Jennifer Bartos of Make It Sweet has her own homemade marshmallow recipe. She says to be careful: once you’ve had the homemade version, you’ll “never go back to bagged again!” She rates the recipe as easy, but does say it takes a little time to get them done.
“These fresh marshmallows still have the springiness and texture of traditional marshmallows but they are also melt-in-your-mouth tender. We are going to spread out the yummy – and sticky marshmallow mixture, let that set-up for about an hour and then cut out shapes. This is the basic recipe – and there are lots of variations that you can make from this basic recipe. Don’t be put off by the number of steps involved in this recipe. It really is easy!
1 oz unflavored gelatin (4 packages of Knox)
2/3 C cold water
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1 C light corn syrup
1 C water
1 Tbsp clear vanilla
1/2 C confectioner’s sugar
½ C corn starch
Put 2/3 C of water along with the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer. Make sure that all of the gelatin granules are in the water. The other 1 C of water, granulated sugar and corn syrup goes into a sauce pan. Attach a candy thermometer so that the tip is in the liquid, but does not touch the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium high heat until the boiling sugar reaches 240° F.
Once the sugar reaches 240° F, turn the heat off and remove the pan from the heat. Start the mixer with the whip attachment on low speed. Pour the hot sugar into the mixer – aiming for the space between the whip and the side of the bowl. Once all of the hot sugar syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and let it whip until the mixture become white, very thick and the bottom of the bowl is just warm – not hot anymore. This will take about 10 minutes.
While the mixture is whipping, prepare the pan that you are going to spread the mixture into. We use a 10” x 15” x 3/4” deep pan – this is the right size for this whole recipe and is the right thickness to cut-out the marshmallows with cookie cutters. You can use a smaller pan but it would need to be deeper. Prepare the pan by spraying it all over with non-stick spray. Mix the powdered sugar with the cornstarch. Sprinkle on 1/2 of the powdered sugar mixture and make sure that the entire pan is coated evenly. Add the vanilla at the very end of the mixing. The mixture will look like it is going to separate when you add the vanilla – just keep it mixing and it will come back to the marshmallow cream consistency.
Once the marshmallows are ready, you have to work quickly before it sets-up. Pour it onto the pan and use a sprayed spatula or hands that are dipped in water to spread it into an even layer. Let the marshmallows sit for at least an hour before cutting. When you are ready to cut – liberally dust your work surface with powdered sugar mixture and turn our the marshmallows. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. dip the cutter into powdered sugar before cutting and then dip the cut edges of the marshmallow into powdered sugar. Store between pieces of parchment paper in a container at room temperature. They will stay fresh for 2 weeks – if they last that long! This recipe makes about 48 miniature cut-outs.
From this basic recipe, you can make lots of variations if you want to experiment with flavored
Bloom the gelatin in the water just like the basic recipe. Follow these instructions to make a caramel.
Combine the 1 ½ C granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water from the basic recipe and place over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and bring the syrup to a boil, using a pastry brush dipped in cold water to wash any crystalized sugar from the sides of the pan. Boil until the syrup begins to darken and caramelize. Swirl the pan once or twice and cook until the syrup is a deep golden caramel color.
Remove the pan from the heat, and carefully add the remaining 1/2 cup hot water—it will bubble up and steam. Whisk the caramel until smooth, then whisk in the 1 C corn syrup and add ¼ tsp salt.
Bring this sugar syrup to a boil and heat without stirring until the thermometer registers
240°F. Follow the rest of the basic recipe instructions to add the hot syrup to the gelatin.
These marshmallows are delicious on their own – but they would also be great dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with fancy sea salt (fleur de sel) to make salted caramel marshmallows!
Add 2 heaping Tbsp of Strawberry Icing Fruits when you add the vanilla at the end of the mixing. Icing Fruits come in lots of other flavors and they are a great way of adding fruit flavors to the marshmallows. We made an orange flavor that was really yummy – kind of Dreamsickle-like.
Add 2 Tbsp of Vanilla Bean Paste instead of the vanilla in the basic recipe. I love to see the little flecks of vanilla – it is a great basic flavor for marshmallows. These marshmallows toast up beautifully and would make some very special s’mores!
Mint Chocolate Chip
Add 2 drops of Mint Green food color, 5 drops of Lorann Peppermint Flavoring when adding the vanilla at the end of mixing. Once that is incorporated add 1 C (or a little more) of mini chocolate chips. Mix to get them evenly distributed and then turn out the mixture and spread into the pan. I love mint chocolate chip ice cream and this reminds me of that!”