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Preparing for snow: marshmallows


credit: Jenny Turknett

It’s all about the food, isn’t it? We celebrate major (and not so major) life events with food. It’s no different with snow.

As children, my sister and I would place bowls outside the night before an anticipated snowfall to collect snow. For breakfast, we would eat the snow drizzled with maple syrup. We thought it was delicious and it became a ritual with each snowfall.

With my own children, I still prepare for snow with food. Antsy for the snow to begin, they have nothing to do except to turn their pj’s inside out — a tip for making the snow come, given by my daughter’s preschool teacher last year. So, now we prepare. We prepare the marshmallows that will adorn our hot chocolate after an exhausting morning playing in the snow.

This year, I experimented with flavorings. I made one batch of marshmallow and divided it into four equal parts. We left one plain, tinted one pink — the only proper color to a six-year-old girl — and the other two I flavored for the adults. The first of these had coconut milk and was topped with toasted coconut. The other I flavored with Amaretto, Kahlúa, and cocoa.

In retrospect, dividing a single batch of time-sensitive marshmallows to color and flavor while managing two children was not the cleverest of ideas. It was tricky to get the flavorings mixed in as the marshmallows cooled — the children were in no hurry. The marshmallows turned out just fine, but it took some effort to get them smoothed out on top.Pink Marshmallow

The kids delighted in the strings of marshmallow draped from bowl to pan. They also delighted in licking sticky fingers. My daughter pronounced the marshmallows the best she’s ever had — the pink ones, of course. My favorite were the coconut flavored — the crispy-toasted coconut on top provided a nice textural contrast.

Hot ChocolateIf you want to try making homemade marshmallows, you can try this recipe by Alton Brown. To make the coconut, I added 2 tsp of coconut milk to 1/4 batch and topped with toasted coconut. To make the Amaretto-Kahlúa-chocolate ones, I mixed 1 tsp of each liquor into 2 tsp of cocoa before adding it to 1/4 of the batch and then dusted it with cocoa. What flavors have you tried?

Do you have any snow-day food rituals?

Jenny-Turknett-Tagline–by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog

– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team. She also publishes her own blog, Going Low Carb.

38 comments Add your comment


January 11th, 2011
9:19 am

I love making “modjeskas” — marshmallows dipped in caramel.


January 11th, 2011
12:58 pm

This sounded awesome until I actually read the recipe. This may sound surprising, but I do not have unflavored gelatin and light corn syrup laying around the house all the time. Keep that in mind the next time you suggest something for a day when we’re all stuck at home and can’t get to the store.


January 11th, 2011
1:07 pm

@ Vickie. That’s why the article is entitled “Preparing for snow”. You’d actually would’ve gone to the store and get the required items BEFORE you are stuck at home genius.


January 11th, 2011
1:12 pm

Had everything on hand so I gave the recipe a whirl. Talk about MESSY, but in a fun way! The kid wanted to make them green, so we added some food coloring. Have to wait a few more hours before we cut them, but I think they’re going to turn out fabulous! Thanks for sharing!!!


January 11th, 2011
1:18 pm

These recipe is just to “exotic” to keep the ingredients on hand. NOT A WINNER FOR US!


January 11th, 2011
1:29 pm

@SnowQueen – I know, how much more exotic can we get? What’s next, brownies?! ;)


January 11th, 2011
1:47 pm

I have been making marshmallows for years and my family will no longer eat the cardboard tasting ones from the store. They make great teacher gifts as well. The first time I made them it was a bit challenging, but still turned out great. Start practicing now for the next snow day(or week)! Also, I add peppermint extract to the ones I tint pink. If you are a peppermint fan, they are awesome.

The Happy Cooker

January 11th, 2011
2:01 pm

This sound like a fabulous idea and something fun to do with the kids. I especially liked the idea of the adult version with the kahlua and amaretto! The peppermint suggestion from JSL sounds great too, as I am a big peppermint fan.

This also makes me think we should all have snow jam emergency kits for grownups that contain things such as: kahlua, brandy, hot cocoa, a good paperback, nice CDs…


January 11th, 2011
2:03 pm

Enter your comments here


January 11th, 2011
2:11 pm

Guess cabin fever must be getting to people. Since when did gelatin and corn syrup become “exotic” ingredients? I think the bitter sounding comments from people who don’t keep a pantry stocked for baking should chill – I doubt there’s a recipe out there where everyone is guaranteed to have all ingredients on hand – unless it calls for milk and bread only (and I’m sure someone will whine they don’t have those b/c stores were out) – ps – have made AB’s marshmallows before, love the flavoring ideas, thanks!


January 11th, 2011
2:21 pm

All I have left in the house is wine, cream of mushroom soup, and 3 cranky teenagers. What can you make with that?


January 11th, 2011
2:46 pm

Get the teenagers drunk obviously.


January 11th, 2011
2:49 pm

@Christina – I oftentimes will mix Cream of Mushroom soup with some red wine and throw it into the crockpot with a roast. I don’t guess the teens will fit in your crockpot though.


January 11th, 2011
3:01 pm

Thanks for the recipe will try it with the next snowfall..did venture out..thank you for 4 wheel drive…parking lot at grocery store was busy..stocked up on some whip cream for the gallon of hot cocoa I seem to be making all day!


January 11th, 2011
3:08 pm

LMAO @ folks getting testy over a marshmallow recipe!!!


January 11th, 2011
3:21 pm

This sounds like a great idea. I actually made the no bake cookies. I think I will try the marshmallow recipe!


January 11th, 2011
3:27 pm

Thank you grumpy cabin fever folks. I never realized my pantry was stocked with exotic ingredients before. I feel so oh la la fancy now. Thanks for the marshmallow recipe it was fun and tasty!!


