Long-Distance Love

Looking for an easy-to-ship food gift to share? Here you go!

My mom had some foot surgery recently. With her many activities on hold and her foot hurting a lot, she sounded pretty low when I called her from three states over and two states down. When I told her about the hot-chocolate-on-a-stick I'd made for our little cook-off, I heard a tiny spark of interest, so I got right to work and made another batch to cheer her up.

In raspberry.

Did I mention that Mama loves all things raspberry? Well, she does. Who can blame her?

I didn't do any research first or I might not have tried it...who ever heard of dried raspberry powder?! I just took Alton Brown's recipe and unceremoniously added in 1/2 cup raspberry reduction. It might have been blind luck, but it worked just fine.

Here's how:
  • 12-ounce bag frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Pour the whole bag of frozen raspberries into a small pot and cook over medium heat. Stir often. 
  2. Allow it to cook until reduced about half, then taste the thickened berries. If it's too-too tart (That's how we in the bayou say extremely tart, cher!), add the sugar, stir, and taste. Keep adjusting until you like the result.
  3. Strain out the seeds. (Just so you know, I used a strainer at first, then resorted to a triple layer of cheesecloth. As fond of raspberries as Mama is, she despises their seeds. Depending on who's eating yours, you may not need to do this.) Pour this hot mixture into the mixing bowl right on top of the gelatin, before streaming in the hot sugar/corn syrup. 

Continue on as directed in the original recipe.

Fifteen minutes later I had a hot mixer and a pan full of raspberry marshmallows.

I did make one more small change. While I was mixing the confectioner's sugar and cornstarch, our bowl of sugar-free drink mix-ins caught my eye, so added a pack of True Lemon ("cold-pressed and crystallized lemon") to the dusting mixture, to give it a little something extra. Mom and C liked it, the kids not so much.You choose.

Banging them around in a strainer helps get rid of extra powder.

I was up at dawn the day after pouring these, cutting and snapping photos (you can see the dawn's early light in the background in some of the shots) trying to hit the post office when it opened.

In Mama's care package, I sent a few marshmallows for nibbling. 
And I sent some chocolate-dipped marshmallows, for fun.
(This one was sacrificed to, er, quality control.)

Of course, I also sent hot-chocolate-on-a-stick with raspberry marshmallows. Amazing stuff, this.
Oh, my.

It all traveled pretty well, packed in a Dollar Tree cake carrier. They recovered from being smooshed in one corner en route. 
You can't really see it, but I used Press-n-Seal plastic wrap to "seal" the edges of the carrier all the way around, to seal out air. It must have worked, because Mama says they were pillow soft when they got there.

The Bible study ladies seemed to enjoy them a good deal, anyway, because I hear the recipe is in demand. (Hi, Leora!)

One last thing. I wanted to try using a little cookie cutter, so I chose the most complex one I had--on the premise that if THIS one worked, anything would--and lo and behold, it worked like a charm! With a little chocolate drizzle and a ribbon,  I had a treat to drop off on the way to the post office, to say thanks to the two friends who'd helped me pull off the cook-off Saturday night:

Here's an all-in-one place version of this recipe and procedure for the marshmallows if you want to try it yourself. I hope you do, and I hope you share, maybe with someone far, far away.
(The hot chocolate ganache blocks recipe can be found here.)

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