Sunday, December 6, 2009
Since I was making marshmallows today and had all the ingredients out, I decided to whip of a batch of homemade 'peeps' as well. I was trying to think of a suitably nerdy peep to create but I was just drawing a blank. (If anyone has any suggestions for nerd peeps, I'd love them) So lacking any nerdy alternatives, I just decided to make something seasonally appropriate. In this case, Snowman Peeps complete with fondant accessories.
Oh, and for you peep haters out there, you might want to give fresh homemade peeps a chance. They're actually edible.
Not so Humble Marshmallow Snowmen:
Makes approximately one dozen
1/4 oz unflavored gelatin
1 cup granulated sugar
Add 1/3 a cup of cold water to your stand mixer's bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
In a small nonstick saucepan over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of water and the sugar. Stir the sugar until it has dissolved and then stop. Bring to a boil, attach your candy thermometer and heat to 235°F. You should wash down the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush if you see any sugar clinging, as this recipe doesn't contain any corn syrup to help prevent crystallization.
Once it reaches 235°F, remove from heat and add to the softened gelatin. Gently whisk for a couple minutes to allow the mixture to cool down and the gelatin to dissolve. Then whisk on medium-high for 8 minutes until the mixture forms firm peaks and holds its shape without slumping.
Fill a piping bag outfitted with a large round tip with the marshmallow. In a wide shallow dish filled with granulated sugar, pipe mounds of marshmallow in three different sizes. These will make up the segments of the snowman's body. Use a damp finger to smooth down any unsightly peaks. Sprinkle more granulated sugar on top to coat the outsides completely and remove from the dish and set aside so that you can continue pipe more mounds.
Once you have all your pieces complete, give them about 10 minutes to cool and set up and then you can begin assembling the marshmallow snowmen.
Stack the snowman body segments on top of each other securing with a little royal icing, or just use a toothpick to make them extra sturdy.
Tint a small piece of fondant orange for the snowmen's carrot nose. Attach each with a small drop of royal icing. Use more royal icing to attach small pieces of black sanding sugar to make up the coal eyes or simply use black tinted royal icing.
Take roughly 1 ounce of fondant and divide it into two pieces. Tint one red and roll both into logs about the size and shape of your little finger. Cut each of the logs into 10-12 segments and stick them back together, alternating red and white. Roll this log out carefully into a flat sheet to cut out your snowman's scarves. If you feel so inclined, you can cut the ends of each scarf to make fringe.
Wrap the scarf around your snowman's neck and secure with a bit of royal icing.
To make the top hat, take some black tinted or chocolate fondant and roll it out and cut rounds. Place a small cylinder of fondant on each round, securing with a drop of royal icing. Curve up the sides of the top hat slightly and place on top of the snowman's head, securing with even more... thats right, royal icing.
Now they're ready to eat or even decorate one of your holiday desserts.