Is there anything more kid-friendly than a marshmallow? I doubt it. Last week, I promised the girls that I’d make homemade marshmallows with them. It didn’t happen. We ended up doing too many other things…I didn’t hear the end of it for a whole week! “Can we make marshmallows today???” Every. Single. Day.
So, when we got snowed in on Saturday, and I heard the now-familiar chime, I decided to forge ahead and do it. I should have read the recipe the whole way through…Yes, the end product is SUPER kid-friendly. The process…not so much.
The first step was fine. The next one involved molten sugar. There are definitely things the kids can help with, but you have to be careful.
Oh, and the kicker…after you’ve made the actual fluffy stuff and poured it into your pan YOU HAVE TO WAIT. AND WAIT. And wait. 6 – 24 hours. Ugh.
Talk about a let down! We got to the final step in the process and then we find out we have to wait a whole day to have our wonderful treats?!? You should have seen the disappointed faces. The only thing that made it up to them was that I let them lick the bowl, the spatula and the beater. We were up bright and early the next day finishing up the marshmallows! They couldn’t wait to try out their delectable treat.
All I can say is this: it was worth the wait. I love marshmallows, in general. I don’t see what’s not to love. I’ve had the high end marshmallows at restaurants and they are definitely a step up from the crap you buy at the supermarket. The marshmallows we made came out amaaaaaaaaaaaaazing, if I say so myself. Even my hubster, who HATES marshmallows, said they were delicious.
I’ll be honest. It’s not a difficult task. BUT, it’s slightly annoying and requires a lot of cleaning. Fair warning. Otherwise, it’s pretty neat to watch the ingredients almost magically (ok, it’s simple chemistry) transform into soft pillows of fluff.
Oh, a side note: we added blue food coloring. You can add any color. You can also add cocoa powder, flavor extracts, coconut…GO CRAZY! Make these taste unusual or totally plain. Whatever floats your boat. On my next attempt, I’m going to add sachlab and rose water…
One last thing…I originally looked for a recipe that excluded corn syrup and corn starch because those scream GMO to me. I read literally 18 recipes for marshmallows and made the decision to adapt a few of them and create my own version. I happened to have organic, non-GMO corn syrup and organic, non-GMO corn starch (as well as all the other stuff that was organic and non-GMO) in the house and didn’t feel like running out to buy the ingredients required in some of the other recipes. The brand of non-GMO gelatin I like is Great Lakes. For corn starch, I use Rapunzel. My corn syrup of choice is Wholesome Sweeteners.
3 oz unflavored gelatin powder
1 1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup corn syrup
pinch of sea salt
1 1/8 cups powdered sugar
3/8 cup cornstarch
oil (I use sunflower seed oil)
stand mixer with the whisk attachment
8×8 or 9×13 baking pan
4 quart pot
Using a paper towel, spread oil all over the baking pan. Make sure you really grease this up! It’ll make the end of the process much easier. If you’re afraid, you can lay down parchment paper, but grease that. The marshmallow will probably stick to the paper a bit, but you can pull it away and get a fine result.
Pour the gelatin into the bowl of your mixer. Pour 1/2 cup of cold water and the vanilla over the gelatin. Mix with a fork until the gelatin thickens a bit.
Combine the rest of the water (3/4 cup), sugar, corn syrup and salt in the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. DO NOT STIR. Place a candy thermometer in the saucepan and boil the sugar mixture until it reaches 250 degrees F.
On medium speed, mix the gelatin to break it up a bit. Carefully pour the molten sugar down the side of the bowl. Place a towel around the bowl in order to keep the next step from destroying your kitchen. Turn the mixer up to high and beat for 10 minutes. Once it starts to thicken, you can remove the towel. This is the mesmerizing part – the magic where it turns into the fluffy stuff. It will double in size and become glossy and creamy white. We added the food coloring in minute eight just to make sure it got incorporated. You can add the flavors, etc. at this point too.
Now, you wait. You’ll be tempted to cover it or stick it in the fridge. Don’t. Just leave it uncovered on the counter and walk away for 6-24 hours.
Wake up, make breakfast, etc. Make the cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture in a small bowl. Dust the top of the marshmallow with a bit of the stuff. Take the marshmallow out of the pan and flip it powdered side down on a cutting board. Dust the other side. Using a very sharp knife, cut the fluff into long strips and then into cubes or rectangles. Toss them into the cornstarch mixture and make sure all the sides are coated so they don’t stick. I used the children for this step because it’s fun and we can pretend that it’s snowing inside the kitchen. Seriously, my floor was covered in powdered sugar…
If you don’t gobble them all up immediately, you can store what’s left over in an airtight container. Apparently, they’re good for 2-3 weeks sealed tight.
Want to go a step further? I sure did…Dip the marshmallows in chocolate. Throw on some coconut flakes. Come up with interesting ways to dress up these little treats. No matter what, you’ll have a tasty little dessert. Perhaps you would prefer to roast them or throw them into your hot cocoa? Gosh, the possibilities are endless!