Anything involving a candy thermometer is intimidating. I dipped my toe into the pool of candy-making with toffee, which I’ve now made several times. This holiday season wasn’t looking promising — I had planned on trying my hand at marshmallows for the first time but had just burned my first attempt at toffee. Was I doomed to melted sugar doom?
Thankfully the hardest part of making these marshmallows was getting them out of the pan after they had cooled overnight. Well, that and cleaning the corn syrup-gelatin-covered dishes (note to self: clean right away when the sugar is still warm).
It was amazing watching the clear sugar mixture drizzle down the side of the bowl, soon to be steaming, frothy liquid and then fluffy, magical fluff. After waiting for the sugar syrup to come to 240°, these candies are actually done after 3-5 minutes of whisking. Just pour into a greased and powdered pan, top with more powder and wait overnight.
The original recipe states to merely grease the pan that the marshmallow mixture goes into. On my second batch (this time absinthe marshmallows) I greased then sugared the pan with confectioner’s sugar. The removal of the marshmallows was much easier. I like to roll the cut edges in more confectioner’s sugar so they don’t stick together, then shake off the excess.
Homemade marshmallows are much softer, flavorful, and decadent. I’ve added them to coffee, cocoa, and lattes as well as plain. My brother picked up on the fact that I used vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract; he doesn’t like vanilla generally but approved of these. These are blank canvases for whatever flavor you’d like: coconut, cocoa, coffee, peppermint, or citrus. They also make great gifts since they travel and keep well.
Vanilla Bean Marshmallows Recipe
By December 31, 2015Published:
- Yield: 48 Servings
- Prep: 15 mins
From King Arthur Flour. The taste of homemade marshmallows is unbelievably rich compared to the store-bought variety. And with the opportunity to flavor or shape them as you desire, who wouldn't want to try this fun treat?
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin ¼ ounce each
- 1 cup cool water divided
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or other flavoring
- ½ cup confectioner's sugar to sprinkle on top and powder pan
- Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup cool water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix briefly to combine; set aside.
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup cool water in a small, deep saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
- Raise the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
- With the mixer set on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase the speed to high, and whip until the mixture is very thick and fluffy, and has cooled to lukewarm, 3 to 10 minutes (depending on the mixer and attachment you use; a stand mixer using the whisk attachment will work more quickly than a hand mixer equipped with beaters). The mixture should be cool enough that you can spread it into the pan without burning your fingers, about 95°F. Add flavoring towards the end of the mixing time.
- Spread the marshmallow mixture into a greased and powdered 9" x 13" pan (glass or ceramic is best). Use your wet hands to smooth and flatten the marshmallows if needed.
- Sprinkle confectioners' sugar over the top, and let sit for several hours (or overnight) before cutting. Use a greased knife or cookie cutters to make squares or other shapes. Dipping the knife or cutters in cold water before cutting helps reduce any stickiness.
- After cutting, coat any exposed edges with additional confectioner's sugar and shake off excess.