Marshmallows for Veronica Mars: Vanilla + Bourbon Salted Caramel

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I am a marshmallow.

I got to know Veronica Mars when I lived in a dorm, sometimes watching an episode in the hallway, laptop propped up between my best friend and me, and then later on a couch in our first apartment.

This show  made me cry. Made me laugh. And now, years after the sudden ending that left us hungry for more, there’s a movie! I’m flying out to Austin for my long-awaited date to see the Veronica Mars movie with my bff. I can’t wait.

For those who don’t know, Veronica’s best friend on the show, Wallace Fennel, is the one who calls her a marshmallow and since then it’s what Kristen Bell (and now the rest of the cast) calls their fans.

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So I made my first batch of marshmallows to celebrate the movie. Even better, I made you two flavors.

In the movie, it looks like our girl Veronica is caught between two love interests, Piz and Logan. Let’s say Piz’s marshmallow flavor is vanilla, sweet and familiar.

Everyone loves the vanilla marshmallows but the one people won’t stop talking about (maybe evenwrite songs about) is the one infused with whiskey and streaked with salted caramel. It’s a bit of a pain to make, but the salted caramel bourbon marshmallows are beautiful, delicious, and worth the effort, not unlike Mr. Logan Echolls.

Sorry, Piz. You’re great. Really! But it’s not you. It’s Logan. This LoVe is epic.

I’d considered tequila before bourbon since (1) they live in southern California and Logan often vacations in Mexico with his best buddy, Dick Casablancas (2) it is a spirit that can be as divisive as Mr. Echolls himself. You love it or hate it.

Me? I love. And yet. Bourbon and caramel sounded better to me and I thought it might be more agreeable with my fellow ‘mallows.

SO Which flavor do you choose?

Piz | Vanilla

Logan | Bourbon Salted Caramel

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 “That might play with the masses, but underneath that angry young woman shell, there’s a slightly less angry young woman who’s just dying to bake me something. You’re a marshmallow, Veronica Mars. A twinkie!”

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Kay and I have been so excited for this movie since we heard it was happening. We’ll be there with our Kickstarter V-Mars T-shirts and probably some marshmallows. When I saw this Entertainment Weekly cover of Logan and Veronica, I had to have it. Then I had to recreate it! Here’s Danny and me doing our best LoVe, though it was hard to stop laughing.

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Friends, help us win:

I entered our photo in the Veronica Mars fan of the week competition. We’d love your vote!

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Making marshmallows is a really fun kitchen project. It is such an incredible transformation of a few ingredients into fluffy, pillowy treats. Your friends will be so happy you made them.

The rules for making marshmallows are pretty straightforward, and you can take the basic vanilla marshmallow and play around with flavors. Use different flavored extracts or toss in toasted nuts or other add-ins toward the end. The bourbon marshmallow recipe will give you an idea of how to add booze.


Some other Veronica Mars links:

Dick Casablancas (played by Ryan Hansen) quickly became everyone’s favorite, right? Here’s a hello from him for us marshmallows. Watch til the end.

Amazon is streaming all three seasons of Veronica Mars right now, if you’re looking for your next show to binge on.

The movie trailer.

Fall down the rabbit hole of clips with Craig Ferguson and Kristen Bell. Not strictly V. Mars related but these two are really entertaining together, and this particular clip does show you the Veronica Mars action figure.

You could be Kristen’s date to the L.A. premiere of the movie! But if you don’t win, there’ s still this great video with Kristen, Jason Dohring, and Ryan Hansen.

***

See you soon, Austin. But before I go, there’s one more thing you should know about my badass bff, Kay. She once punched Jason Dohring aka Logan.

That girl is small but mighty.

Boom boom pow.

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vanilla marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows are a fun and easy project. They come together quicker than you’d expect and everyone loves them. These are especially fluffy thanks to the addition of egg whites. This recipe is adapted from Gourmet magazine via epicurious. I doubled the amount of vanilla it called for, which gives the ‘mallows a pronounced vanilla flavor and pretty fragrance. This recipe is delicious as it is but you can also think of it as a starting point for many flavors.

For more guidance on working with gelatin, consult this informative post from David Lebovitz.

powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
3 1/2 envelopes  (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored powdered gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water (about 115°F)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Grease the bottom and side of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Dust all over with powdered sugar to keep marshmallows from sticking to the pan.

Place gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer and pour water over it. Immediately stir slightly to make sure water soaks all the gelatin.

Cook sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt over low heat in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F (the softball stage), about 12 minutes. You may need to increase the heat to medium-high to get the sugar mixture to the softball stage. Remove pan from heat and carefully pour sugar mixture into the bowl with the gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With a paddle attachment on the stand mixer, beat the mixture on medium, increasing to medium-high speed until it is white, thick, and has nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. (Gourmet says it will take 10 minutes with a hand-held mixer.) I recommend placing a plastic pouring shield or tea towel around the mixing bowl during the first few minutes of this step since the mixture is hot and likely to splash before it transforms into fluff.

Set the sugar mixture aside while you beat the egg whites in another large bowl at medium speed until they just reach stiff peaks. You could use a handheld mixer for the eggs, but to do this I swap the whip attachment in for the paddle attachment and hold the egg white bowl under the stand mixer. Then I swap the sugar mixture and paddle attachment back in. Stir the egg whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and sift 1/4 cup powdered sugar evenly over the top. Chill marshmallow (uncovered) until firm, at least 3 hour and up to 1 day.

