I’m not what you’d call a “big” drinker, but that doesn’t mean I don’t indulge occasionally – especially when we’re hanging out with friends. Actually, when I say “not a big drinker” what I really mean is that I can be picky about what I will drink. And because I’m so picky, I always make sure we have (at least) a small stash of my favorites on hand for whenever the mood strikes me.
Near the top of that list of favorites? Fireball Whisky.
Because, red hots.
And Fireball Whisky just happens to be 50% of what makes a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shot.
If you’ve never had one of those before, then I dare say you haven’t fully lived.
I’ve experimented with Fireball Whisky before, and I’ve been itching to create something new with it for ages – I just don’t always have as much time as my (constantly growing) food-to-do list deserves. But now seemed like an opportune moment to try my hand at tackling it, since Fireball Whisky themselves recently tweeted this recipe for Fireball Jello Shot Cupcakes (for which I received a glorious amount of traffic – so awesome).
I totally get the appeal – Fireball Whisky has so much flavor that it’s just begging to be added to desserts and other tasty sugary treats. Fireball + sugar = greatness. I can always use more greatness in my life.
So I got to thinking, what type of sugary goodness will be popular now that summer is upon us?
Well, summer makes me think camping and camping makes me think s’mores and s’mores makes me think marshmallows.
Voilà! The idea for Fireball Whisky Marshmallows was born.
I’ve never made homemade marshmallows before, so this was an adventure from start to finish – but it was certainly not a flawless endeavor. I had to make 3 different batches before I finally got everything to mesh, but at least I learned something some valuable with each attempt. Such as:
- Using corn syrup seems to be the “easier” ingredient for making marshmallows, but it’s also very moody about how accurate you are with your candy thermometer. I found evaporated milk to be more forgiving.
- I need to invest in a stand mixer, because some recipes (like this one) require 15 minutes of mixing. I toughed it out and used my hand mixer, but since I made 3 batches, I had ample time (read: 45 minutes) to think about how much I really need to look into upgrading my kitchen appliances. And how cute a new backsplash would look.
- Gelatin does not bloom well in pure alcohol. It took me two failed batches to realize this.
I hit the holy grail by using evaporated milk (a “healthier” alternative than corn syrup, anyway) and blooming the gelatin in water. As a result I didn’t get to use as much Fireball Whisky as I wanted, but I added as much Fireball as I could while cooking it with the sugar mixture.
Perfectly fluffy marshmallows that almost make it look like I know what I’m doing.
And, of course, the absolute best part about these is the spicy kick of the Fireball Whisky tucked within the sweet, sugary fluff.
When it comes to boozy desserts, the alcohol tends to be a novelty add – you get the flavor, sure, but not much else. And by “much else” I mean the whole reason we drink alcohol: for the tipsy effect. With these marshmallows, I noticed that they do still have a slight buzz to them, even after cooking the alcohol. I know this because I still got a boozy headache – something I unfortunately get every time I drink alcohol these days, because I’m getting old – an hour or so after eating a few.
And by a few I mean six.
Okay, fine, it was closer to ten or fifteen, but I’ve got to quality test this stuff for you guys before I post it. I’m taking one for the team here.
But I think we both know it was totally worth the hit.
Fireball Whisky Marshmallows
Important Notes & Needed Items
You will also need a candy thermometer.
- Pour water in the bowl of a stand mixer (with whisk attachment) and sprinkle gelatin on top. Make sure all gelatin has been moistened so that there is no longer any white powder. Set aside (so gelatin can bloom) while completing the next steps.
Spray the bottom and sides of the pan of your choice (see important notes above) with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar and cornstarch. Coat greased pan with sugar/cornstarch mix, thoroughly covering the bottoms and sides. Pro tip: place pan in the sink and use a sifter to evenly coat the pan. Do not use all of the sugar/cornstarch mix for this step. Set remaining powder/cornstarch aside for now.
In a small saucepan, add ingredients in this order: salt, evaporated milk, Fireball whisky, then sugar. Without mixing, warm saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a gentle boil. Immediately add a candy thermometer and watch the temperature, reducing heat to control boiling if necessary. Ideally you want the temperature to get as close to 240 degrees before sugar mixture begins to bubble over. During my trials, I wasn't able to get past 210 before the mixture bubbled so high it threatened to overflow. Once you can no longer boil the sugar mix without overflowing, go ahead and move on to the next step.
- Slowly pour the hot sugar mixture in with the gelatin. Begin to whisk on low, breaking up the gelatin and incorporating it with the warm sugar. Once gelatin has dissolved, add any food coloring (optional - I used 1 drop of red and 2 drops of yellow) then set the mixer speed to high and beat for 15-17 minutes. Mixture is ready once it has turned a solid color, has doubled in size, and is thick enough to cause lasting ripples and waves in the batter. Tips for Hand mixers: For the first 5 minutes of mixing, hold the mixer near one end of the bowl and tip the opposite side of the bowl so that it is leaning toward the mixer. This trick will cause the fluid in the bowl to fall toward while the mixer pushes the fluid back up, giving you a more even mix. Once the marshmallow mixture is no longer clear, set bowl back on the counter and mix like normal, making sure to rotate the mixer around the sides and through the middle.
- Pour fluffed marshmallow mix into the prepared pan. Used a greased spatula to help smooth out the top, if needed. Finish off by dusting the top with more sugar/cornstarch mix.
- Let marshmallows set for 8 hours (or ideally overnight) uncovered in the pan. When ready to cut, dust a pizza cutter or sharp knife with more sugar/cornstarch mix, then slice marshmallows to desired size. Remove marshmallows and toss them in the last of the sugar/cornstarch mix so that the sides are no longer tacky.
- Store marshmallows in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.