Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's A Marshmallow World

Oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh.

My mom and I are currently in love with homemade marshmallows!  We can't stop talking about them and gushing over how pretty they are and if I'm being honest, we can't stop sneaking them from the pantry to eat.  They taste so much creamier than traditional marshmallows, and the texture is soft without being mushy or sticky.  Oh me, oh my, how we love these things.

There are oodles of photos down below, but don't let that scare you.  There are lots of steps, but they're easy steps, I promise.  I included bucketloads of photos just so that you could see the process as it happens.  I'm a visual person; I like to see how things come together, and I thought you might too.

We flavored these with just a really good vanilla, but you could definitely swap that out for other flavorings.  We also thought we'd be super sneaky and roll the cut (read: sticky) edges in crushed candy canes or toasted almonds instead of the powdered sugar listed in recipes.  And?  It was amazing.  Amazing.  That bit of flavor and texture and color on the edges of each marshmallow gave it just enough flavor to jazz them up a bit and enough decoration to make them look way fancier than they are.

Mom and I have decided to make these every year, and I'm already plotting to whip up a second batch next week.  They're just so fun to make part of our annual Christmas baking, we couldn't resist!

Swooning Over Marshmallows,

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Homemade Marshmallows
adapted from Joy of Baking

1 c. (240 ml) cold water, divided
3, 1/4 oz. envelopes (21g) unflavored gelatin
2 c. (400g) granulated white sugar
1 c. (240 ml) light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 c. confectioners' sugar, sifted
optional: crushed candy canes or chopped toasted almonds, for rolling

Lightly butter or spray with a non stick vegetable spray the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Then sift about 3 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar onto the bottom of the pan (this will help release the set marshmallow from the paper). Set pan aside.

Place 1/2 cup cold water into the bowl of your electric mixer that is fitted with a whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy two quart saucepan, place the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup cold water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let boil for about three minutes to allow any sugar crystals to dissolve from the sides of the saucepan. Remove the lid and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Increase heat to high and boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

With mixer running at low speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat until mixture has tripled in volume and is very thick and stiff and glossy, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla extract and beat to combine, about 30 seconds longer.

Scrape marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and spread with an offset spatula or rubber spatula dipped in hot water. The mixture is very sticky so just smooth it out as best as you can. Dust the top of the marshmallow with another 3 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar and let stand, uncovered, at room temperature until set, about 12 hours.

Remove the marshmallow from the pan by first running a small sharp knife around the edge of the marshmallow to loosen it from the pan. Invert the pan onto a large cutting board or baking sheet. You might have to use your fingers to help loosen the marshmallow from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper (the marshmallow will be sticky) and dust the top of the marshmallow with confectioners' sugar. Cut the marshmallow into squares using a pizza roller or a sharp knife. Dip the cut sides of the marshmallows in additional confectioners' sugar. Shake off excess sugar and store the marshmallows in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to two weeks.

       Click here for a printable version of this recipe

(Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. El Gaucho for my adorable North Dakota birch snowmen!!) 

Ingredient Lineup:

Spray a 9x13 pan with baking spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper.
Then, scatter sifted powdered sugar over the parchment.

Sprinkle the gelatin packets over water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Use a candy thermometer to bring your syrup mixture to 240 degrees.

Pour the hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl, into the gelatin blob.

Beat on high.

The mixture will start to increase in volume and turn bright white in color.

Then, become glossy and sticky.

Glossy, sticky, and pretty.

Pour the marshmallow into prepared pan.

And use an offset spatula or rubber spatula dipped in hot water to smooth the mixture evenly.

Sprinkle another 3 Tbsp. sifted powdered sugar over the top and allow to sit for 12 hours.

Place a large cutting board or cookie sheet over the 9x13 pan and
flip over to dump the marshmallow out.  Carefully peel off the parchment paper.

Dip a pizza cutter in powdered sugar and cut the marshmallow into strips and then into cubes.

Dust the excess powdered sugar off the cubes and then roll the cut, sticky edges in powdered sugar.
Or toasted chopped almonds...

... or crushed candy canes!

Drizzle melted dark chocolate over the tops,
and you've got a gorgeous and delicious homemade gift to share!

1 comment:

  1. I may need to try these if I have all the stuff here. Because I don't have a long enough to do list LOL


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