Sometimes cold winter days call for something special. Something sweet. Something soft, squishy, fluffy, and positively scrumptious. Something you can eat alone or melted with chocolate.
Something like homemade marshmallows.
This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen (man, I love her + those fabulous recipes on her blog!) and it is worth the effort to make! It’s not difficult, just takes a little time. But believe me, when it’s freezing outside and you are cozy inside in front of a fire with a warm mug of hot cocoa topped with these marshmallows – you’ll be so glad you did!
Notes on the recipe: these are quite easy, just time-consuming. It’s best to prepare them about 5 hours before you plan on consuming them. It takes a good 30 minutes to make, then 3 hours to chill. Also, it can be messy, but immediately wash your utensils and the marshmallow will come right off.
Marvelously (Easy) Marshmallows
Makes about 96 1-inch cubed marshmallows
About 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or table salt if preferred)
2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla (alternately: 1/2 of a scraped vanilla bean, 2 teaspoons almond, peppermint or mint extract, or even a little food coloring for tinting)
Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.
In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.
In a medium heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. It’s best to have someone else pour the hot liquid (if possible) while you stir. Otherwise, pour as quickly as you can and then stir vigorously to dissolve the gelatin. I have had some batches turn out with bits of gelatin in the finished marshmallows, so this is important.
With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer.
In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t panic if you don’t get it all out – because you won’t (I’m a bowl scraper and this part drives me crazy because it seems wasteful, but you really won’t be able to get it all out). Sift 1/4 cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours and up to one day.
Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sometimes I use mini cookie cutters to make fun shapes for my little nieces. Put remaining sifted confectioners’ sugar into a bowl and roll the marshmallows in it, on all sides, before shaking off excess and storing them. I like to use a tin or glass container, as they keep very well in either.
Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.
Happy Making & Eating!
Until next time,
All photos and content created by me. Please do not use any of it without obtaining prior permission. Thank you!