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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Marshmallow Chicks

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Marshmallow Chicks

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups fine white sugar
Food coloring (your choice)
2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
Cold water

Directions:
Place 2 cups sugar into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Add six drops of food coloring to the jar, close the lid, and shake vigorously for about a minute. Repeat, adding food coloring a drop or two at a time, until the color is to your liking. Cover the surface of a large baking sheet with a layer of colored sugar and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin into 1/3 cup cold water and leave it to sit for about five minutes. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and sugar. Stir together over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Place a candy thermometer into the sugar water and boil until it reaches 238 ° and becomes a thick syrup. Remove the syrup from heat and add it to the softened gelatin. Place bowl under a stand mixer and, using a whisk attachment, beat on medium high for about 10 minutes, until peaks form. Quickly place the mixture into a large pastry bag. Pipe one oval shape, about an inch wide and a little longer, onto the sugared baking sheet. Pull upward at the back end of the oval to create a tail, then add a head by piping on a small mound and pulling downward to make a beak. Sprinkle sugar over the entire surface of the chick. Using a toothpick, dab a small amount of cocoa powder onto the head, where the eyes would be. Repeat until all of the marshmallow is gone. Allow the chicks to set before eating.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.