Caramel Wrapped Marshmallows

These were my gift to my Dad for Father’s Day. When in doubt, delicious foods or desserts always make wonderful gifts for men. I have a slight problem with baking for my father, he lives several thousand miles away. So, anything I make cannot require refrigeration and must be able to withstand the extraordinary abuse dished out by the postal system.  His favorite candies are the Scotch Kisses from See’s Candies so I set out to recreate them.

I have not always had the greatest success with candy making. I would find a recipe and set off to make it with great enthusiasm, then swear off candy making forever. A year or so later, when the burns had healed, I would start the process over, once again causing burns, property damage and personal shame at having to throw away entire pots encased in hardened sugar.  Candy making is not for the faint of heart. However, this year something magical has happened. This is the second candy recipe that has turned out perfectly. This is strange and wonderful, but I’m not complaining.

The key to candy making is to be wildly vigilant when it comes to monitoring the temperature of the boiling sugar. Just five degrees too hot or too cold can completely wreck the final product, so watch that sugar like a hawk! Also, please be careful and wear long sleeves, jeans, shoes and sometimes oven mits (see above burn comments – hot sticky sugar is a dangerous thing).

Caramel Wrapped Marshmallows (From Not So Humble Pie, found on Pinterest)

Caramel:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter (if you use salted butter, reduce added salt to 1/4 teaspoon)

Begin by buttering a rimmed sheet pan or a marble slab (if you are fortunate enough to have one. Do this first because you won’t have time once the hot caramel is ready!

Get a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. The cooking caramel will triple in volume during cooking and you do not want this suff on your stove! Combine the sugar, cream, and ONE CUP of the heavy cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and slowly pour in the remaining cup of cream. If you dump it all in at once the temperature will suddenly drop and you can end up with a giant lump of hard sugar welded to your pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and let it boil for 5 minutes without stirring, but don’t walk away from it. Now, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, stirring and letting it melt after each addition. Go slow again to avoid sudden temperature drops. Clip on your candy thermometer (making sure the end of the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pan – that will give an inaccurately hot reading) and let it boil until it reaches exactly 250F. This will take 30-40 minutes but please, don’t walk away from a molten pot of sugar in your kitchen. Just hang out and watch it, if the temperature is rising too quickly, turn the heat down. But if you’re still not at 250F in 40 minutes, turn it up a bit. The very moment the caramel reaches 250F, pour it into your waiting buttered pan. Do not scrape it out of the pot, just pour. you can scrape the leftovers into a separate dish, but they might crystallize and that would ruin your entire caramel sheet. Let it cool for several hours and work on your marshmallows.

Marshmallows:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 4 envelopes (1oz total) of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups water, divided

Spray a 9×13 glass pan with cooking spray or lightly oil it. Once again, do this first so your pan will be waiting when the hot marshmallow is ready.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites to stiff but not dry peaks (Kitchenaid level 4 for approximately 6 minutes). Add the vanilla and turn the mixer off.

Pour the gelatin into 3/4 cup cold water in a heatproof bowl and let it bloom for five minutes. fill a pan that is slightly smaller than the bowl half full with water and bring it to a simmer.

In a large saucepan, combine 3/4 cup water, sugar and corn syrup over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then stop stirring and put in your candy thermometer. Let it reach 260F, this will take approximately ten minutes. While it is boiling, place the bowl with the gelatin over the pan of simmering water and whisk until all the gelatin dissolves.

The moment the sugar hits 260F, turn off the heat and start whisking with all your might. Slowly drizzle in the gelatin. It will get huge so for the love of everything keep whisking if you don’t want to be up all night cleaning sugar off the stove. The moment all the gelatin is in, turn the mixer with the egg whites back on and slowly drizzle in the hot sugar/gelatin mixture. It will look a bit soupy, but that’s ok, it will get better. Keep that mixer roaring away on level 6 for 7-8 minutes.

Quickly pour all the marshmallow into the oiled pan. It’s ok to scrape it all out with a rubber spatula. Gently smooth the top of the marshmallow and let it cool for several hours until it sets.

Don’t worry, you’ll have leftover marshmallow for hot chocolate.

Once everything is cool (you can leave it overnight if you like), un-mold the marshmallow from the pan onto a piece of oiled parchement. Cut a strip of marshmallow about 1 1/2 inches wide from the shorter side. Now, place that strip of marshmallow at the end of the shorter side of the sheet of caramel and roll the marshmallow until it is encased in the caramel, Use a pizza cutter to cut it free from the rest of the caramel. Repeat this process until you run out of caramel. You will have long logs of caramel wrapped marshmallow. Refridgerate them for 1 hour, this will make them easier to cut. Once they are cool, use a sharp knife to cut the logs into bite sized pieces. Don’t over chill them or they will be hard as rocks and you will just have to wait for them to warm up a little. Wrap each piece in waxed paper and store in an airtight container. Wrapping them is important, because caramel is a liquid. Even though they look lovely after you cut them, the caramel will slowly start to run off the sides.

Pack them all up and mail them to your father. Or pack some up and take them to work, or give them to the babysitter, but you will want to share them because they are delicious and this recipie makes a lot of them!

If you don’t have a sufficient sugar high yet, I have an idea for the leftover marshmallows.

It starts like this.

 Impale a marshmallow on a chopstick and carefully toast it over your stove, grill or campfire. I think you know what to do next.

Yum! The homemade marshmallows melt so much more evenly than the storebought variety and make for wonderfully gooey s’mores.

Devour, repeat as needed.

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Comments

  1. ddd,
    you made your dad very, very happy. and because he shares, i’m happy too!
    so much effort!!! but they are so good, it was worth the time and trouble, and potential damage to self and property.
    ilym, mom

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