Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Marshmallow Madness

Go to Motorinos for a clam pizza (tres delish) on 349 E. 12th street.

Then walk to Birdbath Bakery for the best home-made marshmallow ever.

I do not say this lightly, especially after 3 days of intensive research and furtive gobbling. 

Birdbath is a 'green' offshoot (one of 5 in the city) of City Bakery 

You can buy a 10-pack ($10) or by the piece ($1) as I prefer for freshness.

I spotted packets of marshmallows at Balthazar but none sold individually. 

I thought I was addicted to French guimauve but last weekend I was converted to the American way. 

Why is it that when you've eaten something all your life you think you own it. Not so. 
As a candy, marshmallows go back to ancient Egypt when mixed with honey and for medicinal purposes using the marshmallow plant. The 19th century French version of the recipe, called pâte de guimauve (or "guimauve" for short), included egg white meringue and was often flavored with rose water. French candy shop owners used to make it on the premises. La Mere du Famile makes wonderful loops of marshmallow but they are much dryer and less sticky than City Bakery's (they must have a longer shelf life).
In 1948 American Alex Doumak invented a way for marshmallows to be manufactured in a fully automated way - extruded in soft cylinders and then cut.
Thank you Wikipedia

Photo by Jacob Margolis/NPR
Recipes for the homemade marshmallow abound. NPR has a nice one. Smitten Kitchen and David Lebovitz will show you how to do it yourself. 

I don't trust myself around the lava-like marshmallow. I'll stick with picking up a few daily at City bakery and then seeing how long I can keep them in the house (24 hours is tops so far) 

Birdbath (but not City Bakery) has nice stocking stuffer 10-packs of small gingerbread men for $5. 

Shhh...here's a hot chocolate tip: Trader Joe's for the holidays has a peppermint hot chocolate($4.95) exactly like William Sonoma's hot chocolate ($19.95). TJ's tin is green but the inside is exactly the same yummy chocolate flakes.


  1. Oh my gosh. Miam miam! Excuse me. Must run to Trader Joe's now!

  2. Trader Joe's had samples of their gingerbread freshly baked and lemon curd to go with it yesterday--I had to buy a mix for it--it's not bad. My gingerbread is great, but this mix was pretty darned good! I'm not a huge marshmallow fan, well, excepting for in s'mores...;)

  3. Parisbreakfasts12:21 PM

    I flirted dangerously with TJ's mix. Now you've convinced me to try it!
    The house will smell divine if I don't eat the raw dough 1st.
    Yes I saw the warning on the package too..
    I'm doing a peppermint hot chocolate run later today. Some stores are already out of it!
    Eeek :(

  4. Geri, NJ2:18 PM

    I've just had imported French guimauve (heart shaped, chocolate covered!)for the first time and I'm in love with them (from Home Goods - so good luck getting them THERE again). (I barely shared them). Now that they're gone, I've been wondering what to do, et voila...thanks to you I can make them!

  5. Boy, I never even heard of Home Goods! I'm so out of it...
    French guimauve is much dryer than the home made US kind of marshmallows Geri.
    Also the home made mallows are not as sweet as Campfire brand..it's all about texture..yum

  6. Luscious post today that has me drooling here
    merci Annie

  7. Always a pleasure to visit here the marshmallows look like little sweet clouds........:) Maryanne

  8. What a fantastic post about marshmallows and how they are made and where to buy and everything!
    And the H.C.tip, what a winner!
    Merry Christmas..hope it wonderful

  9. Oh I do love Marshmallows if they are fresh. To bad Trader Joe is over an hour away from us...That Hot chocolate mix looks yummy.

  10. I'm not a marshmallow fan, so I have to thank you for adding the clam pizza & the Trader Joe's info :)
    I've never been to Trader Joe's, so I guess it's time to visit!

  11. All this talk about marshmallows makes me want to go out into my backyard,
    find a long sharp stick and when it gets dark, build a fire and get those little white beauties nice and toasty.

  12. As someone I know and love would say, Thanks gawk you found your marshmallows. Don't forget Martha Stewart's peppermint marshmallows! I can' t believe the way you keep adding to my ToDo list:
    1.make marshmallows
    2. Go back to Trader Joes.
    3. Go to Home Place (at least it is only a mile away)!

  13. Carol, you make me almost want to leave the farm for NYC ( & Paris ) ! clam pizza, followed by peppermint hot chocolate with homemade but not by me marhmallows!!!! so tempted! we have a TJ Maxx Home Goods, only 3 mi from me, but different stores seem to get different things. a friend in another area alerted me about some French Chocolat she found there, but our store didn't have it. Or perhaps another Wiley shopper beat me to it! I hpe someday we get Trader Joe's, meanwhile I have friends who send me care pkgs. Guess I'll go make a cup of hot chocolate with Girradeli ground drinking chocolate with mini

  14. parisbreakfasts4:03 AM

    Now don't cry into yr hot chocolate!
    there's always CHOCOSPHERE - http://www.chocosphere.com
    Where you can order all manner of imported hot chocolates
    I like their Valrhona cocoa for my HC
    Or just take a good bar and scrape it yourself into your cup and enjoy J!
    Cheers, Carolg

  15. I'm not into marshmallow fan but everytime I see, I wanna buy! They always looks so nice!
    My favorite thing during christmas time are the "guimauve de Noël" whith chocolate. They are pink, yellow... and shaped like Jesus or Chritmas tree!!!
    I love thm!!!

  16. thanks, Carol, the goatie girls are relieved , after all the guy in the big brown UPS truck & the white FedEx one bring them exotic necessities not found locally!
    I did find the Ecuador chocolate at HG for stockings so can't try til Sunday!

  17. This is great intel, perfectly timed for the holidays :-)

  18. no way!! that hot chocolate looks beyond belief!

  19. So fun! Love this post!
    I need that pizza.

  20. Clam pizza, Yes please! Love that burnt crust too.

  21. I am with you in a love of marshmallows.
    Thank you for always putting so much great information in your posts!
    I really appreciate your approach to blogging, as I know thousands of others do, too! :)
    Thank you for being so faithful in your work.


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