Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Homemade Marshmallows

I made marshmallows.

From scratch.

It's easy.  Amazingly, shockingly, easy.

Like, scary-easy.

And I used Barefoot's recipe, because it got the best reviews.  Of course it did.

So you need some gelatin and water in your mixer.

Then cook together water, sugar and corn syrup until it reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees on a candy thermometer).

Turn on your mixer, stream in the syrup, and let it whip for about 12-14 minutes.

In that 12-14 minutes, magic happens.  My girls loved checking on the marshmallows and watching them become white and fluffy!

And Baby Bear?  Well, he was very helpful, too.

He cleaned out the junk drawer for me...

And then he cleaned off the refrigerator doors for me!

He is so helpful.

The keys to these marshmallows are: use real vanilla extract (I used the extract that I made with vodka and vanilla beans) AND let them sit OVERNIGHT to firm up and become the amazing marshmallows that they are.

My husband said: "These don't taste like marshmallows."  Exactly.  They're a million times better than Jet-Puffed.  (And I do like Jet-Puffed.)  It's like a whole 'nother thing.

And you can flavor them a million different ways.  I used vanilla, coconut and almond flavoring.  (They're very good but the coconut flavor is a bit strong; next time I'm going to try just vanilla.)  I can't wait to make some peppermint-flavored ones to float in hot chocolate this winter.

Oh, and I've already planned to make these for our school's bake sale.  It's in November.  I like to plan ahead.

Homemade Marshmallows
Slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa

3 packages unflavored gelatin (there are 4 packages in a 1-ounce box of unflavored gelatin, so you need .75 oz.)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup water
1 T pure extract (you could use vanilla; peppermint; almond; coconut, etc. or a mixture of any of these - just don't use "imitation" flavorings)
Powdered sugar, for dusting the marshmallows when cut

Pour the gelatin and 1/2 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Let it sit while you make the syrup.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan.  Bring it to a boil over high heat and continue to cook over high heat until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (this is "soft ball stage".)

Turn the mixer on medium speed and stream in the syrup slowly.  Turn the mixer on as high as it will go and let it whip for about 12-14 minutes.  The mixture will become thick, white, fluffy and puffy.  Add the extract and allow it to incorporate.

Pour the mixture into a well-greased (use butter or baking spray; you can also line it with parchment paper to make it easier to remove) 7x11 baking dish.  The mixture will be super sticky, so wet your hands to smooth it on the top (the water keeps your hands from becoming so sticky).  Dust the top with powdered sugar.

Allow the marshmallows to sit, uncovered, for about 18-24 hours.  When ready to cut, turn the marshmallow out onto a cutting board and slice into squares.  (Use the water trick on your knife to make them easier to cut.)  Dust all sides with powdered sugar to keep them from sticking together.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

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