The best type of reaction you can get while cooking or learning to cook is the look and exclamation of “You made WHAT?!”
This has happened to me more than a few times. Mostly with these lovely home made marshmallows.
Yes! You can actually make marshmallows at home. However they are completely different than anything you buy at the store. The store bought varieties are usually very firm, chewy, and while they taste good they remind me of chewing on rubber.
If you have ever had a home made marshmallow, you will be instantly spoiled and be hard pressed to eat a store bought one again. They are sweet, tender, and melt in your mouth.
Most people don’t realize that marshmallows can be made by hand. Of course they can, they had to be invented somewhere, likely in someone’s kitchen. It just seems so out of place for them to be made by hand now since it’s rare for someone to do so. They just think the rubber they buy in the store is the only way to get their fix.
Not true, and the best way to surprise your friends is to make them the best home made marshmallows ever.
Makes a whole lot of them…
- 2 (about 1/4 ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1 cup light corn syrup, divided
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Lightly butter a 9 x 13” baking pan; set aside. In a small bowl, combine gelatin and cold water. Stir with a spoon until very thick. Allow to stand 5 minutes.
- In a 2 quart sauce pan, combine hot water, 1/2 cup of the corn syrup and the sugar. Place over high heat and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture comes to a boil. If sugar crystals are present, wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush. Clip on a candy thermometer. Cook to 238ºF. Remove from heat and stir in remaining corn syrup.
- Pour into medium size bowl. Using an electric mixer at high speed beat the hot syrup, adding gelatin mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until all gelatin is incorporated, candy is thick and has cooled to lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.
- Cool 3 hours or until marshmallow is firm enough to cut. Using a knife dipped in hot water, cut marshmallows into pieces roughly 1” square. Roll cut marshmallows in powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
Using a candy thermometer is the best way to make these until you have mastered the art of sugar, or at least become familiar with it. Less chance of mistakes that way.
At this point, you can use either a hand held mixer, or a stand mixer like I have. Turn it on and let it rip until the mixture cools and it becomes bigger and fluffy like my example. And even though I know its tempting, don’t stick your finger in the fluff after you pour it in the pan, you’ll just get your fingers stuck and little “mountains” in your mallows.
Rolling the marshmallows in powered sugar is the dirtiest part of the job. I usually end up covered in the sugar and making a mess of the whole kitchen. After a while you get the hang of the cutting and dipping.
The easiest way to do this is to dust the top of the marshmallows in sugar first, then pull them away from the sides of the pan, letting a little sugar make its way down the sides as well. Flip the pan onto a cutting board (plastic preferably) dusted with powdered sugar and pull out the marshmallow carefully. Dust the top with sugar and now they are fully out of the pan and waiting to be cut and rolled in sugar.
It really should not be that hard. The hardest part of the job is rolling in sugar, but even that part is fun. If you have done it right, you should have made a mountain of marshmallows!
They are even more dangerous when dipped in chocolate.