If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can make marshmallows in a large bowl with a hand mixer — you just have to be willing to hold and beat it for 12 minutes. Prep the pan and spatula for the marshmallows ahead of time.)
2. In a small saucepan (a bigger one will be heavy and hard to hold steadily at a later stage) combine 1/2 c. water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees if you have a candy thermometer), approximately 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from heat; if it continues, it will swiftly turn into hard candy.
3. Turn mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. (Be very careful with the sugar syrup, as it is scaldingly hot and will burn you badly if it gets on your skin.) Once you’ve added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high.
4. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 minutes.
5. While it’s whipping, butter a large 9 x 12 pan and dust with powdered sugar. In the last minutes, add vanilla and smoke extracts. Prepare an oiled spatula.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with an oiled spatula. Sprinkle with salt.
7. Dust the top with enough of the remaining powdered sugar to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
8. Turn onto a board, cut into squares and dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining powdered sugar, using additional if necessary.
9. Melt chocolate in double boiler or at half power in the microwave, then dip marshmallows in them, letting dry on a piece of parchment paper. (If you want chocolate to stay glossy, you’ll need to temper the chocolate, rather than simply melting it.)
10. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, or frozen.