The long, lazing days of summer are winding down and the time spent soaking in blankets of sun, lounging by a crackling campfire and eating outdoors are coming to a sad but familiar end. I can’t say I’m too upset, being one of those loons who relishes fall and winter, but I’m certainly bitter to see an end to all the jewel-toned berries spilling over the tables at the market.
These Balsamic Marshamllow + Thyme-Roasted Strawberry S’mores started as a simple way to use up some leftover berries from last week and turned into something so much more. Making your own marshmallows can be a bit daunting, but I promise it’s not nearly as scary as it seems. Soak some gelatin, boil a syrup of sugar/corn syrup/salt/water, and then whip the two together for 15 minutes. Easy as pie, right? (sidenote: I’ve never found pie to be “easy”, so I don’t know about that colloquialism). Pressing the tangy, pillowy marshmallows, sweet and herbal strawberries and dark chocolate together between two cookies creates a veritable mouth-explosion. You can’t fully understand it until it’s in your mouth. So, what are you waiting for? Make the most of the end of berry season and get these in your mouth!
Balsamic Marshmallow & Thyme Roasted Strawberry S’mores
makes: 10-12 s’mores
Marshmallow Time: 20 minutes active, 8 hours total
Roasted Strawberries Time: 5 minutes active, 20 minutes total
S’mores Time: 10 minutes active, 20 minutes total
-If you don’t feel up to making your own marshmallows, you can use store bought or source locally made varieties. This would work really well with blackberries, too.
-The homemade marshmallows tend to melt pretty quickly under the broiler so keep an eye on them. If you have a kitchen blowtorch, that tends to keep them in tact on the inside while charing the outside.
makes approx. 1 1/2 cups
1 pint fresh strawberries, stems removed
2 tbsp thyme leaves
3 tbsp cane sugar
2 tbsp pure vanilla
Toss berries with the thyme, sugar, and vanilla and roast at 400 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Any leftover berries can be kept for 2 weeks in an airtight jar. Spoon leftovers over ice cream or serve on a cheese plate.
Thyme Roasted Strawberries
Balsamic Marshmallows, recipe follows
Pizzelle or Graham Crackers
10 squares Dark Chocolate
Turn the oven on to broil and move the oven rack to the top third. Place as many marshmallows as you need on a parchment. Broil for 5 minutes or until the marshmallows turn deep golden and warm throughout. While the marshmallows cook, place a square of dark chocolate on the bottom of each cracker. Remove the marshmallows and place each on the squares of dark chocolate. Spoon 1-2 tbsp of the roasted berries over the marshmallows, sprinkle with sea salt, and top with another cookie/cracker. Eat immediately for most delicious results.
makes 20-40 marshmallows depending on size
adapted from Ina Garten
3 1/4 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
icing sugar, for dusting
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of your electric mixer and let stand while you complete the syrup.
In a saucepot, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let it bubble away for about 9 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees. Remove from the heat. Turn mixer to low, with the softened gelatin in it, and slowly pour the syrup into the gelatin along with the balsamic vinegar. Turn mixer to high and whip for 15 minutes. Mixture should be very thick by that point.
Dust confectioners sugar over an oiled 8×12 glass baking dish. Pour mixture into the dish and smooth the top. Dust with more icing sugar. Place on the counter overnight to dry and set. In the morning, sliced into 1″ cubes and dust with more icing sugar.