One of the most popular recipes on The Crepes of Wrath are these S’more Cookie Bars, and as a result, people often ask me how to make marshmallow fluff at home. My answer is usually that I don’t know – I generally don’t like to recommend recipes that I’ve never tried out for myself, but I wanted to give the people what they asked for. Additionally, I was making a s’mores slab pie (recipe to come next week), and I needed a decent amount of fluff. I finally found myself in the position that many of my readers have found themselves in: I couldn’t find fluff! I checked countless stores and bodegas, but it was nowhere to be found. I’d purchased it in New York before, but I suspect that we are on the cusp of a great fluff shortage. Anyway, I thought, “Screw it! We’ll do it live!” and I quickly looked up this recipe from Chow on my phone while I was at the last bodega I could bring myself to visit. I had everything at home except corn syrup, so I grabbed a bottle of that and was on my way. I will admit, I am a little wary of recipes that call for candy thermometers. Years ago, I was making caramel, and, well, you know what happened – I burned the hell out of my hand. I dripped some hot syrup on the floor, so my stupid human reaction was to try to put my hand under the utensil that was dripping to help with the mess, but of course the syrup immediately fused to my palm and I dropped everything while running to the sink for some cold water, making an even bigger mess in the process. C’est la vie. There’s no better time than the present for giving it the old college try once more, is there? I pumped myself up to do battle with another candy thermometer and set to work.
Our stop at Steve Heller’s Fabulous Furniture last weekend.
This recipe ended up being absolutely dreamy. At first, I wasn’t sure that I was doing it right, which is a familiar feeling to me, as I experience it every time I try something new. The recipe states that you must boil your syrup until it reaches 240 degrees F. At first, the heat was too high, and my syrup nearly boiled over. I removed the pot from the heat for a moment, reduced the flame, stirred, and kept going. After avoiding a bubbling cauldron of corn syrup and sugar, I felt like the mixture was stuck at 220 degrees F. I almost decided to just leave it at that, because I was afraid that the syrup was going to turn into a hard ball and I’d have to go out to the store for more corn syrup and start over, but I kept stirring, powered through, and finally the thing came to 240 degrees F. That was the only hard part. After that, I whisked my eggs whites to soft peaks and slowly drizzled in the syrup. Magically, I watched the eggs and sugar turn into my beloved marshmallow fluff, right before my very eyes. I couldn’t believe it. When it had finished whisking, I held up a big wooden spoon to Kramer, who was sitting on the couch, completely oblivious to my incredible kitchen achievements, and shouted, “FLUFF!” He responded, “Good job, honey!” and went back to whatever it was he was doing. Good job, indeed. It is insane how proud I was of myself for making fluff. I guess it’s just because I love it so much. It’s so soft, gooey and creamy, and spreads perfectly over whatever you’re using it in. I’m still trying to be good, so the temptation to spread this over a thick slice of bread with peanut butter and banana weighed heavily over my head, but thankfully I had no bread in the house. I saved myself from myself. I ended up using the fluff to bake with, and it worked really well there, too – I was worried it might melt or break down as it heated up in the oven, but it held up perfectly. I brought the leftovers to a barbecue to spread on graham crackers, alongside chocolate, and there’s no surprise that it was a big hit. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever buy fluff again because this recipe is so easy and so amazingly delicious.
So, what are you up to this weekend other than reading about my fluff triumphs? I’ve got a pretty packed weekend lined up. Tonight, I’ve got plans to have drinks with a friend at Dear Irving, then I plan to go home and get some bread dough started. I know – is it possible to get crazier than that? Saturday, we’re having another barbecue at our friend Emily’s apartment, hence the bread. We’re doing a clambake again, since last year’s went so swimmingly. I also plan to make Hawaiian bread and cookies. Again, big dreams. Then Sunday, another friend is having a barbecue and I want to try to bring over some pulled pork made with Mina harissa. I haven’t done this before, so I hope it turns out well! Who wouldn’t want a little Moroccan pulled pork? Wish me luck and I hope you guys have an awesome weekend, too!
Tom checking out the playhouse.
We had to play Catan, of course.
A regular lumberjack over here.
Tom can be a lumberjack, too.
If you haven’t played Celebrity in a while, you should – it’s a lot of fun.
Be sure that you are patient with your boiling sugar mixture – you want it to reach 240 degrees F without it bubbling over. Mine got stuck for a while at 220 degrees F, but eventually got up to 240 degrees.
Beat your egg whites, then slowly drizzle in the syrup, 2 tablespoons at a time.
It’s worth the effort!
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often, until the it reaches 240 degrees F on a candy/fat thermometer. Be careful not to let the mixture bubble over - turn the heat down if you need and keep a watchful eye over it. This might take a little longer than you think, but just keep at it. Mine took about 10 minutes, but when you're standing there watching it, it feels like an eternity. It got stuck at around 220 for what seemed like forever, but then it eventually got up to 240.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Start whipping the egg whites to soft peaks on medium speed. You want to have the egg whites whipped and ready to go, waiting for your syrup to be drizzled in. If they’re whipping faster than your syrup is coming to temperature, just stop the mixer until the syrup is ready, which is what I did.
- When the syrup reaches 240 degrees F, reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly drizzle about 2 tablespoons of syrup into the egg whites to warm them. If you add too much syrup at once, the whites will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the rest of the syrup, a bit at a time - seriously, do not do more than 2 tablespoons at a time.
- Increase the speed to medium high and whip until the marshmallow fluff is stiff and glossy, about 7 solid minutes. Don't try to speed this process up! Add in the vanilla and whip 2 minutes more. Use the fluff immediately or refrigerate stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. I made my fluff about 4 hours ahead of time, stored it in an airtight container and served it on its own with graham crackers and chocolate later in the day at a barbecue.