toasted-marshmallows

The Dish: Marshmallows

You’ll never have to eat those stale, flavorless blobs from the grocery store again, once you learn how to make your own marshmallows! Imagine: cinnamon spice marshmallows topping off your hot chocolate on a cool fall evening, vanilla bean marshmallows toasted atop your sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving or blushing, pink rose water marshmallows dipped in dark chocolate for Valentine’s Day…The possibilities are endless with these gooey little morsels!

With the holidays right around the corner, marshmallows make excellent gifts. Place several marshmallows, some graham crackers, and a chocolate bar in a box for a homemade s’more kit. You can also wrap marshmallows in cellophane and place in an nice mug with a packet of gourmet hot chocolate for another great gift idea!

Try replacing the corn syrup with honey, agave or even molasses for an interesting twist. Virtually any flavor can be added from lemon juice to rum! Try adding different extracts or spices or even a pinch of salt on top of each to cut the sweetness. You can even use food coloring and cookie cutters to make them fun and festive. The only limit to the possibilities is remembering to keep all the ingredients proportionate (i.e. if you want to add 2 TBSP of limoncello, remove 2 TBSP of water).

Though the recipe may look long, these could not be easier to make. All you need is a mixer and your imagination!

Homemade Marshmallows 

• Vegetable oil or spray for coating pan

• About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for coating pan and marshmallows

• 3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes powdered unflavored gelatin

• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

• 1 cup light corn syrup

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

Pastry brush; 1 (9-inch) square baking pan; small, fine-mesh sieve; 4 1/2-quart or larger stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; candy thermometer

Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil.

Put 1/2 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin into the bowl and stir briefly to make sure all the gelatin is in contact with water. Let soften while you make the sugar syrup.

In a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Place over moderate heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Put a candy thermometer into the boiling sugar syrup and continue boiling (the mixture may foam up, so turn the heat down slightly if necessary), without stirring, until the thermometer registers 240°F (soft-ball stage). Remove the saucepan from the heat and let stand briefly until the bubbles dissipate slightly.

With the mixer on low speed, carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the softened gelatin. Gradually increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the marshmallow is very thick and forms a thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan (it will be very sticky) and use a wet spatula to spread it evenly and smooth the top. Let stand uncovered at room temperature, until the surface is no longer sticky and you can gently pull the marshmallow away from the sides of the pan with your fingertips; at least 4 hours or overnight.

Dust a cutting board with confectioners’ sugar. Use a rubber spatula to pull the sides of the marshmallow from the edge of the pan (use the spatula to loosen the marshmallow from the bottom of the pan if necessary) and invert onto the cutting board. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar.

Brush a long thin knife or a chef’s knife with vegetable oil and dust with confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking; continue dusting the knife as necessary. Cut lengthwise into 8 strips, then crosswise into eighths, to form a total of 64 squares. (For larger marshmallows, cut lengthwise into 6 strips, then crosswise into sixths, to form a total of 36 squares.) Coat marshmallows, one at a time, in confectioners’ sugar.

Tip: A larger pan such as a 9 x 13″ or even a jelly roll pan can be used as well. Recipe can make up to 70 marshmallows. 

DO AHEAD: Marshmallows can be stored, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment in an airtight container in a dry place at cool room temperature, for up to 30 days.

Click below for a printable version of this recipe

Marshmallows