Want something fun and different to have on your holiday platter or to include with your homemade hot cocoa mix gift? Try homemade marshmallows! This is a basic recipe for a basic marshmallow. Later, I will try cutting them with different cookie cutters for fun shapes and/or add 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract and swirl dark chocolate on top. These are light and airy. They taste similar to the store-bought version, but the texture seems cleaner and lighter.
yield 1 – 9×13 pan of marshmallows
3 pkgs. unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water
12 oz. sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup finely ground graham crackers
1. Place gelatin in mixing bowl with 1/2 cup of the cold water with WHISK attachment.
2. In 3 qt. pot (not non-stick), combine the other 1/2 cup cold water, sugar, corn syrup and salt over medium high. Cook covered for 3-4 minutes.
3. Uncover the pot and put in the candy thermometer. Heat to 240 degrees and remove from heat.
4. Turn mixer on low. Slowly pour hot sugar mixtures down the side of the inside of the bowl. Beat on High for 12-15 minutes. Mixture will turn thick and lukewarm. During the last minute add the vanilla.
5. Prepare pan while mixing: spray 9×13 with nonstick spray (I used shortening because all I have is olive oil spray). Mix the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and put some into the pan. Put the lid or foil onto the top of the pan and shake to coat. Discard excess back into the small bowl of powdered sugar mixture. Don’t throw it out!
6. Spray your spatula with nonstick spray. Pour prepared marshmallow mixture into the 9×13 pan. Smooth with spatula. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar mixture – and don’t throw the rest away. Let sit uncovered overnight or at least 4 hours.
7. Dump marshmallow onto cutting board. (Takes some jiggling, but it has popped out every time.) Coat a pizza cutter with cooking spray and cut into 1″ pieces. Break apart and toss with powdered sugar mixture. Store airtight up to 3 weeks.
**Several recipes use cornstarch instead of graham cracker crumbs. I read many many reviews saying that they didn’t like the cornstarch flavor on the marshmallows, so I used graham cracker crumbs instead. But, if you want bright white marshmallows, use 1/4 cup cornstarch as listed in many recipes instead of the graham crackers. Also, you can use clear vanilla extract to keep the color whiter.
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s “Good Eats”