September 18, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows

I don't know why I do this to myself every year.

I blame the internet. It's peer-pressured me into doing things I don't want to do. But at the time, I think I do want it, because I see all the pretty pictures on Pinterest, and I go hmmm, that does sound good. And then I open the can, and the smell hits me, and I don't want to continue, but I do because otherwise I opened that can for nothing.

I still don't like pumpkin, you guys. I've tried and I've tried. Every year, I get seduced by the "pumpkin ALL THE things" season. Every year I make something, and think, "this is going to be awesome because the internet has lead me to believe that all things with pumpkin taste like rainbows and sparkles." And then every year I remember, "oh yeah, I don't like pumpkin."
These marshmallows are no exception. They are very pumpkiny. Not gonna lie, it was very difficult for me to taste one. The smell of pumpkin puts me off. But they taste like pumpkin, if you like that sort of thing.

I wish I could tell you, "Oh these are the best marshmallows in the world," and "the flavors meld together because of this, this, and this." But I'd be pulling that out of my behind, and I think we know each other well enough by now to not be disingenuous, don't you agree?

They're very sweet. They're very pumpkiny. They've got a little season-appropriate spice. If you're into that sort of thing, you'll like these marshmallows. If not, come sit by me and let's commiserate over the not-liking-pumpkin-during-pumpkin-everything-season thing.

Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
Yield: 77 marshmallows (in theory)
1/2 cup cold water
3 packets unflavored gelatin (about 3 tbsp.)
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
1½ cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
Non-stick cooking spray
Powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add ½ cup of the water, gelatin, and spices and let soften. Spray a 7x11” baking dish with cooking spray and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar. Set aside.

In a LARGE saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, molasses, and salt. Heat on low, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Heat mixture to boiling. Let boil, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 240°F (the soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

Start the mixer on low speed, and CAREFULLY add the syrup to the softened gelatin (please utilize a splatter shield, if available). Increase the speed to high, and whip until the mixture is off-white, fluffy, and tripled in size, about 10 minutes. Using a rubber spatula sprayed with cooking spray, quickly fold in the pumpkin puree and spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Let sit uncovered overnight.

Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter sprayed with cooking spray, cut the marshmallows into 1 inch squares. Toss in powdered sugar and serve.

NOTE: The sugar syrup is extremely hot and can be dangerous if not handled correctly. It will boil violently, so use a large saucepan to avoid spills. Use potholders and splatter shields when necessary,
and always avoid distractions when making any kind of candy.

Recipe by Kim