July 9, 2012

Homemade Marshmallows

I had big plans of sharing this tasty recipe for homemade marshmallows in time for fourth of July s’mores, but we were part of those affected by the crazy storm that hit the mid-Atlantic. Better late than never, as there are still plenty of cookout days ahead!

If it is my first time making something, I will scour the interwebs to see how much variance there is between recipes so that I can venture into my project armed with knowledge. Also, depending on what I am making, I will also see what more I can do with it so that I get the most out of the goodness.

In addition to making vanilla marshmallows, I really wanted to make strawberry ones as well. After my research, I took the risk that I could just add strawberry (or any flavor) jelly to the vanilla marshmallow. It was a success and now you know that you can flavor marshmallow with just a little bit of fruit jelly. Once it was ready, I poured about half of the marshmallow mixture into one prepared dish to leave as vanilla. I added jelly to the remainder, whipped it to incorporate, and poured it into another prepared dish. Since I used two dishes, my marshmallows were thinner, about 3/4-inch thick, and I got a lot of them. Being thinner made it super simple to use cookie cutters to cut shapes out.

The vanilla marshmallows were good, and like everyone else out there says, nothing like store bought. They have a fresher taste and are more creamy than sticky inside. Even though I didn’t think they were all that special, the overall act of making them and the rustic look they have adds so much to their charm. The strawberry ones to me were out of this world, but the vanilla ones were favored by a couple of others that tried them.

Making the marshmallow mixture wasn’t difficult and it wasn’t near as sticky as I had prepared myself for. I don’t have a candy thermometer, just a regular handheld one and it worked just fine. Clean up of any utensils, pans, and dishes was a breeze by letting sticky items soak in warm water for just a little bit.

Strawberry Marshmallows
6 T confectioners sugar
3 T corn starch
1 C cold water, divided
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 C sugar
1 C light corn syrup
1/4 t salt
1 T vanilla
1/3 C strawberry jelly, omit if you want plain vanilla

Lightly coat a 9-inch x 13-inch glass casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the confectioners sugar and corn starch and then sift into sprayed dish, covering the bottom and sides.

Empty the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer and then pour 1/2 C cold water onto the gelatin. Mix gently and then set aside for gelatin to soften, about 15 minutes.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1/2 C of water. Gently stir together the ingredients and then allow to come to a boil undisturbed. Any sugar that is stuck to the side of the pan can be brushed away with additional water with a pastry brush so that none of the sugar crystallizes. Let the syrup reach 240º F and then remove from heat.

With the stand mixer on low, slowly pour the syrup into the bowl. Get as much syrup out without scraping the pan clean. Gradually increase the speed of the stand mixer until it is on high and let it whip the mixture until it has become thick and fluffy, about 10 minutes.

Warm the strawberry jelly in the microwave for about 30 seconds to thin it. Add the vanilla and jelly to the marshmallow and whip until incorporated.

Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and smooth top as much as possible. Sift more of the confectioners sugar mixture over top of the marshmallow to cover. Let sit uncovered for at least 6 hours or overnight.

When ready to remove the marshmallow, dust a cutting surface with more confectioners sugar mixture. Use a knife to gently separate the sides of the marshmallow from the dish if it is sticking and then place onto prepared surface. You can then cut squares with a knife or shapes with cookie cutters. Toss the cut marshmallows in the remaining confectioners sugar mixture and then shake off any excess.

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