FLOATING KITCHEN

Seasonally inspired recipes from 42.79 N, 70.81 W

  • Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle

Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle

Posted on December 11, 2017
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lindt. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands and companies that help to keep my kitchen running!

I have too much “stuff”.

Yes, some of my stuff makes me happy. And yes, some of my stuff is essential to my day-to-day activities. But in general, it just seems like I have way more stuff than I actually need. It can feel overwhelming at times. Especially during the Holiday season.

To try to balance out all this “stuff”, I’ve shifted my gift giving habits over the years to focus more on consumables, either in the form of shared experiences or edible gifts. And today (like pretty much every other day, since this is mainly a food blog!), I want to share one of my favorite homemade treats that’s perfect for gift giving: Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle.

OK, let’s start by discussing some facts about homemade marshmallows. One, they are exactly three million times tastier (and the texture is incredible, too!) than store-bought marshmallows. Two, they are totally customizable. Three, they are easy peasy (I swear!). And four, you and your kitchen will inevitably get sticky in the process.

Yes, that’s right. You will get sticky. And you will end up with a dusting of powdered sugar on just about everything. But just own the mess. Because homemade marshmallows are more than worth it for the little bit of extra clean up.

Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle | www.floatingkitchen.net

Today, I’ve partnered with Lindt to bring you the recipe for these Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle. And let me tell you, the folks at Lindt sure do know a thing or two about edible Holiday gift giving!

Lindt has been part of my Holiday celebrations for as long as I can remember. My Mom and I always fill my Dad’s stocking with Extra Dark LINDOR Truffles (his personal favorite). While I’m partial to the iconic LINDT GOLD BEAR (there is something very satisfying about biting the head off, right?). And we always stock up on Lindt’s exquisite boxed chocolates to use for hostess gifts, party favors and whatever other last minute occasions might come up.

Whether you’re looking to customize a gift, or quickly grab a ready-made festive package, Lindt has you covered. There are 65 Lindt Chocolate Shops across the country (with 18 in New England), so be sure to check out their store locator to find the one closest to you. I guarantee that if you pop in for a visit, you won’t be disappointed. Their chocolate shops are just filled to the brim with sweet inspiration. You’ll easily find tons of ways to share the flavors of the Holiday season with all your family and friends!

Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle | www.floatingkitchen.net

For these Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle, I used my favorite Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% cocoa bars for melting and drizzling. I always have a big stack of Lindt EXCELLENCE bars in my pantry that I use for all my recipes. It melts beautifully and has a wonderful, rich flavor profile. And of course, it’s great just for eating as well! I love the audible snap you can hear when you take a bite out of a Lindt EXCELLENCE bar. That’s always the telltale sign of a premium chocolate bar!

I’m going to be boxing up these homemade marshmallows along with some LINDOR truffles and hot cocoa mix to give out to my family and friends this year. It’s going to be a great edible gift package!

Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle | www.floatingkitchen.net

Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle | www.floatingkitchen.net

I just want to share a few last tips on the recipe before you go off and embark on your journey to marshmallow nirvana. One, you will need a candy thermometer, so make sure you have one on hand. Two, I find the best way to cut back on the amount of mess is to have all your ingredients and kitchen tools at the ready, so you’re not hunting around your kitchen for “stuff” during the process. Three, be generous with the cooking spray and the powdered sugar mixture. And four, if you can wait the full 24 hours for the curing step, I highly recommend that as it will make it much easier to remove and slice the marshmallows.

Oh and most importantly, have FUN! Try playing with different flavors of melted chocolate and toppings. And don’t hold back on the chocolate drizzle. I never do.

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe adapted from my Chocolate-Dipped Gingerbread Spiced Marshmallows

Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle

Yield: Makes about 3 dozen marshmallows

Very Vanilla Marshmallows with Chocolate Drizzle

Ingredients

  • For the Marshmallows
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 (1/4-ounce) packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 fresh vanilla beans, seeds scraped

  • For the Toppings
  • 1 Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% cocoa bar, chopped and melted
  • Crushed peppermint candies
  • Crushed cookies
  • Chopped crystalized ginger

