Did you ever stop to think how marshmallows were made? I didn’t. Marshmallows are one of those foods that I rarely ever eat, but when I do, I really want them to be perfect. I think they are a food that as adults, we idolize. We have these great memories of our parents making us hot cocoa and topping it with mini-marshmallows or makng s’mores outside over a fire with the big giant marshmallows. Yet if we happen to try them once we’re past the age of 20, they are stale and tasteless.
Well, have I got the solution for you! It’s currently 29 degrees in Seattle and this past weekend, I made homemade marshmallows! I cannot believe how easy they were. Not only that, but when I brought them to work today, they disappeared to rave reviews. One coworker told me that these tasted the way that marshmallows should taste (but never do). I got this recipe from a great baking blog, Baking Bites.
So, without further delay, make yourself some homemade marshmallows and brew up some hot cocoa! Wrap yourself in a blanket and make the best of this frigid weather.
- 3 packets Knox gelatin (0.75 oz)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cups light corn syrup (or honey)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Line a 9×9 or 7x9x2 inch pan with saran wrap.
Spray with Pam or cooking spray or use a basting brush to coat with olive oil.
Spread out a second piece of saran wrap and coat one side with cooking spray or oil as well.
In the bowl of your KitchenAid mixer (or just a large bowl that you’re going to use with an electric mixer), sprinkle the 3 packets of gelatin over the half a cup of cold water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
After the gelatin has been soaking for about 5 minutes, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil for a full minute.
Pour the boiling mixture into the gelatin mixture. Turn on the mixer (with the whisk attachment) on high (I used 6-8 on my KitchenAid). Add the salt.
Beat the entire mixture for 12 minutes.
Yes. 12 full minutes.
Add the vanilla and beat on medium until incorporated.
Coat a spatula with oil or cooking spray and use it to transfer the marshmallow cream into the baking dish. Spread evenly and then cover with the oiled piece of saran wrap. Press down slightly to set the marshmallows.
Let the mixture cool for several hours or even overnight.
Cut into squares and dredge in powdered sugar mixed with Christmas sprinkles.
Patricia’s Notes: These were great marshmallows. They were VERY vanilla. In fact, John thought they might even have been too vanilla-y. However that’s what many of my coworkers really enjoyed about them. So your mileage may vary.
Edited to Add on 2/26/11: Ever since I made these, I’ve wanted to try a variation without corn syrup. Well, finally this weekend I decided to try it. They were fantastic! I used honey, and while the marshmallows do have a distinctive honey undertone, the texture was just as perfect and the flavor was still delicious. I even used the new corn free version to make a batch of Rice Krispy Treats with rice/corn/wheat free flax cereal from Whole Foods to make a totally grain free treat.
Variations would include:
- Adding peppermint extract instead of vanilla
- Mix some cinnamon in with the powdered sugar
- Dredging in pulverized candy canes
- Mixing hot cocoa mix with the powdered sugar
- Add some ancho chili powder in with the hot cocoa and powdered sugar (this would be a daring choice but I think it could work).
- Mixing in candied bacon (yes, really). I’ve tried this and it is delicious!
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