spring break special ed. or there really is such thing as too many marshmallows

Spring break means sunshine, beaches, and tropical beverages. Especially after Coldest Winter Ever, trips to warmer climes seem mandatory. But our family had other plans. We would visit my husband’s parents in a small town 200+ miles north of where we live.

While this vacation locale won’t bring us any beach days, it does offer opportunity for rest and relaxation. With grandparents on-site to mind the kids, I can sleep in, work out, and tackle projects that haven’t been moving forward back home. One project in particular–remember Marshmallow Madness?–kept me busy today.

Since that last January marshmallow post, I’ve been drawing up outlines, testing recipes, dreaming up marshmallow flavors and uses (popcorn balls, anyone?), and researching what’s already out there in hopes of advancing my own spin on DIY ‘mallows.

To that end, I bought bottles of sweet red wine and sherry, intending to try these wines in marshmallows. Weeks went by, the bottles collecting dust on the shelf (save the sherry, which I enjoy sipping come evening) and I wondered when my schedule would allow me a few hours in the kitchen to try these new marshmallow flavors.

Knowing I’d have plenty of time at my in-laws, I packed it all up and set out to turn my mother-in-law’s kitchen into a marshmallow test kitchen.

And how. After making three different kinds of marshmallows–sherry, sweet red wine, and root beer–I can say without reservation that there IS such a thing as marshmallow overload. Tasting along the way, many spoonfuls of sugary fluff were consumed. Add to that the many marshmallows “tested” after project completion, and I write this in the throes of a sugar coma. That said, here’s a review.

The sherry and red wine flavors were riffs on Alton Brown’s recipe, subbing alcohol for part of the water (1/2 cup for the sherry and 2/3 cup for the red wine). Red wine won for appearance as it started out deep purple, then faded to light pinkish lavender after whipping. Sherry won flavor, if only because I prefer sherry over red wine.

sherry marshmallows-to-be

sherry marshmallows-to-be

boiling the wine syrup

boiling the wine syrup

whipping the wine fluff

whipping the wine fluff

Wanting to make a ‘mallow for the kids, I turned to Marshmallow Madness (Shauna Sever beat me to this book title!) for its Root Beer Float marshmallow. Sever’s recipes had different proportions of corn syrup, sugar, and liquid compared to other recipes I’ve tried, though she knows what she’s doing as her marshmallows were fluffiest and the “batter” easiest to work with. I’ll be turning to Sever’s book again.

gelatin "blooming" in root beer

gelatin “blooming” in root beer

I wasn’t overly crazy about any of these flavors, though that’s more about my being sick of marshmallows than it is marshmallow quality. My best bet is to step back from marshmallow making, though I’ll need to hit it again soon as I’ve signed on to teach a marshmallow class at a local cooking school. The madness must continue. I’ll also be reporting back here, eventually offering up the root beer float marshmallow recipe as well*. Please stay tuned!

l to r: red wine, sherry, root beer float

l to r: red wine, sherry, root beer float

*Can’t wait for the recipe? Let me know in comments or on deLizious facebook and I’ll send it your way.

46 thoughts on “spring break special ed. or there really is such thing as too many marshmallows

    • Loving that there’s another marshmallow geek out there! Good call on the freezing–hadn’t thought of that. It’s a fun book for sure–lots of creative ideas. Coating the margarita flavor with salt, for example. What kind did you make for the holidays?

      • Just plain vanilla ones πŸ™‚ . Never thought of being that creative with marshmallows until I read all your creative boozy flavors (and yes, that caramel swirl one is now stuck on my head). And yes, they freeze very well. My son actually likes them better when frozen.

  1. Too much marshmallow? I didn’t think it possible!! I love the idea of the root-beer float marshmallows..that just sounds delicious!!

    There is something oxymoronic about the thought of you having spring break in the midst of TCWE. I wish you could fly away to somewhere that requires you to don a sarong. And put an umbrella in your drink. But, at least you escaped to where the adults out number the kids. Smart thinking Liz! I knew I liked you!

    So, too many marshmallows? You have my address.
    Try to relax this week. πŸ™‚

    • Funnily enough, the marshmallows are tasting pretty good today. My belly just needed a break from mainlining sugar for so long.

      Loving the idea of me, sarong, and umbrella drink. Can I have a pool boy, too? (my husband would make a fine pool boy, though the kiddos can stay home) Good point about adults outnumbering kids. Though things got out of control this morning with me sleeping in until 10:30! Gasp. So yes, relaxation is being had. Appreciate your good wishes πŸ˜€ And I do indeed have your address. AND a bubble mailer πŸ˜‰

  2. I’m with Bonnie – I never heard of marshmallow overload..and when one considers how awesome root beer float marshmallows must be, I return to the thought that there can never be too many!! Well, that much sugar combined with spring break? Hmmm… perhaps..

    • Definitely went over the brink with the ‘mallows yesterday, but fortunately they’re tasting good again today. Needed a few hours of detox and we’re good πŸ™‚ Thanks for coming by, Mimi. Hoping the temps are climbing where you are.

  3. I think I am in a sugar come just reading about all those marshmallows! I never did get to making any this winter. Maybe next year, or this summer for s’mores! Spring break further north, have you lost your mind?! Actually, no better break than grandparents around to watch the kids, I know the feeling. We don’t have spring break until Easter week. Should be getting hot here by then.