Instructions

  1. Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a bowl.
  2. Generously spray the bottom and sides of a 9 X 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Then coat with the powdered sugar mixture. Set aside.
  3. Add the gelatin to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Then pour 1/2 cup of the water over the gelatin. Let the gelatin bloom while you make the sugar mixture.
  4. In a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and the remaining 1/2 cup of water to a boil, stirring to help dissolve the sugar. Attach your candy thermometer and continue to boil the sugar mixture until it reaches 240-242 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  5. Turn your stand mixer to low-medium speed. Then very carefully start streaming the hot sugar mixture into the bowl. Avoid pouring the sugar mixture directly onto the whisk, or it will splatter. Try to keep the stream near the sides of the bowl. Once all the hot sugar mixture has been added, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and increase the speed to high. Whisk on high for 10 minutes. The mixture will become thick, white and fluffy.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and the scraped vanilla bean seeds. Whisk for 2 minutes more.
  7. Immediately transfer the marshmallow mixture into your prepared pan using a spatula. The mixture will become more sticky over time, so work quickly. Spray the spatula with non-stick cooking spray and use it to smooth and even out the surface of the marshmallow. Then generously cover the top of the marshmallow with some of the powdered sugar mixture. Set the baking pan aside and let the marshmallow rest or “cure”, uncovered, at room temperature for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. Save the remaining powdered sugar mixture.
  8. Once set, remove the marshmallow from the baking pan and place it on a cutting board dusted with some of the powdered sugar mixture. The best tool for this job is your hands, which you can use to slowly work/pry the edges away from the sides of the pan (coat your fingers in the powdered sugar mixture to prevent sticking). Once all the sides have been loosened, the marshmallow should easily come out of the baking pan as one large block.
  9. Once the marshmallow has been removed from the pan, use a very sharp knife to slice the marshmallow into squares. Toss the squares in the remaining powdered sugar mixture to coat all sides. Then place the marshmallow squares on a cooling rack set over a piece of parchment paper.
  10. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the marshmallows. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with any desired toppings. Once the chocolate has set, the marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks, although they are best when eaten within one week of being made.
https://www.floatingkitchen.net/very-vanilla-marshmallows-with-chocolate-drizzle/

 

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  • Maple Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Scones

Maple Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Scones

Posted on December 7, 2017

I had the idea for these Maple Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Scones on Thanksgiving Day. And of course, I had to attempt to make them RIGHT AWAY. Because over the years, I’ve learned that if I don’t execute an idea almost immediately, it will get lost forever in the milieu that is my brain, never to be seen or heard from again.

So…since I had used up all my fresh cranberries for Thanksgiving, I had to go to the grocery store on the day after Thanksgiving to buy some more. This did not go well. Because there wasn’t a fresh cranberry within a 20 mile radius of my home. A fact that I should have anticipated. All the cranberries had all been snatched up for Thanksgiving. So I had no choice but to wait. And try to not lose the idea for these scones until the grocery stores had a chance to re-fill their shelves.

But now, I’m well stocked (cranberries everywhere!) and ready for Christmas baking. I love using cranberries all December long, in everything from savory breads to sweet treats (and don’t forget to throw in a few salads in for balance!). They add such a wonderful, festive touch to any recipe!

These Maple Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Scones aren’t just any ordinary cranberry scone. Nope. These babies are filled with roasted cranberries.

Maple Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Scones | www.floatingkitchen.net

I didn’t want to use dried cranberries (‘tis the season for fresh!), and I worried that fresh cranberries would be too tart in the final baked good (the base recipe for these scones isn’t overly sweet), so I came up with the idea of roasting the fresh cranberries first with maple syrup before folding them into the scone batter. The cranberries get slightly soft and sweet, and end up somewhere between a dried cranberry and a fresh cranberry. It’s the perfect middle ground.

Maple Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Scones | www.floatingkitchen.net

Because I was thinking these scones would be for Christmas morning, I added in big chunks of dark chocolate to make them more decadent. But you could skip the chocolate if you want something more virtuous. I also made them fairly large, using my 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter. Again, feel free to make them smaller if you don’t want to overdo it (or if you have to feed a crowd on Christmas morning).

One thing that’s important in this recipe is to let the roasted cranberries cool COMPLETELY before adding them to the scone batter. Also, the batter will be wet (and will probably turn a little bit pink), and your hand will get messy. But that’s OK. It will all work out!

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

Maple Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Scones

Yield: Makes 9-12 scones

Maple Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Scones

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, thawed if frozen
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cups (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 3/4 cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread the cranberries out onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool completely.
  3. In the bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the cold butter and pulse until you have a coarse crumb.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract and the remaining tablespoon of maple syrup. Then add this liquid mixture to your food processor and pulse until the dough has just barely come together. Be careful not to overmix the dough.
  5. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to fold in the roasted cranberries and chopped dark chocolate. Then turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper dusted with flour and use your hands to shape the dough into a round disk, flattening it so it’s about 1-inch thick. The dough will be slightly wet and tacky. You can flour your hands to help prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
  6. Using a round biscuit or cookie cutter (I used a 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter), cut out circles and place them on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Re-shape the dough scrapes and continue cutting out circles until all the dough has been used up. Sprinkle the tops of the circles with sugar, then transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven and bake the scones for 17-18 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Remove the baking sheet from your oven and allow the scones to rest for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  7. These are best when enjoyed on the day of baking. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days and re-warmed slightly before eating.
https://www.floatingkitchen.net/maple-cranberry-and-dark-chocolate-scones/

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