Marshmallow Playdough

OK not really. I recently found myself in need of some fondant. I don’t really like the taste of fondant and I didn’t like the idea of buy a bunch of it for the tiny little project I needed it for. I remembered reading about homemade marshmallow fondant on The Decorated Cookie and went back to check out what was involved. She had included several other links so I checked those out as well. I also googled “marshmallow fondant” and read some of the recipes that popped up.

Then I decided to wing it.

Here is what I did, it is in no way a perfect recipe for this stuff. I am sure I did several things wrong. I just used things I wanted to from some sources and didn’t do things I didn’t like from others. I will share what worked and what didn’t for me. I think this stuff is pretty forgiving so just play around with it until you get what you want.

First, I thought I would grease the bowl I was going to be working in. This stuff sounded sticky and lots of recipes recommended it so it sounded like a good idea.

This is a trick I learned from my mother. I take a sandwich bag and put my hand inside. I then use my fingers to scoop up vegetable shortening, aka Crisco (That’s what I am using here. If I am using this technique to prepare a cake pan I use butter). I like it because you have super control of where the shortening is going.

Then I poured in about 2 cups of marshmallows. One recipe said to make sure you use a good brand. I used the store brand. I honestly don’t know if it made a difference.

I sprinkled 2 tbsp water over the marshmallows and then did something none of the recipes mentioned. I used a wooden spoon to mix the marshmallows and water. I just felt like they needed to be coated. I don’t know why. I will say that after I microwaved them, the ones around the edges that didn’t have water on them didn’t seem as puffy and melted. It could be I was just wanting to think that my little technique worked, but I can definitely say it didn’t hurt anything. So if you want to stir your marshmallows and water, have at it.

Microwave time was something that no one seemed to agree on. One recipe said 30-40 seconds, another said 2 minutes. I did 45 seconds at first. When they didn’t seem melted enough I added about another 25 seconds. So my total was 1 minute 10 seconds. I probably could have done longer, but in the end I don’t think it mattered.

They come out of the microwave looking like this.

As soon as you start to stir them they lose their shape and become like marshmallow soup. I had a few chunks in mine, which made me think I could have used more time in the microwave, but I am stubborn and so I just mashed the pieces of marshmallow until they smoothed out a little. I think it is ok to have a few little pieces because soon you will be using your hands to knead the mixture and everything gets really smooth then.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: I forgot to mention, before you start to stir the melted mallows coat your wooded spoon in vegetable shortening. I did this and stuff still stuck to my spoon. Really slather it on there.

I measured out 1 lb (16 oz) powdered sugar.

I had read different amounts but since I wasn’t following a recipe I couldn’t remember which amount corresponded with the amount of marshmallows I was using. So I started adding it a little at a time. A few recipes told you to add this mixture to a stand mixer (bowl and blade coated in vegetable shortening of course), but I am not about to make more dishes for myself. One bowl worked fine for me.

About this point I wished I had gotten my mixer involved. It was getting very hard to mix with the spoon. Then I thought, since you have to get your hands in it later anyways, why not get started now.

I slicked up my hands with shortening (noticing a theme here?)

And kept adding powdered sugar until the dough wasn’t sticky anymore. I ended up using about 9 ounces. I think my dough was a little too dry, but since I don’t have much experience I wasn’t sure. 8 ounces might have worked better.

OH YEAH! I almost forgot! Quite a few recipes called for greasing up your counter top or cutting board to knead the dough. I did all of the kneading inside the bowl. I am all for having to clean the fewest surfaces possible. It worked perfectly fine and made this a one bowl/one spoon project. Perfect!

I did put down some wax paper to add my coloring. The skin tone and grey weren’t too bad, but while mixing the blue my hands were completely dyed!

The next morning I had to make some green and brown and I began to wonder if there was a way to do it without turning your hands into rainbows. I started with my ball of white fondant. I flattened it into a pancake and dropped food coloring in the middle. I folded the edges in and then wrapped the whole thing in plastic wrap and started kneading. The plastic wrap kept the dye off my hands, but was really difficult to work with. It also seemed at times that it was so thin it would bust and spill food coloring everywhere.

