Newsflash poppets, we have a major cooking crush on the Barefoot Contessa. Our love for the most marvelous East Hampton-based baker is well documented.
Biscuits, barks, scones & cupcakes - we recreate her recipes whenever we have the chance.
Her books are the most thumbed through in our embarassingly large collection. Her show is the most watched. Her party barn is the most wanted.
And can we talk about those darling little button downs? How does she get her collars to stay up like that? Starch? Is that just starch? Should we start doing that? Yes? No? Yes?
Wait, where were we? The party barn and those shirts, we lose our train of thought whenever we start thinking about them...dangerous daydreamining. Um...oooh oooh yes! Ok we remember.
Y'all. Little miss Ina makes a mean marshmallow. We mean, you would too if you had a festive barn complete with outdoor fire pit.
That just screams hot cocoa & big plaid blankets and Christmas caroling around the crackling fire! Or s'mores...after a big old 4th of July lobster party complete with back yard fireworks! Or...um...er...rice krispie treats...??
Whatever. Ina made them, therefore we made them.
Uh and seriously, why have we been buying these things for the last 30 years!? Homemade is the way to go. They're insanely fluffy and delicious, and despite the boiling sugar part, fairly foolproof to execute.
And that's coming from two gals who seriously struggle whenever a candy thermometer is in the picture.
But trust us. You can make these. Hot chocolate will never be the same again. Trust the contessa. Trust the party barn.
Trust those darling little button downs.
Homemade Vanilla-Almond Marshmallows
Makes 24 large marshmallows
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa: Family Style
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Generously dust the bottom of an 8 x 12 glass baking dish with powdered sugar and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water and allow to sit while you make the sugar syrup.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup cold water and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium high and cook until the sugar syrup reads 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.
Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin in a steady stream. Once all the syrup has been added, turn the mixer to high & whisk until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla & almond extract* and mix to combine.
Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Dust liberally with more powdered sugar and allow to sit uncovered for at least 8 hours to dry out.
Store marshmallows very loosely covered at room temperature.
*We used vanilla & almond flavorings but you could use anything you like. Peppermint or orange extracts, even coffee, would all be delicious.