    • funny how the spring breaks are so spread out over March and April. Even within the state, you’ll find dates on either end. Yes to grandparents watching kids while parents slack off a bit. Or at least spend more time on our own pursuits.

      Marshmallows are good any time of the year! And imagine how lovely they’d be served with chocolate-chile almonds πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping over, Mama D.

    • Liz! Thank you for that πŸ˜€ “Officially the coolest” has not often been used to describe me often, so am going to show your comments to my girls. Love it.

      Boozy marshmallows are quite tasty for sure! Will keep you in the loop on my “project.” And holler if you have any flavor ideas. Sugar sugar sugar πŸ˜€ (apparently, the sugar high has yet to wear off)

  4. I thought they would be more brightly colored, but I guess the mallowiness wins out over the added flavor. It sounds like you need a “spring break” from them for awhile. My husband and son just left to go camping, taking a pack of marshmallows with them, so they are bittersweet for me right now. 😦

    • the wine marshmallows got the deep purple whipped out of them in the mixing process–12 minutes on high speed with a wire whisk will do that. But they’re still a pretty pink.

      Those packaged ones are fine–and I can put down a bag pretty easily–but these homemade are an entirely different thing. So. much. better.

      Here’s to spring break and I hope your husband and son have a fine time camping. And that YOU have a fine time without them πŸ˜€

    • You’re off the boozy flavors for a while, aren’t you, Shanna? I still owe you a vanilla bean recipe–won’t forget, promise. Looking forward to catching up via facebook. Congratulations to you!!

  5. Perhaps these marshmallows could be mixed into those winter beverages you invented a few months ago for extra crispness? Or perhaps you’ve already cracked the perfect ‘mallow here. Looks like you had some fun here!

    • have already floated a root beer marshmallow atop a root beer float, so I’m on it πŸ˜‰ Yes, fun is what we do here. Thanks for the visit, Arto!

    • lol, Kaela–I have you fooled if you think I know things of value πŸ˜‰ Yes to easy-ish. Yes even to really easy-ish. And once you get the hang of it, you can make them in your sleep. Biggest trick is to get the whipped mixture into the coated pan asap as it gets stickier and harder to work with the longer it sits. You must try πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  6. The red wine ones are a gorgeous colour. And I’m curious…you made root beer marshmallows for the kids–does the alcohol really not cook out of the marshmallows during the cooking process? Or would they just not be fond of the flavour, you think?

    • Thanks, Jenny! The kids would have been fine with the spiked ‘mallows, but couldn’t imagine sweet red wine or sherry appealing to them. Root beer floats were the ticket. We even floated them on root beer floats–highly recommend.

  7. I almost choked on my coffee when I read that you had overloaded on ‘mallows! Say it ain’t so! Though as a girl with a sweet tooth, I totally appreciate the feeling of a sugar coma. Sometimes it is possible to eat too much of a good thing. But I can’t wait to hear more about the class — sounds like quite the adventure!

    • Didn’t mean to shock you, J. I was just in serious sugar overload. Marshmallows tasted much better to me the next day and I am still munching on them πŸ™‚ Wondering why we’re sweet tooth girls and others are not? Who knows… Will keep you in the loop re: class. Not sure how much we’ll actually be able to make in that time,but there will be lots of tasting. Thanks for coming by πŸ™‚

  8. Gosh you are so creative, they sound great! I cant believe you are done with the marshmallow! What I want someone to come up with is a gelatine free marshmallow, have you tried that? Good luck with the marshmallow class!

    • Thanks, Jayne! Am certainly not done with the ‘mallows. Just ate way too many that afternoon. I’ll be back at it for sure. I’ve seen recipes for vegan marshmallows. Don’t know if these are any good, but they do look tasty.

  9. Wait, Liz… there’s a MARSHMALLOW CLASS at a local school?!? That’s insanely unbelievable. Is this like a one-day thing for elementary school/high school kids, or is this a culinary school? In any case, that seems like a pretty awesome gig!

    • am teaching at a culinary school for a local grocer–it’s high-brow stuff, Dave πŸ˜‰ It’s a good gig, though more about fun than making dollars. Definitely a one-day (2 hour, actually) thing. don’t have THAT much to say, haha.

  10. I *love* that you are are teaching a marshmallow class! What fun!! I would so be there if I lived anywhere nearby. These look delicious, Liz! I’m having a hard time believing they don’t taste as good as they look – definitely has to be marshmallow overload. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you πŸ™‚ They taste great, yes, but I had more than I needed that day. Much better to much on every now and again. One at a time! OK, maybe two πŸ˜‰

  11. I hope you had a great time during your break. The marshmallows look heavenly! My evil twin wants to know if they react the same way as store-bought marshmallows in the microwave. . .but I’d hate to waste a perfectly grand marshmallow to find out. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Tracy. The break was nice, thanks. Tropical it was not, but I got to sleep until 10 each day and I think I’d rather have that. Your evil twin knows me well, as I absolutely tossed a root beer ‘mallow in the MW and it melted down nicely. It did blow up, but collapsed quickly after that. The store-bought tend to stay puffed. (which is how they got their name, haha)

  12. Pingback: soy brownies and rum? | food for fun

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