Homemade Marshmallows, a Fun Holiday Treat!

by Jane on December 16, 2009

The Maynard holiday gift this year was homemade vanilla hot chocolate. I decided to make homemade marshmallows to go with the hot chocolate because it sounded yummy and, more importantly, I needed to do something übercool for this Make & Takes post. ;)

homemade marshmallows3 web m&t

I am the queen of shortcuts. Making homemade marshmallows is not something I would normally voluntarily do. But I’ve gotta tell you, they were easy to make. Seriously. And they are DELICIOUS. I’ve never eaten truly fresh marshmallows. This is what marshmallows were meant to be.

making the homemade marshmallows web m&t

I used a simple recipe from Alton Brown. I was really happy with this recipe. It was easy to follow and the marshmallows came out perfectly…so smooth and melty. And I was right, absolutely perfect for our vanilla hot chocolate!

homemade marshmallows in hot chocolate web m&t

Homemade Marshmallows
From Alton Brown, FoodNetwork.com

  • 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 set up with the whisk attachment along with 1/2 cup of the water.

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 (Jane note: it was longer than 8 minutes when I did it). 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. (Jane note: as you can see in the picture, I used my ingredient-pourer-shield-bowl-attachment-thingy and it worked perfectly for pouring in the hot sugar.) 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.

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 (Jane note: I also used my lightly oiled fingers to press the the mixture 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.

For mini marshmallows, click here and read Alton’s instructions at the bottom of the recipe.

Jane Maynard, writer and founder of This Week for Dinner, is a wife, mother to two beautiful girls and freelance graphic designer.  Jane loves eating, which comes in handy for a food blog. Chocolate, cannoli, and H&H Bagels are her top foods of choice.

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