Yep, I know…this is not my usual yummy looking piece of food in the picture above. But trust me, it is a delicious part of treats to come.
This white phallic looking blob is actually fondant. While you may not know what fondant it is, you’ve seen it. If you have seen any of those big fancy cakes, like the one’s on Ace of Cakes, that have a super smooth frosting. That smooth covering isn’t really a frosting like you would normally think of, it’s a sheet of sugar and other things that is rolled out and then rolled over the cake. And if you’ve ever tried to eat it, it usually doesn’t taste very good. Most people peel it off and throw it on the side of their plate to get to the good stuff underneath it.
I have begrudgingly lovingly been asked to repeat my Christmas candy gifts again this year. Last year, on a whim, I decided to make a bunch of Christmas candy to give to our neighbors, some friends, and Craig’s co-workers. I made trays of truffles, peppermint bark, caramel and chocolate covered pretzels, buckeyes, and peanut butter snowmen. My house looked and smelled like Willy Wonka’s factory.
This year I’ve cut back on the number of types of candies, but the one that remains (due to overwhelming demand) are the peanut butter snowmen. Hence, the fondant. I thought that last year’s model was cute, but was lacking something. So I decided to make scarves and hats for the little guys. (I’ll post them up as soon as they’re finished.)
I could buy the fondant for $8 a pound or I could make it. So I searched high and low looking for a recipe that was easy (that’s not a word that is usually associated with fondant) and not only edible but delicious. Since I didn’t want people to have to stop and disrobe their snowman before shoveling him into their watering mouths. I found a recipe by Peggy Weaver and tweaked it just a bit.
Think twice before doing something new. This may become something you are expected to do again and again. This advice can be applied to many different scenarios and I’ll let you decide where it fits best for you.
- 16 Ounces Mini Marshmallows
- 2-5 Tablespoons of Water
- 2 Pounds Powdered Sugar
- Vegetable Shortening (Crisco or a non-hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening – but it must be solid)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
Put marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water into a glass bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove bowl from microwave and stir. Repeat this until all of the marshmallows are melted. Only put it in for 30 seconds at a time. Be careful – this mixture can get extremely hot during the melting process.
Once everything is melted, add 3/4 of the powdered sugar to the bowl and gently stir to lightly combine.
Using the shortening, liberally grease your hands (between your fingers, the palms and the backs of your hands – trust me on this). Also, liberally grease your counter and pour the contents of the bowl out onto your greased work surface.
Start kneading the mixture like bread dough. Add the remaining sugar. Keep kneading until you get a firm smooth ball that is elastic and does not tear. If you find that the fondant is tearing while you are kneading it, it is too dry, add 1/2 tablespoon of water and keep kneading. If the mixture is sticking, re-apply the shortening to your hands.
You can use the fondant immediately, if you find that there are no spots of sugar in the mixture. If there are clumps of sugar still apparent, keep kneading until they are no longer visible. Then you can add your color (re-knead after adding color), roll it out and use it.
This will keep in your refrigerator for a week or two. To store the fondant, cover it with shortening and then double wrap it in plastic wrap. Place wrapped fondant into a re-sealable plastic bag with the air squeezed out of it.