Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

7.03.2010

S'mores!

I've eaten more s'mores in my lifetime than I can count: Honey Maid graham crackers, Jet-Puffed marshmallows, and Hershey chocolate bars add up to one tasty treat. This time, though, I decided to approach s'mores in a new way, with homemade marshmallows sandwiched between freshly baked graham crackers (I concluded that the classic Hershey bar was too good to tamper with).

This is all you need to get started making your own marshmallows!



While boiling the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water on the stove, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let it set for five minutes.

Once the sugar mixture has boiled for about nine minutes--without stirring (trust me!)--it's ready to get whipped into the set gelatin.


Isn't it amazing what 15 minutes of whipping can do to the confection?



Let me tell you, I could just eat this whole bowl right now. Who said I was making s'mores?





After you've achieved stiff peaks in your creme and mixed in the vanilla, spread the marshmallow in an oiled pan. I used a jelly roll pan for slightly thinner squares, but you can also use a 9 x 13 pan if you want thick cubes.





While that was firming up (either on the counter for 3 hours or in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours), I mixed up the graham crackers.

You would think I was making a health food by the ingredients: whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and honey make for a flavorful cracker without the least hint of healthy flavor!



The sugar and butter gets creamed together and then mixed in with the flours for a scrumptious dough. Again I found myself fighting the urge to just eat the batter and forget the goal.





There's many different ways to roll out the dough. Although it's easiest to roll between two pieces of parchment paper (or, like I used, a plastic circle meant for pie dough), you can attempt it without--just make sure you use lots of flour!



Next, refrigerate or freeze the dough until thoroughly chilled.




Finally, you get to cut them out. Use a scalloped circle cutter, a simple knife (like I did), or a pastry wheel to score the pieces and get authentic-looking rectangles.



Prick the tops using a fork to create beautiful designs and prevent the crackers from puffing up and then pop them into the oven until they are dark golden brown.


Graham crackers in the oven, coals smoldering outside, marshmallows cut and dusted with powdered sugar--I think it's time for dessert!


Papa is showing off his creation.





These marshmallows were beautiful things. 30 seconds in the coals was all it took to carmalize the sugary outside and goo-ify the creamy inside. Some people (who shall remain nameless) attempted to purposefully burn theirs, but discovered that these beauties are virtually impossible to burn--good news for those of us who don't have much luck with marshmallow roasting!



Jonah with his treat!






Micah and Susanna prepare their s'mores.



My first bite was a little slice of heaven--a thick, crunchy, spicy-sweet cracker sheltering a crackly, milky, warm puddle of sugar with pieces of creamy chocolate scattered throughout. It doesn't get any better than this!





Grandma and Grandpa were visiting and got to join in the fun too!

Recipes

Homemade Marshmallows

Ingredients
Vegetable oil, for brushing
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions
1. Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish (for thicker marshmallows) or a jelly roll pan (for thinner marshmallows) with oil. Set aside.
2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees.on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 15 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours, or 1 ½ hours in the refrigerator.
5. Sift 1 cup confectioners' sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners' sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container.


Homemade Graham Crackers

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup untoasted wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons high-quality honey

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flours, wheat germ, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.
2. Put butter, brown sugar, and honey into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
3. Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and divide into quarters. Roll out each piece between 2 sheets of floured parchment paper into rectangles a bit larger than 9 by 6 inches, about 1/8 inch thick.
4. Using a fluted pastry wheel, trip the outermost edges or each rectangle, and divide into three 6 by 3-inch rectangles. Pressing lightly, so as not to cut all the way through, score each piece in half lengthwise and crosswise, to form four 3 by 1 1/2-inch crackers. If you don’t have a pastry wheel, cut 3 by 1 ½ inch squares with a knife. Stack parchment and dough on a baking sheet and chill in freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.
5. Remove two sheets of dough from freezer. Pierce crackers using the tines of a fork. Transfer to large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, rotating halfway through, until dark golden brown, 8 to 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cool on sheet 5 minutes; transfer crackers to wire racks to cool completely.
Recipes adapted from Martha Stewart

13 comments:

  1. Yummy... seems like a big commitment but i am sure it was worth it!

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  2. Sometime when I find the time, I would really like to try these! It sounds like a lot of work, but the end result looks amazing. Maybe I can enlist my siblings help.... :) It makes me hot to see you wearing a sweater Mikaela! It is so hot and humid here today! I think it is currently 94 degrees! Anyway, thanks for posting those recipes!

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  3. i want one can you mail me one lol... those look amazing, and you all really bonded from the experience.

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  4. Okay, this sounds absolutely delicious! I can't wait to try out these recipes on my hubby!

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  5. I feel so hungry after reading this :( You girls are so cool. I don't know how to cook anything!

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  6. Jimmie Lee: that's what my Dad said! ;-) But believe me--he wasn't saying that once he tasted them.
    Elizabeth: I did it by myself, but I would certainly recommend getting help! And my dear, I have a hard time sympathizing with your weather plight (though that is scalding). Rain threatened our 4th weekend as it has for the past six months--today is our first hot day in who knows how long--84 degrees!
    Queen of the Rant: What a good idea to pop one in the mail! Somehow, though, I don't think it would taste as good. And unfortunately, we have eaten the entire batch, so you'll just have to try them for yourself. ;-)

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  7. What's the fun in marshmallows that don't burn?! Aaaahhhh!! :)

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  8. Danica: Let me know how you like them!
    MK: Hope you're not on a diet! ;-) I'm thrilled to know that cooking has been moved from the "nerdy" list to the "cool" list. And I know you could cook if you tried, although I would suggest starting out small before tackling these recipes. ;-)
    BK: LOL Apparently you and I don't see eye to eye in our marshmallow philosophy. ;-)

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  9. Oh yummy!! This made me want to whip up a batch right here and now.

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  10. Haha, Pakistani society is the kind where girls who don't know how to cook are frowned upon. But I think it's important to start learning anyway :)

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  11. this is soooo fun!! we have a giant pit out in our backyard that my dad built (check out le blog for pics!) I can't WAIT to give this a shot!
    ps- because i sooooooo enjoy your blog- i have an award for you! you can grab it on my blog :)
    thanks for posting!!

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  12. Wow. Didn't know there was a way to make marshmallows at home!

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  13. Yum! Those s'mores looked absolutely scrumptious! Though, I am not sure it is fair to tease your readers this way - my mouth was watering as I read your post. Too bad you can't provide virtual samples. ; ) BTW, I got to roast marshmallows on the 4th - it was a fun to have an American tradition to celebrate the day. :)

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