Every year, I try to make something that I’ve never really considered making before. Last year, it was Salted Chocolate Twix Bars (the caramel… and also the shortbread). This year, it was marshmallows. Marshmallow recipes have been floating around for a while, but I finally decided to try it after Becky mentioned that she’d made them and nothing exploded. Always a good sign. I had planned to make hot cocoa mix to go along with the marshmallows, but I gave myself permission to slack on that when we had 12 hours to go before we were scheduled to leave and I hadn’t even bought the ingredients. There’s always next year!
Alton Brown’s recipe for Homemade Marshmallows. I trust Alton Brown, generally. That said, watch the video of him making the marshmallows, it basically takes what may be a scary looking recipe and makes it seem like the easiest thing in the world. Pro tip: don’t forget the flavoring! I did on one of my batches, and they’re still good, but the vanilla ones are stellar. Also, don’t forget to warn people/vegans/vegetarians that there is gelatin in there!
Momofuku Milk Bar’s Gingersnaps. I have not been to Momofuku Milk Bar, because I am a bad New York Dweller, but that didn’t stop me from making their gingersnaps for a cookie swap with my high school friends! They were good, though I did not have success slicing them and instead had to roll them out.
Sparkling Butter Toffee Cookies. These were good, but they basically tasted like sugar cookies. I would have preferred more toffee taste, but whatever.
Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies. I’ve made these a few times, and they are a real crowd pleaser. They’re super easy to throw together, are nearly impossible to screw up, and look really lovely on a cookie plate. They’re also so sweet that it’s hard to eat more than one! Bonus!
The really awesome thing about my cookie selections this year is that the dough for the gingersnaps and toffee cookies could be mixed up and then frozen until it was time to bake. So, I made all the dough in the week leading up to our departure, and did all the baking the night before we left. It was still a busy night, but rotating baking sheets in and out of the oven is simpler than trying to mix and chill and bake at the same time. I actually also made a batch of Cookie Monster’s Famous Cookie Dough (Throwback!) but didn’t have time to bake it, so it’s chillin (har har) in the freezer for sometime when a sweet tooth strikes.
Lastly, we had a New Year’s Day brunch to attend yesterday, and since we were driving back into town from Connecticut that morning, I knew I had to make something that was quick and easy. I ended up making Monkey Bread for the first time ever, and let me tell you: it was delectable! I had 2 small cans of regular biscuits in my fridge, so I halved the rest of the ingredients in the recipe and put it together in a loaf pan instead of a fluted pan. When it came out of the over I overturned it onto a plate right away so the caramel would settle through the whole thing, and dusted it with powdered sugar. Definitely impressive given the amount of work that went into it. I’m sure there are plenty of recipes for making the whole thing from scratch, but this was a great fast, easy recipe to start the year with. And dangerously good!