Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

 

Butter for greasing
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
8 to 10 drops red food color
Generously grease bottom and sides of 11×7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with butter; dust with 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar. In bowl of stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water to soften; set aside.
In 2-quart saucepan, heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Heat to boiling; cook without stirring about 30 minutes to 240°F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into cup of very cold water forms a ball that holds its shape but is pliable; remove from heat.
Slowly pour syrup into softened gelatin while beating on low speed. Increase speed to high; beat 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is white and has almost tripled in volume. Add peppermint extract; beat on high speed 1 minute. Pour into baking dish, patting lightly with wet hands. Drop food color randomly onto top of marshmallow mixture. Pull table knife through food color to create swirl pattern over top. Let stand uncovered at least 8 hours or overnight.
Dust cutting board with about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Place remaining powdered sugar in small bowl. To remove marshmallow mixture, loosen sides from dish and gently lift in one piece onto cutting board. Using kitchen shears greased with butter, cut into 1-inch squares (11 rows by 7 rows). Dust bottom and sides of each marshmallow by dipping into bowl of powdered sugar.
Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.
Dip in melted dark chocolate chips and crushed candy canes and add to a cup of hot cocoa for an extra special Christmas treat!

 

The Peppermint Bark Martini

Don’t let this drink’s festive appearance fool you.  I think it’s nickname will be “Jingle Juice” cuz it’s guaranteed to ring some bells!
 
1 oz Vanilla Vodka
1 oz Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps
Splash of cream
Corn syrup
Crushed candy canes
Rim martini glass with light coat of corn syrup.  Dip in crushed candy canes.  Put in freezer.
Fill cocktail shaker with ice, add vodka, white chocolate liqueur, peppermint schnapps and a splash of cream or half and half.
Shake until shaker begins to frost on outside, pour into chilled martini glasses.  Garnish with mini candy cane.  Enjoy!

Oh Deer…

I was scrolling through Etsy because while I like to make things on my own, let’s face it – there are lots of people out there who have amazing talents and sometimes, I’d just rather have them make one for me…  Then I saw it.  The cutest little girl in the MOST adorbs reindeer hat that I have ever seen!!!  A photo came to mind with four sweet little girls, each with a matching hat.  There were two options: the pattern or I could purchase the hats themselves – but that was proving to add up into “cost prohibiting numbers” – so I bought the pattern and BEGGED my knit talented sister to oblige me with 3 — no, make that 4, reindeer hats.

Let me preface the rest of the story by admitting that the pattern sounded complicated and used knitting needles and techniques that I had never heard of.  My sister was very clear when she accepted the challenge, “I only knit.  I DON’T crochet.”  So when she went through the pattern and saw not only the techniques but the fact there was crocheting involved, she said, “I don’t know, Aim…”  I giggled, handed her the bag of supplies and said, “You’ve totally got this.  Easy Peazy.  Either you’ll figure it out or find a way around it.”  So she did.
I had a hard time finding enough (or ANY) of the right color of yarn suggested by the pattern.  All I could find was much softer and less structurally supportive so she fought her way through that challenge, too, and the results are so stinkin’ cute that I added on a 4th order for the girl’s cousin!  She’s likely a little too grown up for a reindeer hat but maybe she can wear it around her cousins over the holiday.
When you add on the fact that both families are big hunters, the little twist of irony makes it all even sweeter!  I can’t wait to see the girls dressed in their gear!
The pattern or individually sold hats can be found on Etsy by Two of Wands if you are interested in your own.