In the December issue of 7x7, we chose the seven best cookbooks to gift your foodie (“The Cook’s Bookshelf”). We’re in the giving mood, so here are our favorite recipes from each tome.
From Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques, by Shauna Sever:
Malted White Hot Chocolate
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half-and-half
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1. Combine milk, half-and-half, white chocolate, and salt in a medium saucepan.
2. Stir over medium-low heat until white chocolate is melted and mixture is just becoming too hot to touch.
3. Transfer mixture to a blender and add malted milk powder.
4. Cover tightly and blend for 60 seconds.
5. Pour mixture back into saucepan and reheat over low heat just until hot (don’t let it boil).
6. Stir in vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. Serve immediately.
Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
Makes 4 dozen 1/2-inch marshmallows
3 tablespoons unflavored powdered gelatin
1 1/2 cups cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan lightly with cooking spray and wipe away any excess.
2. Whisk together gelatin and 1 cup of the cold water in a small bowl and let stand for at least 5 minutes, until gelatin softens.
3. Stir together sugar, 1/2 cup of the corn syrup, the remaining 1/2 cup cold water, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat.
4. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240 degrees.
5. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1/2 cup corn syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
6. Microwave gelatin mixture on high power until it is completely melted, about 30 seconds.
7. Pour it into mixer bowl and set mixer to low speed.
8. Once syrup mixture reaches 240°F, remove it from heat.
9. Slowly pour into mixer bowl in a steady stream, aiming for the space between the beater and the bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes.
10. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 5 more minutes.
11. Turn mixer to the highest setting and beat for 1 to 2 minutes more; beat in vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste. At this point, the marshmallow will be opaque white, fluffy, and roughly tripled in volume.
12. Pour marshmallow into prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to nudge it into the corners and smooth the top.
13. Sift confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch together into a medium bowl. Sift mixture evenly and generously over the top of the marshmallow; reserve leftover coating (you will need it when cutting marshmallow after it sets).
14. Let set for at least 6 hours in a cool, dry place.
15. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen marshmallow.
16. Invert the entire slab onto a coating-dusted work surface and dust marshmallow with more coating.
17. Cut into whatever size pieces you wish (a pizza cutter works great for making squares).
18. Dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in more coating, patting off excess.