Salty, sweet and boozy, Salted Maple Bourbon Marshmallows are perfect for hot chocolate, coffee or even eating out of hand.
Happy Holidays! I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Christmas.
We are still flitting from house to house and family to family, but I wanted to share these marshmallows with you so that you could make them for New Year’s. They suit the holiday–kind of boozy and decadent. And heck even good finger food for any nighttime bowl games. I was especially excited about how these came out because I was not sure if the chemistry of marshmallows would support adding so much salt. To my delight, they did–and the salt really elevates the marshmallow from otherwise being possibly sickeningly sweet.
I first discovered maple bourbon at my parents’ house, where they had a tiny sample bottle of Maple Bird Dog Whiskey. Being hard core Scotch drinkers, they of course all found it disgusting, but they don’t think like me, i.e., someone who views almost all liquor through the lens of baking or cooking with it.
I was instantly entranced.
So I came back home and next time I was at the liquor store, I picked up a bottle of Jim Beam Maple Bourbon. Guys I love this stuff–and I do not mean drinking it straight any more than I would drink a schnapps straight. It is too sweet for that in my opinion. But in bittersweet hot chocolate? Swoon. And cake–which I have not tried yet but I plan to? Double swoon. And it was perfect for these marshmallows.
- 1/4 cup maple bourbon of choice (I used Jim Beam)
- 5 t gelatin
- 6 T cold water
- 1 t maple extract
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 T light corn syrup
- 1 1/2 t kosher sea salt
- Additional 1 t maple extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup potato or corn starch
Lightly spray an 8X8 or 9X9 nonstick pan with oil spray. Set aside.
In the bottom of your mixer bowl, whisk together the gelatin, maple bourbon, water and 1 teaspoon maple extract. Place back in the mixer and attach the whip. Leave to set while you prepare the syrup.
Stir together the sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup and salt in a heavy, medium-large, non-reactive sauce pan (I used a 2 qt All Clad). Place over high heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side of the pan and submerged in the syrup. Do not stir again. Boil until the thermometer reads 248 F.
When it reaches 248 F, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl with the whisk attachment running on low speed. I like to rest the pot on the side of the metal bowl and let it slowly drizzle down the sides of the bowl. Be very careful because the syrup is hot and sugar burns are particularly bad.
Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Be wary of splattering. Increase to medium high speed and beat an additional 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to add additional 1 teaspoon maple extract and then increase to the highest speed. If the weather is quite dry beat for 2 more minutes. If it is average, beat for 3 minutes. If you are at all concerned about damp, beat for 4 minutes. Take a good sniff while it is beating--the maple should be prominent. If it is not strong enough for you add a few more drops of maple extract.
While the fluff is beating, whisk together the corn or potato starch and powdered sugar. Set aside.
When the fluff is ready, quickly scrape it into the prepared pan. Using a silicone spatula dredged in the powdered sugar mixture, spread the fluff evenly into the pan.
Sift a tablespoon or two of the prepared coating (powdered sugar and starch) over the fluff in the pan. Set aside for 6 hours (or up to overnight) in a cool, dry place. Reserve the remaining coating mix.
When you are ready to slice the marshmallows, sift some of the coating mixture over a cutting board. Using a skinny silicone spatula, loosen the marshmallow cake from the sides of the pan.
Pop the marshmallow cake out and onto the prepared cutting board. Using a large chef's knife dredged in the coating mixture, slice the marshmallows into whatever sized rectangles you desire. Use a firm up and down motion--do not saw.
Dredge each individual marshmallow thoroughly in the coating mixture. Store in single layers in a mostly sealed container–crack one corner to allow for some air flow. Marshmallows are best for eating out of hand fresh, but these will be great in coffee or hot chocolate for a few weeks.