January 11th, 2011
3:33 pm

I never thought comments on a marshmallow recipe would make me giggle….thanks for the laughs, all you people with cabin~fever~”hostility”. ^____^ I was hoping to make the marshmallows too…but don’t have the “exotic ingredients”…..guess I’ll go back to drinking my wine! I’m thinking about trying the snow cream recipe I saw earlier….vanilla is pretty “exotic” too…but, luckily I have that….just need to find some clean snow.


January 11th, 2011
3:38 pm

Did not have the gelatin but great to get a good recipe. Just got back from walking to Walgreen’s and it was great to see everyone out! Not too slippery!


January 11th, 2011
3:41 pm

A super heavy-duty stand mixer is a requirement for making marshmallows. 1000 watts minimum or the motor will burn out as the fluff cools and thickens.

Miss P

January 11th, 2011
3:43 pm

If you want a wonderful recipe for homemade marshmallows, with step by step instructions and photos, check out

Click on recipe index, go to candies. You will love it!


January 11th, 2011
3:57 pm

Anyone know to make rice krispies to go along with this recipe? LOL


January 11th, 2011
4:03 pm

Hey Mila, don’t use the yellow snow! I love making marshmallows – snow or not. Love these new suggestions. I always worried that I wouldn’t have time to add stuff and still get them out of the mixing bowl!


January 11th, 2011
5:29 pm

“Do you have any snow-day food rituals?”

Yes, we love to make snow ice-cream. All you need is some clean snow (stay away from the yellow snow!), sugar, vanilla flavoring and milk. I don’t know how much of each because my husband is the snow ice-cream maker. It is very yummy.

As for the marshmellows, I saw Alton Brown’s recipe a few weeks ago and was going to try it. I haven’t gotten to it yet, but am looking forward to trying to make them and trying some of the suggested modifications.


January 11th, 2011
7:12 pm

To you people who have nothing better to do than gripe about ingredients — don’t fix it if you don’t have it! You sound like idiots, get a life Vickie, “exotic” – you would think the recipe called for eye of newt or something. Bubble-head suburban moms! Go back to your tater tot casseroles and Mexi-dip!


January 11th, 2011
7:20 pm

LOL@tater tot casserole Because I enjoy baking, I happen to always have unflavored gelatin and corn syrup on hand, along with the basic necessities for most baking tasks. When I get bored I can go into the kitchen and whip up any number of items. Just today it was chicken & dumplings and a coconut cream pie, all from scratch.


January 11th, 2011
7:20 pm

“pink — the only proper color to a six-year-old girl”

Actually, when I was six, I was quite fond of green and purple as colors. Also Burnt Sienna. :)

That being said, the marshmallows sound delicious.


January 11th, 2011
7:28 pm

The snow day food rituals you asked about?? Chili, of course. With ground chuck in the freezer, seasonings (chili powder, cumin, oregano, basil) on the shelf year-round, cans of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce kept year-round in the pantry, and staples of onions and garlic, everyone can be set to make chili. Nothing is tastier than hot bowls of this spicy dish on a cold, snowbound day. Also, if you plan ahead, cornchips and slices of American cheese on top make the dish even more complete. If you don’t keep the spices mentioned, then just plan ahead and always have a packet of chili seasonings (of which there are many brands and degrees of spiciness) on your pantry shelf. The latter will keep for a very long time. Make a lot, as much as you have ingredients for, and freeze small bowls of it to have later–even if it is not snowing outside.


January 11th, 2011
7:41 pm

I always keep Armagnac and aged Amontillado for my snow days. The prep is quite easy, I might add.


January 12th, 2011
1:51 am

Vickie, no corn syrup? Delta is ready when… nevermind.


January 12th, 2011
5:43 am

Heh, heh. Y’all obviously ain’t real Southerners. Mama (brought up on a farm outside Savannah) kept these items in the kitchen all year long. And when that ice storm hit in January 1973 and we were out of power for a week, Mama just started cooking whatever was starting to thaw out of the freezer and didn’t stop. Fortunately, we had a gas stove, and the fireplace was at the other end of that humongous kitchen/family room, so we were warm.


January 12th, 2011
9:47 am

You mean they don’t grow on trees in South America?


January 12th, 2011
9:56 am

ok these comments are hilarious!

U can take this marshmellow and……

Anyway, would love a healthier version, but probably no such animal. Still a delicious idea.


January 12th, 2011
10:00 am

i agree with vickie. if you put this recipe out there then you are assuming that the reader would have these items already. when preparing for a snow storm-these are not the items that i run to the grocery store to get!! GO Vickie!! I certainly hear yah!!


January 12th, 2011
2:35 pm

I’ve got most of these ingredients because I overbought for holiday baking. The only things I’m missing are Kosher salt (can I get a Jewish neighbor to bless my box of Mortons?) and the unflavored gelatin.

Since we’re talking about flavoring marshmallows anyway, how awful would it be to use orange gelatin? They’d be tasty in cocoa spiked with Grand Marnier…

(All this time I thought that “cocoa” was with milk and “hot chocolate” was with hot water. Now I find out I’ve got it backwards. I think.)


January 12th, 2011
2:36 pm

Wino, you shall not die of a cold.

(jingle your bells if you got that one…)


January 13th, 2011
9:52 pm

Ya’ll are cracking me up. Though we did a good job preparing for the snow (haven’t wanted for anything all week), I did start a new ritual with the kids making snow cream. My recipe differs a bit from one mentioned above: 8 cups snow (or shaved ice), 1 can sweetened condensed milk (not so exotic if you like to bake – I still had 3 cans left over from holiday baking since I couldn’t remember condensed or evaporated for pumpkin pie while at the store, turns out it is the latter) and 1 tsp vanilla. Mix well & serve immediately – YUM! The kids went crazy for it and I ate all that was left.

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