August 28, 2009

Making Marshmallows

Last night we (mostly me) made homemade marshmallows. Not the healthiest food in the world, but nonetheless, tasty and fun to make. And, as a side benefit, making marshmallows works as a science project for Little One: mixing solids and liquids and heating them changes the form of the matter, mixing in air changes the consistency. You can do your own search, but here is the recipe that I used:

Homemade Marshmallows

.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Corn starch
Powered sugar

Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside. (I used two smaller pans since I didn’t have the correct size. I also sprinkled the oiled plastic wrap with the powered sugar mix below.)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes. (I don’t have a stand electric mixer, so I used a large bowl. You do need a large bowl.)

Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute. (Other recipes called for a candy thermometer, which I don’t have. Notice a trend?)

Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add in the vanilla extract beat to incorporate. (To continue the trend, I don’t have a whisk attachment for my hand electric mixer, although I’m pretty sure I did at one time.)

Lightly grease your hands and the spatula. Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set. (Just like on the bottom of the pan, I sprinkled some of the powered sugar mixture on top first.)

In a shallow dish, combine equal parts cornstarch and powered sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with scissors or a chef's knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners' sugar mixture. (At the time of this post, I haven’t gotten this far. I read on another site that using a pizza cutter works great too.)

Store in an airtight container. Makes about 40 large marshmallows, depending on the size you choose to cut them.

Little One and I had great fun, especially scraping the bowl afterwards. Granted, we had to go straight to bath, but it was still yummy!


Mary333 said...

What! You mean they don't grow on marshmallow trees?!!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea that one *could* make marshmallows at home so thanks for sharing!

Diana said...

Mary - Ha! No marshmallow tree here. Probably melt in the heat.

NotJustLaura - I was rather surprised too. In fact, I don't remember why I googled it to begin with. But it sounded easy, so I gave it a try.

By the way, the pizza cutter worked great to cut the marshmallows into squares.