Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Homemade Marshmallows

It's the middle of winter and my hands always seem to be freezing...whether I'm inside or out.  It is so comforting to warm up with a cup of a hot cocoa, tea or coffee. If the choice is hot cocoa, it just simply must be loaded with marshmallows. Kraft marshmallows are good, but homemade marshmallows are amazing! A few years ago, I attempted to make marshmallows for the first time and packaged them as gifts paired with homemade cocoa mix as Christmas gifts.  I made marshmallows again this past weekend with my little nephew who was giddy to lick the whisk and so excited to enjoy them melted in his hot cocoa after school the other day.

It starts with proofing plain gelatin in water until it solidifies.

In the mean time, you dissolve sugar, water and corn syrup together.

And, then bring it to a rolling boil and get to 240 degrees.  We used a probe thermometer inserted through a whisk that works really well.

The sugar mixture goes into the gelatin and is whisked until you have this lovely white marshmallow goo. This is when my nephew could tell it looked like marshmallow and got really excited.

This mixture was poured out onto a highly greased cookie sheet to solidify for a good two hours.

It came away from the pan perfectly and just need A LOT of powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to the counter.

We tried to find some small cookie cutters to do some shapes and after a few sticky attempts, I cut out strips of marshmallow and cut them into dozens of little marshmallow squares.

We had good portion of the counter top completely covered with this mountain of marshmallow!

Now we have a large Ziploc bag full of these yummy little marshmallows.  I don't know that we'll drink enough hot cocoa to use them up this winter, so we may try to make some Rice Krispie treats with homemade marshmallows. Or, some yummy Smore's treats using them.

Recipe for Homemade Marshmallows
Adapted from Food Network

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup water (divided)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla extract
Powdered sugar
Butter a cookie sheet or square baking pan.  A smaller baking pan will make thicker marshmallows.

Put gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of water and let it proof and solidify (approximately 15 minutes). 

In a small saucepan, combine the other 1/2 cup of water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Cook, covered, over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved.   Uncover and clip a candy thermometer (or use a probe thermometer as shown above) and continue to cook the mixture until it reaches 240 degrees, approximately 10 minutes.  Once it reaches 240 degrees, remove from the heat immediately.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all the syrup, increase the speed to high.  Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12-15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping.

Pour the mixture into the buttered pan and allow to sit for at least 2 hours.  Turn the marshmallow out onto a surface coated with powdered sugar. Cut strips or cut out shapes and continue using powdered sugar to coat all cut sides so they do not stick.

Store with powdered sugar in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

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