Asheville Eats Marshmallows

 marshmallowsWith summer drawing to a close and the beginning of Autumn upon us, it's time to start looking forward to plan for the most colorful season Asheville has to offer. Even at this time of the year, late night bonfires are a favorite way for families and friends to close out the day together. S'mores, hot cocoa, games of chubby bunny or just going to town of a bag of marshmallows, there are a million ways to make memories with this tiny treat. Simply put, who doesn't love a good marshmallow.

Mallow Out

This was one of my sisters and mine favorite recipes to test. Aside from all the goofiness of making something that has so many white, powdered ingredients that got everywhere - and I do mean everywhere - it was really fun to watch all the stages the "marsh" goes through before it enters  it's "mallow" state. Seriously, even if you're starting to be more on the hate side of the inevitable love-hate relationship that marshmallows inspire, these will change your life. The vanilla is the key to the flavor; my family is a big advocate of vanilla, we put it in 
marshmallow-recipe-card-printablepretty much everything, so we were pretty generous in our measurement of "1 teaspoon". For the consistency there are two steps that it is vital to keep track of. First, when the recipe card says "ice cold water", it really does mean to use cold water. Room temp or warm will not work, you have to keep it as cold as you can until you use it. Second, it can take a while for the mixture in the saucepan up to 240 degrees. The recipe says it will take it around 10 minutes from the time it goes into the saucepan to the time it's up to temp. It took us around half an hour to get it up to temp while making sure the mixture didn't scald.
After the last step, before you spread the "marsh" on the cookie sheets, it's the consistency of marshmallow fluff, but once again, it's so much better! Recently, we've discovered that most the people in our family are gluten intolerant, so we've been doing a lot of experimenting with gluten free meals and desserts. One of our favorite gluten free alternatives to s'mores (which are obviously not gluten free) is spreading some of the pre-set marshmallow "fluff" on a lightly salted rice cake with Nutella, and sometimes peanut butter as well. Rice Crispies are another great gluten-free recipe for the marshmallows. Conveniently enough, they use one full batch of marshmallows for each batch Rice Crispies!
No matter what you do with your marshmallows, or how avidly you avoid gluten, making these little morsels and then putting them in whatever treat you use them for will be a great family experience. The memories you make eating half the batch before it sets (trust me, you will), staring at the candy thermometer, and spreading and dusting it on the cookie sheet will last a lifetime.

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