I really love food.
Well, most food. I think cucumbers can go right back from where they came from.
Which is, appropriately, in the ground.
Was that mean? Probably. Sorry guys.
I know, I know. I’m missing out. There are a lot of really creative things you can do with cucumbers, but I don’t want to partake in any of them. I especially don’t want to drink cucumber water or put slices of cucumber over my eyes.
That whole thing seems cray-cray to me, especially when there have been so few people who can answer the question “why are you putting cucumbers over your eyes?”. Think about it, have you ever really found a way to answer that question that is convincing? Is there research to support it? No. Nope. Nada.
Well, there you have it: your really hard question for the day. I challenge you to go up to a stranger and ask them all they know about cucumbers and why people use cucumbers for beauty treatments at spas.
Want to know the right answer?
Cray-cray. That is the answer. Hint: this is also the appropriate answer for most things these days.
Anyway, I really love food. I really, truly love all the recipes I post on the blog. All of the recipes I post hold some place marker in my life; all of them were made for a purpose, and all of them come with a story behind them. Food is such a big component of everyone’s life, I truly think we ought to honor the food we put into our bodies in a way that makes the most of every ingredient, of every recipe….
…which is why I am obsessed with this recipe I’m about to share. Ob. Sessed.
I know it is more than a little vain and narcissistic to be preoccupied with a recipe I created by myself, for myself, and have wholly eaten by myself (I’m not so great at sharing sometimes) but this one literally took me ages to get down pat.
I am a big lover of marshmallows, in every form they take, but am truly disgusted that marshmallows rank right up there with the amount of terrible ingredients they have in them. Like tons and tons of sugar. And high fructose corn syrup. And sometimes artificial sweetener for “diet” marshmallows. Don’t even get me started on that one. Don’t even.
For this recipe, this delicious recipe, it took me almost 6 weeks to figure out, 2 broken bowls (I can’t) and 5 failed attempts. After the 2nd broken bowl, I thought about giving up, but then decided that things had already gone this far, I needed to give those broken bowls justice. Didn’t want those bowls to roll over in their grave or anything. (Because that’s a thing, clearly. I can really be overdramatic sometimes.)
There were several weeks where there were trays of failed marshmallows laying around the house, and Christopher begged me to answer the age old question of: “if they taste like a marshmallows but don’t feel like a marshmallow, are they still a marshmallow?”.
I think we all know the answer to that question. A marshmallow is a marshmallow because it has a certain texture: a melt-in-your-mouth, springy, almost-gooey, sugary-sweet residue that is unmistakable. A marshmallow is a marshmallow because it looks, feels, and tastes like a marshmallow. Take that philosophy 101 class!
The tricky thing, I think, about other paleo marshmallow recipes is that they don’t actually taste like marshmallows. I have made paleo marshmallows before, and instead of sugar and corn syrup, they call for a lot of honey. This definitely ensures that those marshmallows are sweet enough, and it definitely cuts out all the terrible ingredients, but to me, these paleo marshmallows taste like spongy honey wads to me…. which actually sounds more way more terrible as I type that out loud than it ever did in my head.
So what was a girl to do? Make up her own primal-friendly, authentic marshmallow-tasting, springy, spongy marshmallow recipe.
Then add pumpkin spice to it.
And then dark chocolate.
Yep. I did it. Paleo Dark-Chocolate Dunked, Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows.
Excuse me a minute while I go stuff my face. (Oh wait…I already did.)
If there is one thing from this blog that you make, make these. Not only are they delicious, but they are impressive.
Instead of honey, I used coconut sugar, which still gives the marshmallows their typical marshmallow-ey sweetness. High-quality beef gelatin is also a must, and even though it is pricey, a bag of it will likely last you at least a year, if not more. Unfortunately (Or maybe not-so-unfortunately), it is also essential that you have a high-powered electric mixer or stand mixer to make these, because whipping them at a high speed is the only way to get them to fluff up to the correct texture. (Trust me, I broke one of the bowls trying to whip them without a mixer.) Once you get all that out of the way, the hardest part of making these sweet squares of goodness is waiting long enough to let the marshmallows set before you dig into them.
Paleo Chocolate Dunked Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
- 1 cup water, divided
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. primal pumpkin spice blend
- 3 tbsp. powdered beef gelatin
- 3.5 oz. dark chocolate (I like 85% dark)
- Tapioca Starch for dusting
- In a large bowl, mix all powdered beef gelatin with ½ cup water. Let set for at least 10 minutes to soften.
- In an 8x8 baking pan, line with parchment paper. Dust bottoms and sides with a small amount of tapioca starch. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine remaining water, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and coconut sugar. Stir and then bring to a medium simmer, then immediately reduce heat so mixture has only occasional bubbles. Let heat for approximately 10 minutes longer, until mixture is thoroughly heated and all coconut sugar has dissolved. Mixture will be a dark amber color.
- Add ¼ saucepan mixture to bowl with softened gelatin. Turn on mixer and beat on medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add second ¼ of saucepan mixture and continue to beat on medium-high heat. Repeat process until all saucepan mixture is used.
- Once all of saucepan mixture has been added into the mixer bowl, increase mixer to high speed (setting #8 on a Kitchenaid stand mixer) and beat for about 3 minutes, then on highest speed (Setting #10 on a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer) for about 4-5 minutes more. Marshmallows will be done when they have the viscosity of marshmallow fluff. Be careful not to over mix, as they will become too springy and difficult to handle.
- Using a spatula, pour the marshmallows into your prepared baking pan and gently shake until they are level. Dust the top once more with tapioca starch, and then place another strip of parchment paper over the top of the marshmallows for evenness and protection.
- Store pan of marshmallows in a cool, dry spot for approximately 4-6 hours, or even overnight, to let set.
- Once set, remove top strip of parchment paper, and lift marshmallows out of pan by pulling out the parchment paper. Cut marshmallows into evenly sized squares.
- In a small bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring in between to avoid scalding or burning. (You could also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate, if that is your preference.)
- Once chocolate is completely melted, dip each marshmallow square in chocolate briefly, so there is chocolate on about 1/3 of the marshmallow, then place on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Once all marshmallow squares have been dipped, set aside at let chocolate cool until hardened. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool place.