So then I made anther ball of white, flattened it and added color. This time after I folded the edges in I dropped the whole thing into a sandwich bag. Not perfect, but a lot easier to manipulate the dough. Also the extra dye stayed on the sides of the bag not my hands.

When I had mixed most of it in I took it out of the bag to finish evening out the color. What little green came off on my hands washed easily away with a little soap and water.

So I hope that helps. It is not a perfect recipe, but it worked for me. Again, I used:

  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 8-9 ounces powdered sugar
  • lots of shortening for coating things
  • food coloring
  • sandwich bags
  • and of course 1 bowl and 1 spoon

What did I use the fondant for? You’ll have to wait and see on Tuesday!

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Happy Halloween

Guess what. . . I got another idea from my friend Ashley (and Pinterest).  I wasn’t in the mood to spend the whole day making cookies so I thought I would try a treat with a little less time involved. That is, less active time. This treat needs to chill for  a while. You can get the original recipe and wonderful instructions for Candy Corn Fudge by clicking the following link.  http://www.somethingswanky.com/2011/10/fudge-candy-corn.html. This is her recipe, I am not in any way taking credit for it, I am just documenting my own adventure with it. In fact I am not going to give any proportions for the recipe because you need to visit her site and give her credit for her work.

The first thing you need is a beautiful fall day to walk to the grocery and buy the following ingredients.

Really simple, right? Condensed milk and white chocolate chips. I don’t normally buy name brand but today they were on sale and cheaper than the store brand. Also, you cannot buy my fabulous Americolor food coloring at the grocery store. I read about how great these gel colors were on other blogs and finally bought mine (on amazon.com) and now I have to spread the word. They are AWESOME!

Then you line your 9×9 pan with wax paper. I didn’t know how to make the corners pretty, so they just aren’t. You also need your laptop on the counter so you can check the recipe (see link above).

All the ingredients have to go in the pan, so start with whatever you want. If you have a nifty mini-spatula your mother in law gave you it will come in handy to get all of the sweetened condensed milk into the pan.

Then add the white chocolate chips. (speedy tip:1 of the 12oz. bags of chips equals 2 cups)

Start to heat the pan on low-medium. When you first start to mix it, the fudge will look gross and lumpy. Do not turn the heat up – even just a little bit – to try to speed up the process.  A gross film will form on the bottom of the pan. Ask me how I know this.

Once it started to melt and smooth out, I started to freak out. It was not white at all! It was very beige. Maybe it would dry white, but since I didn’t know for sure, and I had a secret weapon, I thought I would use it. I use white food coloring in all my cookie icing. It definitely makes the white whiter but I have heard it also makes the other food colors more brilliant.

So if you have white food coloring, add that now.

This next part has a lot of stopping and waiting. Pour 1/3 the white mixture into the lined pan. Take the rest of the fudge off the heat so it doesn’t burn. Put the pan in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Right before the 15 minutes is up put the fudge back on low heat to melt it again. Pour 1/2 of the remaining fudge in a bowl and add orange food coloring. Do this quickly because it will start to harden!!!. Then pour this on top of the white layer. You will repeat this for the yellow layer, although you don’t have to transfer it to the bowl. You can just color it in the pan because it is the last one.

Let it chill overnight. The next morning you have this:

Then you cut off long strips and begin cutting those strips into triangles.

Does anyone else see the problem with this? Half of the triangles are going to have the white part at the bottom and real candy corn always has yellow at the bottom. SweetSugarBelle did a post about it when she made her candy corn cookies   (http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/blog/2011/09/slice-and-bake-candycorn-cookies/) I might not have paid attention to it otherwise, but on this occasion I just decided it was OK and to let it go. Besides, when they are all mixed together who is going to notice?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!!