I’ve always been a fan of Halloween – from pumpkin picking and carving to spooky decorations to dressing up. The candy – ahh the candy – has always been my favorite part, though. There’s something about those fun size candy bars that just makes it taste a little better. The fact that I no longer go trick-or-treating and can buy a 10 lb. bag of mini candy at every store has taken away some of the magic of the holiday. This year, I’ve decided to get in the mood by making homemade adult beer candy. Yep…you heard me! Chocolate-Dipped Beer Marshmallows with Crushed Pretzel Garnish from the kitchn will help bring out my inner child and satisfy the adult in you. Halloween just got a lot more interesting!
Ingredients (Makes 18 to 22 marshmallows, depending on how you cut them):
- 1 1/2 tbsp. (just under 1/2 ounce) unflavored gelatin
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (2.5 ounces) flat dark beer
For the Sugar Syrup:
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) flat dark beer
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) corn syrup or sugar cane syrup
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) granulated sugar
- pinch salt
For Coating and Topping
- 10-12 ounces milk chocolate
- 2-3 teaspoons canola oil, optional – for thinning the melted chocolate
- 1/2 cup stick pretzels
- To flatten the beer, open the bottle and let it sit overnight. If you’re in a rush, pour it into a bowl and stir the beer with a whisk to release as much of the carbon dioxide as possible.
- Spray one standard bread loaf pan (8.5″ x 4.5″ or close) with nonstick spray or line it with parchment paper and then spray with nonstick coating. (If using parchment, tape the flaps to the outside of the pan so the paper stays in place when you spoon in the marshmallow.
For the bloom:
- Sprinkle the gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Mix vanilla and flattened beer, and pour this over the gelatin.
- Whisk until no lumps remain.
- Set the bowl back into your mixer and fit the mixer with a whisk attachment.
For the sugar syrup:
- Combine the flattened beer, corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a 4-quart saucepan or larger.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the side.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the sugar mixture to a boil. (As the syrup heats, it will foam up to nearly fill the pan.)
- Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over.
- When the mixture is between 225° and 230°, let it bubble for another 5 minutes and then remove it from heat. (Ideally, the syrup should reach 240° – 250°, but I couldn’t get an accurate temperature reading in the foam. If your syrup starts to edge up toward 250°, take the pan off the heat and proceed with the next step.)
Now, let’s make marshmallows!
- With the mixer on low speed, carefully pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin bloom.
- Turn the mixer to high once all the syrup has been added and let it whip for 8-10 minutes, until it looks like glossy meringue and is very thick.
- Pour marshmallow into the loaf pan and let it cure, uncovered, for 10-12 hours or overnight.
- When the marshmallows are cured, rub the top with a little powdered sugar and turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board.
- Rub the top with more powdered sugar.
- Cut into 18-22 squares of equal size.
For chocolate coating:
- Melt chocolate over a double-boiler or in 30-second bursts on HIGH in the microwave, stirring between each burst until the chocolate is melted.
- If the chocolate seems too thick, whisk in the canola oil one teaspoon at a time until the chocolate is thin enough to coat.
- Coat each marshmallow entirely and set them on a piece of wax paper to dry.
- While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the tops of the marshmallows with crushed pretzels or any other toppings you want. (Tip: I think you could make this a bit more themed for Halloween by topping with candy corn or crushed Oreos with a gummy worm.)
- The chocolate might have difficulty setting up if the weather is very humid; try putting the marshmallows in the fridge to help things along.
Note: Marshmallows will keep in a covered container for several weeks. In the summer, store in the refrigerator to prevent the chocolate from melting.