Marshmallows! Delicious, pillowy, fluffy… things. Seriously. What the heck is a marshmallow and where did they come from? I made them a couple of weeks ago, and they are super easy – they contain only four necessary ingredients: gelatin, corn syrup, sugar, and water. The rest is flavorings and colorings. But who decided to mix those four and whip the living daylights out of them? Same people who decided letting milk curdle and sit unrefrigerated for several months was a good idea, I guess. I mean, I completely agree with them, both the marshmallow and the cheese inventors. But still.
Right, so the point of all this rambling is that I made marshmallows, and they were good. So now I’m going to share the recipe, and send you all to go forth and whip some gelatin and corn syrup until they beg for mercy.
Courtesy of Alton Brown, my favorite Food Network chef. But with some tips from Nancy Baggett. Though her honey marshmallows were not my favorite, she had some good tips on making the process easier.
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup ice cold water, divided
- 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
You will also need about 1/4 – 1/2 cup powdered sugar, about 1 1/2 cups toasted coconut or 1 cup colored sugar to coat the outsides.
Also: marshmallows are like a blank slate. Feel free to add food coloring and/or different extracts for a fun new marshmallow!
Line a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with wax paper (or parchment paper), allowing the paper to overhand the ends by about 1 inch. Evenly coat the paper with nonstick spray. Like this:
Tear off another sheet of wax or parchment paper. Lightly grease this piece, or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside. This will be used to cover the marshmallow mixture.
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
Gelatin? Not attractive.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, turn up the heat and bring to a full boil, stirring. Boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
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 of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. Also add the food coloring if you are using.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Cover the marshmallows with the piece of prepared wax or parchment paper. Press down and use the paper to push the marshmallow around evenly. Allow the marshmallows to sit for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallow out onto a cutting board and peel away the wax paper. Cut the marshmallow slab into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the powdered sugar or lightly greased kitchen shears. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the powdered sugar, or roll in the toasted coconut or colored sugar. Expect to make a mess. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
You know what’s really good? Homemade hot chocolate (none of the Swiss Miss stuff!) topped with homemade marshmallows and sprinkled with cinnamon.