So I've been secretly dying to make homemade marshmallows. As I drooled over the ones other people have made and posted on their blogs, websites, and different bakery postings on Facebook, I decided I was finally going to do it.... Then I procrastinated some more, and a week later, I FINALLY did it!
This was pretty easy, though more of a "picky" recipe and can get pretty messy! Before I started, I had already accepted the fact that this would be a complete disaster and my husband and kids would come home and find me stuck to the kitchen floor, unable to conquer the sticky marshmallow mess I had glued myself down with.
Well to my surprise, this wasn't too hard and didn't end up in complete disaster!! I decided to use Alton Brown's recipe for marshmallows, and followed every step to a T - which I think is completely necessary if you are to successfully make these! Obviously since I'm a s'mores freak, I had to dress some of these babies up :) The marshmallows are DIVINE - and the melted chocolate and crushed graham crackers are not only FABULOUS but look adorable as well!
Now that I know I can do it, I'm psyched to make different flavored and different colored marshmallows! Including different cut-out shapes and sizes! :)
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
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.
Picture From candy.about.com - my camera battery was dead during this step :)
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. (Try not to drip any of it outside of the bowl - it becomes very sticky and hard to clean!) 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. Keep 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. (This absolutely did NOT work for me!! After fighting with the spatula, I ingeniously took a plastic sandwich bag, put my hand in it, sprayed some cooking spray and rubbed it around the whole bag, so the entire thing is nonstick. Worked like a gem!)
Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover (I spread it around so there was no "shine" on the top). 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 (It probably won't pop right now... I peeled it from one side to the other no problem - it's not fragile, just stretchy!) and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. (Or cut into your favorite shape!)
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 miniature marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners' sugar mixture.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.
Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Now this is where I took them to the next level...... I crushed up some graham crackers, melted some chocolate, and put the marshmallows on a stick.
I dipped the top of the marshmallows in melted chocolate, then dipped in the crushed graham crackers....