These melt-in-your-mouth, orange-tinged treats are nothing like the bagged variety. We got the recipe for these gooey squares from Jason R. Gronlund, Tabasco’s executive chef.
2 1/2 tbsp. unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup pure orange blossom honey
2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 vanilla beans (scrape out seeds)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
1. Combine 1/2 cup cold water and the gelatin in the bowl of an electric mixer that has a whisk attachment; let set for 30 minutes.
2. Blend another 1/2 cup cold water with sugar, corn syrup, honey, and a dash of salt in a small sauce pot. Place over low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved completely. Wash down sides of the pan with a high-temp pastry brush to remove sugar crystals.
3. Bring syrup to 244°F (hard-ball stage; see Cooking Sugar); do not stir, and continue cleaning inside edge of pot with wet pastry brush during this process. Immediately remove pan from the heat.
4. With the mixer on low, very carefully and slowly pour the liquid into the softened gelatin. Once all is added, slowly turn mixer to high and beat until mixture is thick and about triple the original volume; add the vanilla extract and bean scrapings and mix on high to incorporate.
5. Dust an 8″ x 12″ glass dish with confectioners’ sugar. Pour mixture into pan and dust the top with a generous amount of confectioners’ sugar; let stand overnight uncovered to dry out.
6. Once the mixture has dried it will resemble one large 8″ x 12″ marshmallow. Before serving, slice into twenty-four 2″ x 2″ squares.