Holy Mole!

I’ve walked through my gramma’s house at least a thousand times. I could tell you about the newspaper clippings that were on her fridge, and the pictures of all her grandkids that sat atop the desk in the living room with the gold shaggy carpet. Of course, I remembered those pictures because there was one of every grandkid, but me – there were two! I could tell you, years ago, about every hair product in her bathroom, because as she used to say, I liked to “plunder”, and plunder I did, every time I visited. I loved gramma’s house, every corner of it.

Without fail, there was a pound cake on the edge of the counter every Sunday, unsliced, guarded by a heavy glass dome that I couldn’t reach without assistance, or a chair. There were oatmeal cakes in the cupboard, and there was a trashcan made of egg cartons in my dad’s old room. I can still see it all – as if looking at a snow globe, those details never changed. And while the sights were always so clear in my head, I also remember a distinct smell, a smell that emanated from the kitchen, for sure, but one that I could never identify. Until this weekend.

It was lard. That’s probably weird to at least some of you, right? Okay, most of you. And not just regular lard from a container, but hot, almost smoking lard. I’d be willing to bet that most people who cook with lard don’t enjoy that smell, but for me, it took me back like no other. Strangely enough, it was the first time I’d ever cooked with it, and I’m not quite sure why, really. But as is customary for a Sunday around here, I awoke with an idea in my head of what I wanted to make for dinner that night, with expectations of spending a decent amount of time in the kitchen.

I decided that I wanted to make a mole sauce.

So that’s what I did. And so, I consulted the first person that comes to mind when I think of authentic, time-consuming Mexican food, and that’s Rick. Rick Bayless, that is. Now, most authentic moles take days to make, I know that, but Rick said this one is a good start for only a few hours work. There are oodles of iterations of moles, but this one is loaded with chiles, and as a result is a mole rojo. Moles use a ton of ingredients, including lots of dried but rehydrated chiles, chocolate, nuts, and even raisins. Moles are complexity at its best – spicy, rich, chocolatey, vibrant – flavors that most certainly take some time to develop. The better your ingredients, the better your mole. And in that respect, I finally broke down and bought lard, because Rick said to.

The lard got hot, and immediately I recognized the smell as something that was really prevalent in my life, but this time I couldn’t remember right away where it was coming from. A couple of whiffs later, it was crystal clear. Yeah, you could say the Southern ladies in my family don’t mess around in the kitchen, and if the taste of their food has anything to do with the fact that they use lard in their cooking, well, now I’m sold. I can’t believe it took a cookbook from a Mexican-influenced chef to do the trick, but hey, you take it where you will, I reckon.

Anyway, I’m happy to report that, even though I cut this recipe in half (the book I used is for fiestas, not two-person dining, you see), there is plenty left over after generously using the other half to sop up some mole-painted chicken. I tweeted Rick and he said he’d make enchiladas with the leftovers, and I think he might be on to something. For now, there’s a container in the freezer, just waiting for enchilada inspiration. And hopefully, it won’t take nearly as long to get around to that as it did to use lard. I doubt it will.

Lacquered Chicken in Classic Red Mole
adapted from Fiesta at Rick’s; serves 4 with leftover mole

time commitment: long. 4 hours, most of which requires active attention, minus 30 minutes or so. but don’t let that deter you!

printable version

ingredients
mole
5 oz tomatillos, husked and rinsed (2 large)
3/4 c roasted sesame seeds
1/2 c pork lard (or vegetable oil)
5 medium dried mulato chiles (~3 oz)
3 medium dried ancho chiles (1.5 oz)
4 medium dried pasilla chiles (1.5 oz)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 c almonds
1/2 c raisins
1/2 t ground Mexican cinnamon (canela)
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t ground anise
pinch of g cloves
1 slice toasted white bread, torn into pieces
1 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1.5 quarts lo-sodium chicken broth
salt
1/3 c sugar

chicken
1/4 c agave nectar
4 pieces of chicken (I used leg quarters)
cilantro, for garnish

instructions
turn broiler to high. broil tomatillos about 4 inches from flame until black and soft, about 5 minutes per side. put in a large bowl and set aside. add half of sesame seeds to bowl with tomatillos, and save the other half for garnishing at the end.

