Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Caramel covered homemade marshmallows

Williams Sonoma versionFollowing the theme of recreating Williams Sonoma food gift ideas, I wanted to share with you our latest knock-off. It's the caramel covered marshmallow treat. Also called Modjeskas, these candies were purportedly named after a beautiful Polish actress by an admirer. Shouldn't they be called Pavell's instead?

Anyway, they look a heck of a lot more complicated to make than they actually are. These make great gifts wrapped in wax paper. Especially when you aren't paying $27 a pound for them!

To make the marshmallows:

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water (about 115 degrees)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

Oil bottom and sides of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners' sugar.

In bowl of standing electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240 degrees, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing mixer beat on high speed until white, thick and nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. In a large bowl with cleaned beaters beat whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and sift 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to 1 day.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto large cutting board. Lifting up 1 corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and let drop onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallows into roughly 1-inch cubes. Sift remaining confectioners' sugar into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches, tossing to evenly coat. Marshmallows (without caramel) keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 1 week.

To make the caramel:

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
16 marshmallows (see recipe above)
Wax paper

Cut the wax paper into 2 inch x 3 inch wide strips. You may need to adjust the size of your wax paper depending on how big your marshmallows are.

Place the sugar, water, cream, and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the butter until it is melted. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the caramel reaches 238 degrees, then remove from the heat.

Stir in the vanilla and salt. Allow the caramel to thicken and cool for 10-15 minutes until it cools to about 175 degrees.

To dip the marshmallows:

Using a fork, drop a marshmallow into the caramel and turn it over until it is completely covered. Remove the marshmallow from the caramel, letting excess caramel drip off. Place the marshmallow on a piece of wax paper.

Continue dipping with the remaining marshmallows. If the caramel becomes too stiff, place it over the heat for a minute or two until it becomes easy to work with.

Allow the candies to set fully at room temperature before wrapping. Store excess candies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Related posts:
Chocolate peppermint bark
Holiday gift basket
White chocolate raspberry jam


Anonymous said...

I love homemade marshmallows. Although making them last year killed my little hand mixer. Well it still works but it was certainly emitting a lot of smoke for a little while. I never thought about coating them in anything I bet they would be really good coating in chocolate. Then when you put them in hot chocolate it would add chocolate flavor AND marshmallow flavor. Yum!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Yeah, you can dip the marshmallows in melted chocolate as well. You can also roll them (after dipping) in chopped nuts, coconut, or, as my husband is doing, crushed up M&Ms. My teeth hurt just thinking about it.

Matriarchy said...

We called these "carmallows" when I was a kid. I thought they were named for my cousin Carmella. I thought she was so cool for having her own candy. Then I grew up and realized it was caramel+marshmallow.

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

These candies are originally from Louisville, KY (my understanding, at least). I had never had one until I moved to Louisville. I don't even like marshmallow, but I love these. It annoys me, though, when companies like Williams-Sonama and Pottery Barn take things with a history and use them for their own profit without even crediting where they got the idea.

Anonymous said...

Ummm... I thought you said they look a lot harder than they are? Apparently, I'm on the moron meter when it comes to confections cuz those look hellahard. But delicious nonetheless.

Green Bean said...

Honestly, how much weight do you want me to gain this season!?!? Truly?

Crunchy Chicken said...

Jeez, Rachel. And you call yourself a professional chef? You heat some stuff up and put it in the mixer. How hard can it be?

Green Bean - At least 10 pounds. As my grandmother always said, you gotta have some extra meat on you in case [ fill in the blank ]. But, then again, she always told us pasty whites that we "needed some color", too.

Allie said...

Beautiful. I usually get these from Hammond's (who, by the way, make the most exquisite, albeit expensive, candy canes I've ever eaten in my life). This will save me lots of monies!

Anonymous said...

I'm seriously thinking about booting one of the cookies off my "gift basket" list and replacing it with some of these. I've been wanting to make homemade marshmallows for quite some time, and I love caramel -- making these for gift baskets seems as good a reason as any to try making them. (Honestly, tho, I'm not so sure these will make it to the gift baskets, what with three marshmallow and caramel lovers in this house!!) Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Crunchy, this is the best birthday present I've gotten today! Thanks!

EJ said...

The woman who balks at lactofermented foods and sourdoughs uses gelatin (ugh!). Will internet wonders never end!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Sorry, EJ, there's just no comparison. And I didn't have the space to post the vegan marshmallow recipe too.

Anonymous said...

Fun Mama is right. These are a Louisville specialty called Modjeskas and it is a shame that none of their history is mentioned in the Williams-Sonoma version of them. In case you're curious though you can find the history here:

Farmer's Daughter said...

These look really yummy. My MIL makes toasted coconut marshmallows (imagine them covered in coconut instead of caramel). I bet she'd really like this recipe.

PS- Can I link to this recipe as a part of my Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap?

Robj98168 said...

Yuuuuum! You need to send down a jar to Burien to your most loyal and faithful follower. You know tha fat lil plumber who is sending esp- "SEND FATBOY SOME MARSHMALLOWS...SEND FATBOY SOME MARSHMALLOWS..." :P

Crunchy Chicken said...

Hey Fatboy, if you ever email me your address to send the book you won, I'll include some marshmallows.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Abbie - Link away!

Anonymous said...

I followed the recipe exactly and while the marshmellows turned out gorgeous, the caramel is way too runny. Any thoughts? I'm wondering if I can somehow thicken it. Hmmm.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Ali - Did you use a candy thermometer and make sure it reached temperature? If you don't let it get hot enough, the caramel won't thicken.

Anonymous said...

I used a general kitchen thermometer. Maybe I need one made for candy? I'm so new at these sorts of confections. :)

Delora said...

I didn't have much luck with the caramel part either. I pulled it between about 239-240 and carryover heat brought the final temp to 242. Let it cool to around 150 and tried to dip and it melted my marshmallow! Wait till it was less than 100 and it still melted the top layer of the marshmallow and when I moved it to a silpat, the weight of the caramel made it slid off and took the top layer of the marshmallow with it. Several attempts just left me with one big gooey caramel-marshmallowey mess. I ended up dipping the marshmallows in melted chocolate instead (which oddly, didn't have the same melting problems). But that still leaves me with a jar full of caramel since I'd made a double batch anticipating lots of marshmallow caramel goodness.

Anonymous said...

one of my fondest memories of childhood was when we went to the Sears store in Chicago and my mother always bought each of us one carmallow. It made the long trip worthwhile. I thought Sears invented them, but I guess I was wrong. This would have been back in about 1958 or so. They were wonderful then, and if it takes me all day, I'm going to make them! Thanks SO much for the recipe!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the recipe.. Like the other poster, I remember these Carmallow Treats from the old Style Sears Stores of the 60's, 70's and possibly early 80's,,when they had
a in-house Candy store selling popcorn, chocolate clusters, and these Carmallow candys. Since Sears started in CHICAGO, which had a Strong Polish tradition...I'm not surprised of this candy's origin.
Many of great NFL Chicago Bears of the 50's were of Polish Descent.