Friday, February 19, 2010

Sugared Cinema: The Sandlot

"I was gonna put the ball back."
"But it was signed by Babe Ruth!"
"Yeah, you keep telling me that! Who is she?"
"The sultan of swat!"
"The king of crash!"
"The colossus of clout!" (..."the colossus of clout!") 


"Oh my god.  You mean that's the same guy?!?"

Best part in the movie.  When the severity of the situation hits Smalls, the expression on his face is hysterical.  "YOU MEAN THAT'S THE SAME GUY?!?"  Priceless.

The Sandlot is one of those movies that makes you wish you were a grubby little kid on summer break again.  Back when calling someone a "butt sniffer" was a witty retort and when sleepovers were all about sharing moderately scary stories and having a sugary, sticky treat to accompany them.

By the way, can you guess what we're making today?  I'll give you 3 hints.

1.  It's not a papier mache cowboy hat.
2.  It's smaller than a bread box.
3.  It rhymes with zarshgallows.

No guesses?  The correct answer is marshmallows.

For my first venture into this seemingly simple confection, I decided to put my trust in Mr. Good Eats himself, Alton Brown.

Here's what you'll need:

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray

Ready?  Okay!  (cheer speak.)

Pour the gelatin and 1/2 cup of the ice water into the bowl of an electric mixer (keep the whisk attachment nearby.)


In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt and place over medium-high heat. 

[pretend this is a picture of 1/2 cup of ice water.  Brrrrr.]

Cover and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.

Disregard the charred ring of death around the burner.  The homeowner before us apparently didn't like taking care of the stovetop.  Of course, with my luck, she'll probably discover this now that I've bad-mouthed her and egg my house.  

As long as they're cage-free, it's okay.

Take off the cover and place a candy thermometer into the pan.  Let the mixture cook until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7-8 minutes.

Once it reaches 240 degrees, immediately remove it from heat.

Almost there.




Attach the whisk to the mixer.  On low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture.

Once you've added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture gets thick and lukewarm (about 12-15 minutes.) 

Got 12-15 minutes to kill?  Perfect!  Time to prep the pan.

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.  Lightly spray a metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and tap it around the pan to coat the bottom and the sides.  


Pour the remaining mixture back into the bowl.  You'll need it later.

Back to the mixer, friends.

During the last minute of whipping, add the vanilla.

Look at that dreaminess.

 Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula to spread it evenly.  Dust the top with a light layer of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture.  Reserve the rest for later.

Let the zarshgallows sit uncovered for at least 4 hours (or overnight.)

When you're ready to consume mass quantities of these, pour yourself a beer as a reward for your hard work and for cleaning up that godawful mess.

Today's pairing: a decadent, slightly roasty chocolate porter from Legend Brewing Co out of Richmond, VA.  The cocoa used in this beer is really prominent...that's a good thing.

Now, dust a knife or pizza cutter with the sugar and cornstarch mixture and cut the marshmallows into squares.

You didn't really think we were going to eat these plain, did you? 

"Hey Smalls, you wanna s'more?"
"Some more of what?"  
"No, do you wanna s'more?"
"I haven't had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?
"You're killing me, Smalls!"

A marshmallow just isn't the same without chocolate and a graham cracker.
 I could eat these FOR-EV-ER.






  1. Ah, zarshgallows.

    This recipe reminds me of when I was a child, spending time down on zarm with my frandqom and zandrad, waking up early in the twornings to the call of the xoosters. We used to make zarshgallow fie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner when the fresh zarshs were in season. The family zarm had a whole yorchmurd full of zarsh trees.. I remember how the sqockingbirds loved to nest in those trees. I can almost hear the memories now.

  2. well i'll be a gleepglops snarfblat liam! you grew up on a zarm with a yorchmurd of zarsh trees too? i thought idaho was the only place were zarsh trees grew. my fatzergrandpop told me there were too many zarpisites in other parts of the US for the zarshbulbs to mateurinate.

    these zarshgallows were aweome, btw.

  3. There are a LOT of leftover zarshmallows. We'll be eating fluffernutter zandzfiches this weekend.

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  5. Hey Smalls, hook me up with some s'mores! (I can't believe you made marshmallows. That's just crazy, Al.)

    Just watched Sandlot for the zillionth time and now I have to get Ben the black chucks that Benny Rodriguez wore. It will make him run fast. And they want a tree house.

  6. I can totally see Ben finding his own Wendy Peppercorn at Sudley and pulling a Squints.