I’ve had a Beatles song stuck in my head for weeks.
Oooh, I get by with a little help with my friends / Mmm, I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends / Oh, I get high with a little help with my friends / Yes I get by with a little help with my friends.
I sing both the Ringo Starr and John Lennon parts, duh.
I feel like With A Little Help From My Friends song is SO appropriate these days. My entire year has been a testament to hard work and great friendships. One of those soul-saving friendships this year has come from Matt Armendariz also known as Matt Bites. Matt is a majorly talented food photographer and author of a cookbook called On A Stick.
After you watch the video we should probably talk about Matt’s tiny dog and my aggressive bangs, right?
I’ve admired Matt’s (and his food-stylist husband Adam’s) food photography and styling skills for years. YEARS! Seriously. This was a total fan-girl moment for me. It’s just totally beyond that I got to spend the day in their studio styling food and getting photography tips.
I want to share my fan-girl freak out with you. I also think we should make Gingerbread spiced Marshmallows, s’mores-style, dipped in chocolate and crumbled gingersnap cookies. This is a good-time overload. I’m not even sorry.
Original photography shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR. The filmmaker’s camera.
Let’s start by making the marshmallows!
For some reason, I always have to remind myself that marshmallows don’t involve beating egg whites until glossy white. Nope. No egg whites. Just good, old-fashioned sugar, corn syrup, and powdered gelatin.
We traditionally use light corn syrup for marshmallows. Since we’re adding a good dose of gingerbread spice to these special marshmallows, we’re also using dark corn syrup. It will add just the right amount of depth to the sweetness. Oh! Speaking of spices, we’re talking about lots of ground ginger, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves.
Marshmallows are really much easier than they might seem! I promise.
Get yourself a candy thermometer and boil a bit of sugar. Really the hardest part of making marshmallows is cleaning off the sticky whisk.
Corn syrup, sugar, and water are boiled down to soft-ball stage. That’s 240 degrees F. The hot syrup mixture is then whipped with dissolved gelatin. Whipped a ton. Whipped well. Eight whole minutes of whipping. Then? Marshmallows!
The gooey marshmallow matter is covered in powdered sugar and left to dry overnight. Drying time is essential. It makes the marshmallows sliceable.
After a night of rest the marshmallows are pillow-y soft. The insides have just a bit of golden color and they smell just like gingerbread spice.
Now it’s time to make these marshmallows extra special. Melted dark chocolate and crumbled gingersnap cookies! We’re making these holiday marshmallows as close to summer s’mores as we can. Just because.
And while we munch on our marshmallow treats, we can daydream about Matt’s prop room.
Normal. Totally normal.
Bonkers Awesome Gingerbread Spiced Marshmallows
makes about 24 marshmallows
adapted from On A Stick
For the Marshmallows:
1 cup cold water, divided
2 1/4-ounce packages unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 cup powdered sugar, for coating the pan and topping the marshmallows
For the Topping:
8 ounces 60% dark chocolate
1/3 cup finely crumbled gingersnap cookie crumbs
To make the marshmallows, Spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and coat with the powdered sugar. Set aside.
Pour 1/2 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment. Pour the two gelatin packs over the cold water and let sit for about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, dark corn syrup, salt and the remaining cold water to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and bring mixture up to 240 degrees F. There’s no need to stir the mixture, just let it get hot hot hot!