Right after Valentine’s day, stores are always quick to set out all the Spring and Easter themed candy, one of the most well-known and coveted treats being peeps. A few years ago, I was trying to find something more interesting to make and stumbled upon a marshmallow recipe. My first thought was “You can make those?”. Marshmallows are a trivial thing that people usually just buy from the supermarket, so I never considered the possibility of making my own. Surprisingly, they are relatively easy to make and require minimal ingredients. This recipe is adapted to the upcoming holidays and general Spring theme, but you can make many varieties. Cut into pretty shapes and packaged well, they make great gifts or party favors. If you are too grown up to eat peeps, these are definitely a step up and a bit more sophisticated.
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cup
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Lemon juice or Strawberry Flavoring
- Add the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. If you would like lemon flavored marshmallows make sure you have ¼ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup water included in this addition of water. If you would like strawberry flavored ones, skip adding lemon juice and add strawberry flavoring to the sugar syrup later in the recipe. Have a 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, and let the mixture come to a rolling boil and let it boil for about 30 seconds. All the while, keep a watchful eye to make sure the sugar syrup doesn’t overflow. Take it off the heat and immediately begin with the next step.
- Turn the mixer on low speed and 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 fluffy; about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
- Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Cover two sheet pans normally used for baking cookies with plastic wrap. Then, lightly spray the two sheet pans with nonstick cooking spray By using sheet pans the marshmallow will be spread thinner so you can easily cut it into shapes. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around over a sink to catch the powder, to completely coat the bottom. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use. It makes for very little mess and removal if you use plastic wrap.
- Once the mixture is thick and fluffy and has been whipping for the allotted time, you can separate half of the marshmallow fluff into a bowl. Put a very very small amount of red food coloring into one of the bowls of marshmallow and a small amount of yellow food coloring in the other. Obviously, you can adjust to your color preferences, but I was going for Pastels. Mix well to combine or leave a bit under-mixed for a marble effect.
- When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pans, using a 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 of the powder for later use. At this point, you could leave the marshmallows on the counter overnight to set, or leave them in the fridge for 3 hours.
- Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into shapes using a cookie cutter dusted with the powder. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow by tossing them in a big bowl with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Put the marshmallows covered in the powder in sieve and toss to get rid of extra powder. You can store these in an airtight container for about 3 weeks. They do get sticky, so I recommend layering parchment paper in between stacked marshmallows.