turn on your exhaust fan; it’s about to get smoky in here! using a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the lard over medium heat. meanwhile, seed and stem the chiles, and break into large pieces. once the lard is hot, fry the chiles in 3-4 batches, flipping them constantly until aromatic and the insides are lightened (20-30 seconds for each batch). be careful not to over-toast. put them in a large bowl and cover with hot water; seal the bowl with plastic wrap and let rehydrate for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure all parts become submerged.

meanwhile, remove any chile seeds from the pot. add garlic and almonds to pot and fry, stirring regularly, until browned, about 5 minutes. remove and add to tomatillo bowl. add raisins to hot pot and fry until puffed and browned; add to tomatillos. set pan aside, away from heat.

to the tomatillo mixture, add spices, bread, and chocolate. add 1 cup of water and stir to combine.

pour the chiles, 2 cups of water from the bowl, and 1 cup of tap water into a blender, and blend to a smooth puree (you may want to do this in 2 batches, depending on the size of your blender). pour out the rest of the chile water. press puree through a medium sieve into the same large bowl and discard pieces that don’t make it through.

reheat the lard in the pot over medium heat. add more lard if there isn’t much in the pot. once the lard is very hot, pour the chile puree into the pot. the pot should simmer loudly, then die down some, but should continue to keep a low boil. continue to boil, stirring every couple of minutes until reduced to tomato paste consistency (~15-20 minutes). (If you have a splatter screen, use it, or you’ll be cleaning up a lot, like I did.)

meanwhile, puree the tomatillo mixture as smoothly as possible, adding a little water if needed. Strain back into the bowl. Once the chile puree has reduced, add tomatillo mixture and cook, stirring every few minutes until darker and thicker, about 10-15 minutes.

add broth to pot and simmer over medium to medium-low for about 1.5 hours. if the mole becomes thick (Rick says thicker than a cream soup), add some water. season with salt and the sugar.

heat oven to 350 F. place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. baked chicken for 25 minutes. meanwhile, mix together 1/2 c of mole and the agave nectar into a small saucepan, and heat until glossy and reduced to 1/2 c, about 15 minutes. once chicken is baked, remove from oven and increase oven temp to 400 F. brush chicken with mole/agave mixture and sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds. bake for 10 minutes. removed from oven and let sit ~7 minutes. serve each portion with extra mole and garnish with cilantro.

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Way Overdue

I don’t pretend to pay too much attention to what goes on around here. Oblivious? Well, no. But truthfully, I more or less talk about whatever recipe is on my mind without so much as a thought about whether it’s been pasta overload or slim pickin’s in the sweet category, or you know, more of that.

But for once, I actually did do that. Think, I mean. And this resulted: we are way overdue to talk about macaroons.

Not to be confused with the adorable macaron, these here morsels of goodness are feisty while the French similarly-spelled-but-that’s-it treats are graceful. Macarons are intimidating, what with their folding and piping and turning on and off of the oven; macaroons can be made in one’s sleep, or while intoxicated, or both. Macarons are a tease, but macaroons are, well, easy.

I can’t imagine a macaroon without shredded coconut, but I can envision exactly 10,148 ways of flavoring macarons.

Of course, macaroons aren’t meant for the days when you’re feeling creative, and they certainly aren’t meant for the days when you want to spend hours in the kitchen concocting your best dessert production yet. What they’re meant for are the other times – the most of the times, days filled with other obligations and pantries containing only a few random ingredients.

Let’s face it: we all like a few challenges in life, but at the end of the day, these little things, treats that are always way overdue, these are the ones we appreciate the most, aren’t they?

