Homemade Marshmallows!

So it’s wintertime here. In fact, it’s been winter for a few months already. Thus, it’s high time someone made gigantic amazing homemade marshmallows to put in the hot cocoa we drown our dark cold sorrows in.

This was not my idea – I got the recipe from my Taproot magazine, which you should subscribe to immediately. It is a publication about connecting with land, community, making, and sustaining that provides seasonally appropriate (and wonderful) recipes, stories, and craft projects. You can find this recipe and others in Issue 20 : SHARE. You can find their website here.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin (1/4 oz each)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 to 1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Makes about 2 dozen marshmallows, depending on size cut.

Make sure you have all your supplies ready before you start – steps are temperature and thus time sensitive. Start by lightly greasing an 8″ x 8″ baking dish, and coating the greased surface LIBERALLY with powdered sugar. This will make future extraction much easier. In case you forgot, marshmallow fluff is REALLY sticky.

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Pour 1/3 cup of the cold water into your mixing bowl and sprinkle all 3 envelopes of gelatin on top. Leave this alone to soften for 8-10 minutes. This time is easily spent performing the next step.

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Combine the remaining 1/3 cup of water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Make sure the thermometer doesn’t touch the bottom. If you don’t have a candy thermometer laying around, hand-holding a digital-read thermometer works. Just make sure whatever thermometer you use reads to 240° F.

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Raise the temperature of the mixture to 240° F without stirring. It feels weird to leave it alone, but it works just fine and won’t burn on the bottom like you expect. Right before it boils, it gets cloudy, then clears up again. When it reaches 240° F, remove from heat.

Turn your electric mixer on low, and slowly pour the hot syrup over the softened gelatin, and beat to incorporate. Be careful, and use a shield if you have one. Add the vanilla extract and turn the speed up to medium-high, beating the mixture until it turns white, stiff, glossy, and sticky. This will take 8-12 minutes depending on your mixer. I just kept checking the texture until it seemed right.

If you have a rubber or silicone spatula, liberally oil it and use to move mixture from bowl to your powdered baking dish. Wet your fingers and pat the mixture into the corners and smooth the top. The water keeps the fluff from sticking. I used a spoon to remove the goo from the bowl, which worked alright, but left a little fluff behind. But what’s the point of making treats if you can’t lick the bowl? Let the mixture set for at least an hour to firm up.

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Use a wet butter knife, spatula, or fork to pry the mallow out of the dish and flop it onto a cutting board. I had the most luck with a flexible spatula and slowly working it free from one side while holding it upside down. This is not a graceful exercise, but the mallow loaf holds together surprisingly well. Use a wet, long, sharp knife to cut into cubes. I kept a small bowl of water nearby to keep my fingers from sticking to the mallows when handling them.

Pour remaining confectioner’s sugar into a container with a flat bottom. One by one, roll mallow cubes in the confectioner’s sugar and place into a parchment-paper lined air-tight container for storage. These will keep at room temperature for about a month.

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These make a terrific treat for a long winter’s day. I sure had fun making them….and enjoying them! Cheers!

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