I grew up with year round hot chocolate drinkers and now I have my own hot chocolate drinking crew! My particular crew has a great love for marshmallows and so I thought it would be fun to try making some of our own. The first time I made them I was not sure if the would really turn out. They did and the kids loved them, so we have made more! We have had fun trying different varieties of marshmallows by adding colors and different flavorings. This is a perfect winter activity for those times when no one wants to go outside! Plus, it is just plain cool!
Give it a try and do not be afraid of the 12 Step process. These are quite easy to make!
What You Need:
- 1 bowl
- 1 mixer with beater attachment
- Small saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Candy thermometer (I actually used a meat thermometer ;-))
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Cooking spray, oil or lard (just to keep your hands from getting sticky)
- Plastic wrap or wax paper
- 1 or 2 pans to put the Marshmallows in to set (depending on how many varieties you make)
- Food coloring (optional)
- Toothpick (optional)
- Scissors, knife, or pizza wheel
- Small cookie cutters (optional)
- 1/2 Cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 Cup cornstarch
- 1/2 Cup water
- 2 envelopes plain gelatin
- 5 Tablespoons corn syrup (light or regular)
- 1/4 Cup water
- 3/4 Cups sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons flavoring (vanilla, almond, peppermint, mint, etc.)
Step 1: Do your prep work! Make your Marshmallow powder that will be used later and prep your pans.
- In a bowl other than your mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 C. powdered sugar and the 1/2 C. cornstarch.
- Prep your pans by spraying with cooking spray or rubbing them down with oil/lard. This will help the plastic wrap stick to the pan and not move around. Line with plastic wrap and then use some of the powder mixture you just created to lightly dust the plastic wrap or wax paper. This will help you get your marshmallows out after they have set.
- Make sure you give it a good shake to lightly cover all the surfaces. This is a perfect job for little helpers when using non-breakable pans!
- And prep any “Extras” Crushed peppermint sticks, roasted coconuts, crushed cookies, etc.
Step 2: In your mixer, combine 1/2 cup cold water and 2 envelopes of gelatin. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
Step 3: While your your gelatin is setting, add 1/4 C. water, 3/4 C. sugar and 5 T. corn syrup to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Continue stirring until the mixture begins to boils, then let it cook undisturbed until it reaches about 244 degrees F. The corn syrup is added to help prevent the mixture from burning. I tried it without the corn syrup and it burned on me really quickly. No bueno! So, if you are an excellent candy maker and have no distractions, go for it without, but with the corn syrup is was much, much easier.
Step 4: Once the mixture reaches the desired temperature add it slowly to the gelatin in the mixer stirring constantly (if you can do both at the same time!). My son says that it smells like dog breath at this point! It gets better, I promise! Add salt after pouring. Beat on high for at least 15 minutes. I will warn you that with the cold weather recently, my candy sugar mixture hardened, but after it kept beating it dissolved into the marshmallow mass!
It will look a lot like boiled milk after the first little bit of mixing.
Step 5: After 15 minutes add your pinch of cream of tartar and any flavoring. I really like the almond, but your possibilities are endless: orange, strawberry, mint, peppermint, almond, vanilla, chocolate, or any others you can think of! You can also add your food coloring at this point or for a marble look you can add it after it has been added to the pan (see Step 8).
It will look a lot like marshmallow creme when it is ready.
Step 6: The next few steps need to go rather quickly before the mixture cools. If you are in cooler weather it will happen fast. For warm weather you will have a little more time. Pour mixture into your pan or pans (depending on how thick you want it). Coat your spatula with cooking spray to prevent the marshmallow goo sticking to it. This recipe fits nice into 1 9×13 pan, but if you want them really thick you can try an 8×8 or smaller pans work nice, if you are trying to create a variety of marshmallows (i.e. with peppermints on top, or different colors, etc).
Step 7: Smooth out with your spatula or lay a piece plastic wrap (side coated with cooking spray/oil faced down towards the mixture) on top and use it to smooth out the mixture with your hands. If you are not adding any extras, sprinkle the top of the marshmallows with the cornstarch/powdered sugar mixture and let it set.
Step 8: Add any extras or coloring (to get the marble look) right now, and press them into the top of the mixture. Use a toothpick to spread out the color. Start with a few drops. Move quickly before it sets!
Step 9: Let it set for at least 4 hours. Hopefully yours turns out smoother than ours! But we are eating them, so it does not really matter, right?
It’s easy to get distracted at this point and so the kids know it is a perfect opportunity to indulge!
Step 10: Cut into squares or shapes. Make sure you lightly coat your “cutting utensil” with some cooking spray and/or cornstarch. We could not find any tiny shapes at the store or we would have totally made some fun shaped marshmallows!
Step 11: For the basic marshmallows, toss them around in some of the cornstarch/powered sugar mixture to prevent the sides from sticking.
WARNING: Taste testing may occur and lots of it!
Step 12: Store in a plastic container with wax paper in between multiple layers to keep them separated. The first time we made these, we stored them in a plastic bag and they became one big marshmallow ball! So far we have made vanilla flavored, vanilla flavored with crushed peppermint on top, almond flavored (my favorite), and mint flavored colored green.
Step 13: Add to hot chocolate or anything else you can think of. I know marshmallows always bring smiles to the faces of my hot chocolate drinking crew!
This was originally posted January 2011