Coconut Macaroons w/ Chocolate Drizzle
adapted loosely from Epicurious; makes  ~2 dozen

time commitment: 1 hour, including cooling time

printable version

ingredients
2 egg whites
2 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
kosher salt
1 1/2 c sweetened flaked coconut
1 c dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

instructions
put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 300 F. line baking sheet with parchment paper.

stir together egg white, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until combined, then stir in coconut. divide mixture into small mounds, dropping onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart from one another.

bake until tops are pale golden in spots, ~15 minutes, then carefully lift parchment and macaroons and place on baking rack to cool completely (they will harden more at this point), about 15 minutes.

meanwhile, dump chocolate chips into a microwavable bowl. zap in microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring between each zap, until chocolate chips are melted and smooth. dip a fork into the melted chocolate and wave it over the macaroons, so as to sling the chocolate onto them. coat until you’re happy, and let the chocolate dry over the macaroons before eating. (Alternatively, you could dip these in chocolate in place of or in addition to drizzling chocolate. Just sayin’.)

Give it a Go

Would you consider yourself a do-er, or a procrastinator? They each have their benefits, their advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation.

In general, I’d consider myself a do-er; I like to “get things over with”, a trait that works well in places like school or when it comes to cleaning, and washing dishes. Deadlines are rarely an issue for me, and I am of the opinion that in not having the pressure of deadlines that in general I live a pretty low-stress life with minimal drama. I like it like that.

But 2011 has been a very different year for me. I’ve been behind at work, finding myself staying late and arriving early (if you know me, these things rarely happen in my life, but maybe that’s job-specific) only to find that clinic notes are still left undone, emails left unopened, and so on. I have to constantly look at my calendar, rearrange my schedule, and once I forgot an appointment completely.

I guess you never really know how things will turn out, how life will unwind, and when things might be more stressful than usual, right? But typically, they turn out just fine, once you give it a go.

Hence the macarons finally making a debut here. I have been terribly afraid of making these, and if you look at the recipe source you’ll notice this recipe has been clipped and in my stack since 2009. And I claim to not typically put things off, ha! But as a testament to how I typically roll, a semi-successful go at macarons a few weeks ago made me realize that even the scariest things, or recipes, probably aren’t half as bad as you expect them to be.

Plus, they are so damn cute now, aren’t they?

Chocolate Macarons
Adapted from Food & Wine, December 2009; makes 2-3 dozen

ingredients
1 1/4 c confectioners’ sugar
1 1/3 c almond flour (or almond meal)
2 1/2 T unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
2/3 c granulated sugar 
2 T water
1/2 c heavy cream 
w t light corn syrup 
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

instructions
Preheat the oven to 400 and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large, wide bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the almond flour and cocoa powder. Add 2 of the egg whites and mix until evenly moistened.

In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with the water and bring to a boil; using a moistened pastry brush, wash down any crystals from the side of the pan. Boil over high heat until the syrup reaches 240 on a candy thermometer.

In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat the remaining 3 egg whites until soft peaks form. With the mixer at high speed, carefully drizzle the hot sugar syrup over the egg whites and beat until the meringue is firm and glossy.

Stir one-fourth of the meringue into the almond-cocoa mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining meringue. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip; pipe onto the prepared baking sheets in 1 1/2-inch mounds, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Tap the sheets and let dry at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Transfer the meringues to the oven and immediately turn off the heat. Bake the meringues for 5 minutes. Turn the oven on to 400 again and bake the meringues for 8 minutes, until the meringues are puffed and the tops are firm and glossy. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the meringues cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the cream with the corn syrup and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and let stand until melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Transfer the ganache to a bowl and let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally; it will become very thick.

Carefully peel the meringues off of the parchment paper. Spoon the ganache into a small pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip. Alternatively, use a resealable sturdy plastic bag and snip off a corner. Pipe the ganache onto the flat sides of half of the meringues. Top with the remaining meringues and serve.

Banana-fana-fo-fuffins

I used to eat Luna Bars for breakfast every day. The chocolate-raspberry and caramel nut brownie were my two favorites, with the cookies n’ cream and the peppermint bars taking a very close 3rd and 4th, respectively. I used to buy 20 bars at a time, stocking up every 4 weeks and driving the checkout clerks at Whole Foods bonkers, at least the ones who rang up each flavor separately. I preferred the ones who cheated, gave me the “10% off case discount”, and rang them up all at once.

