My brother Billy and I could not be more opposite. Growing up, he was the fit, good looking athletic and popular kid that all the girls wanted to date. I was the chubby, (they called it husky back then) artistic, piano playing, suspender wearing, bulletin board decorating (yes… I used to have my own bulletin board that I would decorate to match each season), and downright nerdy kid that all the girls wanted to befriend as a way to get closer to my brother. While my brother wrestled, played football, and lifted weights, I spent my time baking cakes, practicing instruments and learning how to sew. For those of you that remember ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel- Air’… Billy was Will and I was Carlton. It’s amazing that he and I came from the same set of parents.
I would like to be that person that could say “Well, look at me now!”, but fast forward 20 years from our childhood to the present, and nothing much has really changed. Billy and I are still pretty opposite. He is an officer in the military, a cage fighter and has the most intimidating glare (even when he’s in a good mood). And me… well… I’m still baking cakes, decorating and sewing. Over the years, we have come to mutually appreciate and respect the differences in each other, and have developed a great friendship through which I have discovered we do have one thing in common: neither of us enjoy reading long drawn out passages of text.
It’s true. Long, extended e-mails, text messages, drawn out facebook posts… it doesn’t matter… we don’t enjoy reading them. Billy actually introduced me to a four letter phrase to send back to people who send such verbose passages of writing: TLDR
It stands for: TOO LONG DIDN’T READ
Now, I’ve never actually replied to a person with this response- although I would put money on it that my brother has. This helpful and amusing adage does however come to mind while reading through long recipes. I just don’t have the patience for it. In my mind, a long recipe means it will be too difficult and time consuming.
This was the mentality that I approached the idea of making homemade marshmallows with. Because the recipe had more than 3 steps and didn’t fit on a 3×5 card, I assumed the process would be difficult. I decided to face my fears and risk a headache and so I set out to make these marshmallows.
People aren’t kidding when they say making marshmallows is easy. Don’t be intimidated by the long instructions on the recipe card below. You simply gather your ingredients, measure, cook and then mix. It really is that simple. While the sugar syrup is cooking on the stove top, you can walk away and prepare the powdered sugar coating for the outside. While the hot syrup becomes a fluffy white miracle in the mixer you can prepare your pan and wash your dishes. Do not be intimidated by this recipe or reject it because of the long passages of text. I promise you can do this.
I have learned a few things along the way that might be helpful to pass along.
1. Read through all of the instructions before starting and gather all of your supplies.
2. Don’t be intimidated by a candy thermometer, and don’t try and replace it with a meat thermometer. Not the same thing. You need a candy thermometer (they don’t have to be expensive) so that you can regulate the temperature so the sugar doesn’t get too hot. All you do with a candy thermometer is clip it to the side of the pan and turn it on. Watch the temperature of your sugar syrup rise and then pull it off the stove at the appropriate time. Easy.
3. Spray your pan very lightly with cooking spray before lining with parchment paper. This helps the paper to stick to the pan and not float all over the place.
4. Do not oversaturate your pan and parchment paper with cooking spray. Too much spray creates a yellow mess on your marshmallows. This happened to me. Lightly spray means to lightly spray. Trust me.
5. Tap the pan gently after covering the cooking spray with the powdered sugar/corn starch coating. You do not want excessive amounts of this sugary coating to remain in the pan. Tapping the pan and removing the excess powder will give you a cleaner and smoother marshmallow.
6. Use scissors to cut your marshmallows. I tried a knife and a pizza cutter. Both of those tools created a hot mess. Scissors were fast and easy.
7. Make sure to lightly dab your freshly cut edges in the powdered sugar/ cornstarch mixture as you go. The marshmallows can dry out quickly and become crusty if you do not coat as you go.
8. Before sharing with any of your family or friends, reward yourself for your successful marshmallow making adventures and play chubby bunny. Seriously. You’ll feel like a kid again. Promise.
We’ve enjoyed sharing different recipes on our blog, and then hearing about how people have used them. We love seeing your results through the e-mails we have received, facebook posts and instagram images. Please keep sharing your results with us! We’d love to see how these recipes turned out for you! We’re so thankful for all of you who follow along and enjoy our blog.
Photo credit: Matthew Land Studios
Download and print our recipe for Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
Recipe Design and Calligraphy: la Happy