Homemade Marshmallows

A few months ago I went to a Los Angeles food festival with a friend. It was in a beautiful warehouse in Downtown L.A. One of the items being sold were marshmallows. I have never liked marshmallows, they’re chewy and tasteless–completely pointless. However, the marshmallows I tasted at the festival were airy, fluffy, a little sweet. The booth had a sterno fire and had people toast their marshmallows–YUM! Ever since that point, marshmallows have been in the back of my mind.

Then a few months ago, Steamy Kitchen posted a link about beer marshmallows. That was intriguing.

I kept thinking about it for weeks. I was headed to a party and decided this would be the perfect opportunity to make these. My first attempt was a failure. I tried to make it without a candy thermometer, and guessed at the temperature, and the thickness of the “batter”. But I was obsessed with this candy. The recipe and ingredients were so easy and it seems like a fun thing to bring to a party.

The next day, I tried again. First, I caved and bought a candy thermometer, then I paid more attention to the images that Smitten Kitchen posted.

The next day I made two more batches. I made one with vanilla extract, covered in chocolate (which took a lot more time than I expected), and another with lemon extract (a request from my husband). They were great! next time though I will make sure to have graham crackers and chocolate available to make smores!

Homemade Marshmallows (Alton Brown)

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
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

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, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the 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. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

For regular marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

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