After the 1-2 year Luna phase (not to be confused with a ‘lunar phase’, which is related to the illuminated portion of the moon and is much less than 2 years…), I went into oatmeal phase and stayed there, switching between Quaker and Kashi brands, for almost a year. I grew tired of washing my oatmeal bowl at work every morning, and those days when I didn’t wash it, I felt icky and it was harder to wash the next time, further enhancing the annoyance. And plus, homemade oatmeal for dinner, laden with brown sugar, dried cranberries, and walnuts, is much better, and I like to do that once a week to keep the oatmeal vibe alive ;).

Then those granola bars, those lovely granola bars, came into my life. I make different versions of them regularly, recently using barley in place of oats (more protein & fiber) and dried blueberries for the fruit (which ain’t cheap, so that won’t happen often, that’s for sure). They are perfectly chewy but still crunchy, healthy but still somewhat sweet and tasty, and most importantly they are filling.

I’m still in granola bar phase, but every so often it’s nice to rotate something into the weekly mix, and generally that rotation includes muffins. I was inspired by a plethora of posts using bananas and chocolate chips over the past few weeks, including David’s banana cake and Kristin’s banana chocolate walnut cake, and set out to make a healthy breakfast version to use some bananas I’d frozen (cryogenic-style, to preserve their ripeness) a couple of weeks ago.

[For those of you turning your nose up, stop it. Right this instant. Those ‘naners are perfectly edible and when baking, the darker they are, the better. I like to let them get really dark before freezing them, as they’re most tasty at that point.]

I’m also recently turned on by non-all-purpose flours, and after a little research I surmised that bananas and spelt flour would be soulmates, or something. Ironically, I’d just bought some for a focaccia recipe (stay tuned, friends), so out of the freezer the ‘naners came and after a little thawing, straight into the oven they went, along with some spelt flour, some walnuts, and chocolate (banana’s other soulmate; it has more than one..).

The end result? Like I said, a match made in heaven, for certain.

Have any of you used spelt flour? And if so, what for?

Mo’ breakfast:
Tomato-Poached Eggs
Homemade Granola Bars
Oat Bran & Fruit Muffins

 

Muffins, Muffins, bo-buffins,
Banana-fana fo-fuffins,
Fee-fi-mo-muffins,
Muffins!

 

Spelt Banana-Chocolate-Walnut Muffins
Adapted from Wednesday Food Blogging

printable version

Did I mention these lil’ muffins are vegan? Probably not, since I’m not a vegan. It just sorta happened that way, as I was searching for ultra-healthy adaptations. And FYI, the flax seeds are a great substitute for eggs that provide loads of fiber and omega-3’s (1 T ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp water (or other liquid) = 1 egg). Lovely even for us non-vegans.
ingredients
2 tablespoons organic flax seeds, ground
1/4 cup water
1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1/2 c chocolate chips, optional
1 T dark Jamaican rum
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup walnut oil (or vegetable oil)

 

instructions
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray; set aside. Whisk ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl; set aside.

Combine spelt flour through chocolate chips in small bowl. Combine rum, bananas, sugar and walnut oil in a larger bowl, add flax mixture. Add dry ingredients, a half cup at a time, and stir until combined. Pour into prepared muffin tins and bake for ~30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean. If necessary, cover with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.

*Of note, various sites claim that, although spelt flour is not gluten-free, it’s tolerated by people with wheat allergies. Anyone know why?

I Heard You Wanted S’more Marshmallows?

I will not apologize for what you see here, nor the recipe that follows. In fact, my post from Friday foreshadowed an occurence such as this (speaking of Friday, don’t forget to vote for this Friday’s post over to your right) and therefore, if you did your reading, you should not be too terribly surprised.

What I will say, instead, is that, if you ever have the desire to splurge, or perhaps to impress a large group of hungry chocoholics, this is the post for you. For today, don’t worry yourself with sugar content, calories, or fear of  trying a daunting recipe and failing miserably. Take a deep breath, and make the jump.

