I know, I know – I’ve been another couple of months MIA. I feel like it’s been one sickness after another around here since the New Year, and I’ve just been in kind of a funk as far as cooking in the kitchen is concerned. Sticking to my old stand-by’s…and not trying anything new or out of my comfort zone. I’m doing my best to “shake it off” though, and crossing out something on your “want to make from scratch” bucket-list is always a great place to start!
Marshmallows were at the top of that list for me. With as often as we make s’mores around here, a big fluffy homemade marshmallow would be just the ticket to elevate them to the next level. You can control the thickness and shape, and you know precisely what is going into them…something that’s not so easily accomplished with the store bought variety. Not to mention the fun you could have experimenting with flavors and colors!
A stand mixer is pretty much required, as it requires quite a bit of time whisking the mixture to the perfect cloud-like consistency. It’s minimal hands on work – heating up the sugar syrup and blooming the gelatin. Then it gets a spin in the mixer, and a good amount of cooling time before cutting and enjoying. Which, is of course always the hardest part.
They turn out perfect every time, and are a delightful little gift packaged up in a pretty cellophane bag. They also hold up really well to a good roasting, they’re more substantial then your average marshmallow – which tend to just want to slough off the stick. And, they keep for three weeks! Not like they ever last that long around here.
3 packages (1/4-ounce each) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cool water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
butter or shortening, for greasing pan
Combine confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish by greasing with butter and sprinkiling with half of the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Tap dish around to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup cool water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix briefly to combine; set aside.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup cool water in a small, deep saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
Raise the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
With the mixer set on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the bloomed gelatin. Increase the speed to high, and whip until the mixture is very thick and fluffy, and has cooled to lukewarm, about 12 minutes. The mixture should be cool enough that you can spread it into the pan without burning your fingers, about 95°F. Add vanilla towards the end of the mixing time.
Spread the marshmallow mixture into prepared pan. Smooth and flatten the top using a clean wet hand or silicone spatula.
Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over the top, and let sit for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight before cutting. Use a greased knife or cookie cutters to make squares or other shapes. Dipping the knife or cutters in cold water before cutting helps reduce any stickiness.
For storage, place in a closed container (the layers separated by waxed paper or parchment paper), for up to 3 weeks.