Run a thin knife around the edges of the pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lift up a corner of the inverted pan and use your fingers to loosen marshmallow and let drop onto cutting board. Use a pizza cutter or large knife to trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow with pizza cutter or kitchen scissors into roughly 1-inch cubes. Sift remaining powdered sugar into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches, tossing to evenly coat. Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature about 1 week.

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bourbon salted caramel marshmallows

These are not the marshmallows to make on your first try. They are a bit of a pain to make, but the salted caramel bourbon marshmallows are beautiful, delicious, and worth the effort, not unlike Mr. Logan Echolls. I used 1 cup of salted caramel sauce in between the marshmallow fluff, which was tasty but a little much for the drunken ‘mallows. Keep it between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup. Also, these marshmallows will not be quite as fluffy as the basic vanilla marshmallows since they are a bit tipsy and have trouble getting up. The extra moisture means they may need another roll through powdered sugar after a day or two, but they will be just as delicious.

powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
3 1/2 envelopes  (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored powdered gelatin
1/4 cup cold water + 1/4 cup cold bourbon (you can place this in the same cup or container)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water (about 115°F)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
salted caramel sauce (recipe below)

Grease the bottom and side of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Dust all over with powdered sugar to keep marshmallows from sticking to the pan.

Place gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer and pour water/bourbon mixture over it. Immediately stir slightly to make sure water soaks all the gelatin.

Cook sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt over low heat in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F (the softball stage), about 12 minutes. You may need to increase the heat to medium-high to get the sugar mixture to the softball stage. Remove pan from heat and carefully pour sugar mixture into the bowl with the gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With a paddle attachment on the stand mixer, beat the mixture on medium, increasing to medium-high speed until it is white, thick, and has nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes, possibly a couple more minutes due to the alcohol. (Gourmet says it will take 10 minutes with a hand-held mixer.) I recommend placing a plastic pouring shield or tea towel around the mixing bowl during the first few minutes of this step since the mixture is hot and likely to splash before it transforms into fluff.

Set the sugar mixture aside while you beat the egg whites in another large bowl at medium speed until they just reach stiff peaks. You could use a handheld mixer for the eggs, but to do this I swap the whip attachment in for the paddle attachment and hold the egg white bowl under the stand mixer. Then I swap the sugar mixture and paddle attachment back in. Stir the egg whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour half of the mixture into baking pan. Drizzle 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup caramel sauce over the top of the marshmallow, carefully spreading a thick layer across the top. Use a spatula to top off the with the rest of the marshmallow mixture. Admire what looks like one big torched marshmallow, and then sift 1/4 cup powdered sugar evenly over the top. Chill marshmallow (uncovered) until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

Run a thin knife around the edges of the pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lift up a corner of the inverted pan and use your fingers to loosen marshmallow and let drop onto cutting board. This may be tricky with these boozy marshmallows. If they don’t come out easily, just cut strips of mallow in the pan. Use a pizza cutter or large knife to trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow with pizza cutter or kitchen scissors into roughly 1-inch cubes. Sift remaining powdered sugar into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches, tossing to evenly coat. Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature about 1 week.

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salted caramel sauce

This is caramel you can get right on the first try and without a candy thermometer. What freedom! I was afraid of caramel until following David Lebovitz’s step-by-step instructions here, which led me to this lovely and easy-to-make caramel. You’ll want to use a light-colored saucepan so you can see the progress of the caramelization as it changes color. It goes fast. This is key. Be careful when adding the butter and cream to make the sauce. The mixture will immediately pop and crackle, like fireworks, but keep the faith and keep stirring. It will calm down again into a smooth sauce.

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup heavy cream
a pinch flaky salt

Place sugar in a 3-quart saucepan set on medium heat. The caramel will start browning at the edges. Drag some of the sugar towards the center to prevent burnt spots and uneven cooking. Stir occasionally as more of the sugar begins to caramelize and the color starts to deepen. We’re going for a deep reddish-brown or as some say, the shade of copper you’d see in an old penny.

Once the caramel is smooth and done, turn the heat down to low and carefully add the butter. The mixture will crackle. Stir until the butter melts. Carefully add heavy cream and stir to combine. The mixture will immediately puff up and crackle when you add the cream. Add the salt and stir for about another minute. Remove pan from heat and pour caramel into a glass jar. Let caramel come to room temperature and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Comments

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12 thoughts on “Marshmallows for Veronica Mars: Vanilla + Bourbon Salted Caramel

  1. Looooove! I’m going to have to vote for the Logan marshmallows. That caramel swirl is making my mouth water. You and Danny crack me up– that picture is my new favorite of you two.

  2. Danny’s Logan face is the best thing.

    Also, I am Team Piz! But I can’t deny I really, really want to try the Logan marshmallows. Kind of like I can’t help but really, really secretly want Veronica to end up with Logan. UGH. Logan! I love hate you.

    Have fun in Austin!!

    • Haha, Logan stirs up a lot of feelings! I am rooting for him and Veronica, but I really like both marshmallows. Vanilla would be my everyday mallow (if marshmallows were an everyday thing in my life) and the boozy ones would be my special occasion mallows.

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