Because I promise you, I promise you, it’s well worth it. Just ask any of the 7 of us who downed two batches of these babies this past weekend. In a matter of minutes, in between Rock Band sets, many delicious s’mores were consumed – without guilt, instead with unadulterated happiness.

For starters, have you made the marshmallows yet? Or did you take a look at them, perhaps print the recipe(s), and still just haven’t found the time to pull that stand mixer out? Well, life is all about second chances. I’m giving you one now.

And while you’re making the marshmallows, you can also throw together a batch of graham crackers (we even have a gluten-free version here, so that’s not an excuse either!). I’m serious. The ingredients come together without a hitch in your food processor, and the taste isn’t even comparable to the over-processed Nabisco product. The best part about them? The fact that you made them, and you know exactly what you put into them.

Now, take those tasty marshmallows, if you can muster up the strength to not eat them right out of the pan, and sandwich them between your beautiful homemade graham crackers. Slide a chunk of chocolate in there and let your oven melt the chocolate and the marshmallow into a gooey, stringy, warm heavenly mess that, within an instant of eating said mess, will remind you of all things good in the world.

Like all those times when your gramma put s’mores into the toaster oven for you while you were stuck at her house all summer long watching The Price is Right, and even though she had a pool, you couldn’t go swimming in it unless your mom was there. But having s’mores was what made that ok, because you could stand on that little stool in the green-tiled kitchen and watch those quiet metal rods in the toaster turn into orange fire, orange fire that magically made the marshmallow and chocolate (or even peanut butter) pieces turn into hot liquid before your very eyes. Eating those, even though she never seemed to make quite enough, was enough to make gramma’s house fun. How I wish I could go there today – with or without the s’mores – but instead I treasure that memory, which is more than enough to make me smile.

Maybe your gramma didn’t make s’mores for you? Evenso, I’d be willing to bet that the sheer thought of s’mores takes you to a better place. A place where life is easier, a place where happiness is abounding, or a place where your biggest care in the world was deciding who would get the last one.

Tell me, where is that place for you?

Homemade Mint S’mores
makes ~1 dozen ooey, gooey, samiches

printable version, with gluten-free graham crackers
printable version, with regular graham crackers

ingredients
1 batch of homemade graham crackers (recipes below)
1 batch of homemade mint marshmallows (recipe below)
2 or 3 Hershey’s milk chocolate candy bars

instructions
preheat oven to 350 F. line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper. place half of graham crackers on sheet. put a marshmallow on each cracker. put chocolate piece (you choose the size) on top of marshmallow. place remaining graham crackers atop.

bake in oven for ~10 minutes, or until chocolate melts and marshmallow begins oozing all over the place. remove and let cool for a couple of minutes and pretty them up before serving (will have fallen over in oven, so you will have to put them back together somewhat).

eat 1. eat another. keep eating until they are all gone.

Gluten-Free Graham Crackers
adapted from Shauna, makes 1-2 dozen crackers

if you have questions about storing these, I’d suggest you go to the source and click on Shauna’s link above. and although I think this recipe turned out just fine, if you have the ingredients listed on her site, I’d recommend following hers to the letter – she’s the expert!

printable version (crackers only)

ingredients
2.5 oz sorghum flour
2.5 oz brown rice flour
2.5 oz tapioca flour
2.5 oz all purpose gluten-free flour (or sweet rice, as Shauna uses, if you have it)
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking powder
3/4 t xanthan gum
1/2 t salt
7 T unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 c honey
3 to 6 T cold water
cinnamon sugar, optional

special equipment: a food processor, a rolling pin and if you want jagged edges, a fluted pastry cutter

instructions
Measure out the sorghum, brown rice, tapioca, and all purpose flours and put into food processor. Mix together. Add the cinnamon, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix until everything is well combined.

Cut the butter into small pieces. Add to the flours in the food processor. Pulse until the butter is incorporated into the flours. The mixture should have a coarse texture.

