Thursday, December 9, 2010

Homemade Marshmallows - Recipe

I've discovered next year Christmas "teacher" gift. Forget the chocolate pretzels! Home made, peppermint marshmallows are coming your way! (That is, if you happen to teach my constantly delightful, always obedient children:-). I'm telling you. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

I had all the ingredients in my cupboard, except for unflavoured gelatin, it was about $1 at Walmart, so this recipe technically will cost more than buying a bag of marshmallows, but I'm telling you now, they taste better, look cooler, and you can flavour them! I made them for a party tomorrow. Here are some how-to pics, so you get the idea of the process.

I found this recipe on a blog that I randomly found clicking links, now I can't find it again to give proper credit, but I did Ctrl C that recipe immediately to give it a try!

.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
3/4 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
red food coloring (optional)

Lightly grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan. If you have a flexible silicon pan, use it! If not, you can use any metal or glass pan.  It’s just easier to remove the marshmallows from the silicon pan.
In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer if you have one), sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water and allow it to dissolve for about 5-10 minutes,

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a very  hard boil and cook for one minute (no need for a candy thermometer).  Make sure you stir it frequently, and be careful – this mixture is very hot!

Pour the boiling syrup on top of the gelatin and begin whisking on high.  A stand mixer will make this job much easier, though I’ve used a hand mixer with no problem.  Just be aware it’s possible that you could burn up your mixer using it on high for this long!

Add the salt and whisk on high for about 10 minutes.  At about 8 minutes in, I begin dipping my finger into the mixture and dropping a small dollop on the counter to test how close it is to “done”.  If you drop a dollop on the counter and within 30-60 seconds, it starts to firm up like you would imagine a marshmallow would, you can probably stop whipping.  Ten minutes is usually enough; you can go as long as 12 if you’re unsure.

At the end of the mixing, add the vanilla and peppermint extract (if using).  Pour half of the marshmallow mixture into the pan, then swirl around a few drops of red food coloring (if making peppermint marshmallows).  Pour the rest of the mixture on top, then swirl in a little more food coloring.
Allow the marshmallows to set until firm – usually about 4-5 hours.

Once firm, combine 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 T cornstarch in a bowl.  Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the marshmallows into cubes.  It helps prevent sticking if you dip your scissors in the powdered sugar mixture between each cut.

Toss each marshmallow in the powdered sugar mixture and that’s it – you’re done!  Store in a semi-airtight container.  I’ve found that if they are in a completely airtight container, they tend to get a little soggy; so we usually leave the lid just barely cracked.

Even More Variations To Try

There are endless customization possibilities for these homemade marshmallow! Continuing with the peppermint theme, you could crush candy canes and spread them on the bottom of the pan and then on top of the marshmallows before they set.
Chocolate-dipped marshmallows would be yummy, or could you try tossing them in cocoa powder instead of powdered sugar!
How about coconut extract, or maple?  The possibilities are endless.

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