Stir together the honey and 3 T of the water. With the food processor running, pour in the honeyed water. Let the food processor run for a few minutes, allowing the dough to form a ball. If it still has not come together entirely after a few minutes of processing, add the remaining cold water, a tablespoon at a time. (I ended up using 5 T)

Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Have another piece of parchment paper ready for rolling.

Cut the ball of dough in half. Return the other half to the refrigerator. Put the ball of dough onto the parchment-lined sheet tray. Cover it with the other piece of parchment paper. Carefully, roll out the dough to a rectangle about 1/2 the length of the sheet tray, or until the dough is about 1/4-inch thick (there will be extra ragged edges). Cut the dough into desired shape and number of pieces. Dust with cinnamon sugar if desired and roll over to make it stick. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes. Repeat with other half of dough ball.

After 15 minutes, using the tines of a fork, prick holes into the crackers in whatever pattern you want. Bake the graham cracker dough until golden brown and starting to be hard, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the tray halfway through to even baking. Allow them to cool on the sheet tray until they are cool; they will harden as they cool.

 

Graham Crackers
adapted from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It; makes ~2-3 dozen

in the event that you aren’t going to demolish these right away, two at a time with chocolate and marshmallow in the center, these babies will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container. they could also be frozen for 2 months – just unthaw for a couple of hours before eating.

printable version (crackers only)

ingredients
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 c all purpose flour
1 t kosher salt
2 t baking powder
1/3 c unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 c honey
1/4 c blackstrap molasses
1/3 c + 4 T sugar
1/4 c 2% milk
1/2 t vanilla extract
cinnamon sugar, optional

special equipment: a food processor, a rolling pin and if you want jagged edges, a fluted pastry cutter

instructions
Measure out flours and put into food processor. Mix together with salt and baking powder. Mix until everything is well combined.

Cut the butter into small pieces. Add to the food processor. Pulse until the butter is incorporated into the flours. The mixture should have a coarse texture. Add the honey, molasses, and the 1/3 c sugar, blend. Add milk and vanilla and mix until a stiff soft dough forms.

Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Have another piece of parchment paper ready for rolling.

Cut the ball of dough in half. Return the other half to the refrigerator. Put the ball of dough onto the parchment-lined sheet tray. Cover it with the other piece of parchment paper. Carefully, roll out the dough to a rectangle about 1/2 the length of the sheet tray, or until the dough is about 1/4-inch thick (there will be extra ragged edges; should be ~12×15 inches). Cut the dough into desired shape and number of pieces. Dust with cinnamon sugar if desired and roll over to make it stick. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes. Repeat with other half of dough ball.

After 15 minutes, using the tines of a fork, prick holes into the crackers in whatever pattern you want. Bake the graham cracker dough until dark brown and starting to be hard, about 18-22 minutes. Turn the tray halfway through to even baking. Allow them to cool on the sheet tray until they are cool; they will harden as they cool.

Homemade Mint Marshmallows
makes ~2 dozen large marshmallows

another variation on a favorite new treat of mine!

printable version (marshmallow only)

ingredients
3 .25 oz envelopes of unflavored gelatin
2 c sugar
3/4 c corn syrup
1/4 t salt
1 t mint extract
1/2 c of powdered sugar
Water

must-haves
candy thermometer
stand mixer

instructions
Line your square baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray (foil is optional if you use enough spray).

In the bottom of your mixer, mix the gelatin with a 1/2 cup of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

In a large pot, mix together the sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup of water. Insert the candy thermometer and turn the heat onto medium low. Without stirring, let the syrup cook until it reaches 248 degrees.

Remove from heat and slowly add sugar syrup to the gelatin mixture. Add the salt and mix at high speed for 10 minutes or until it’s fluffy and tripled in size (may take less time, so check). Add the mint extract and pour marshmallow fluff into prepared pan.

Let it set for at least four hours. Remove marshmallow slab from the pan. Cover both sides of slab with powdered sugar. With a sharp knife, cut marshmallow into squares using scissors or a sharp knife coated in cooking spray or powdered sugar.