Pardon the lack of creative title — I am writing this while doing laundry. Creativity does not flow sweetly or steadily during the laundry hour… it sinks like a stone. When I think of marshmallows, I immediately recall the scene in Dennis the Menace when Dennis is trying to shake the fire from his roasted marshmallow and accidentally catapults the flaming confectionery treat through the air and directly between Mr. Wilson’s eyebrows. We won’t be taking part in any flame-throwing today. We will, however, make different flavors which would send the purists to the nearest puzzle factory to turn in their shoelaces and take up macaroni projects.
You’ll need to gather the following ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups sugar or 1 cup sugar + 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 3/4 oz (3 packets) gelatin powder
- 1 cup ice water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (could instead use cinnamon, raspberry, almond, mint, peppermint, hazelnut, coconut, strawberry, orange, rum, or other flavors)
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar + 1/4 cup corn starch, mixed
Mix 1/2 cup of the water with the gelatin powder in the bowl of your mixer. Let sit.
Now pull out a thick-bottomed kettle and fill it with the corn syrup, sugar, salt, and the rest of the water. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Remove the cover and clip a candy thermometer to the side. Cook until the temperature reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit (7-8 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat as soon as the temperature is met.
Turn the mixer on low and pour the syrup mixture into the gelatin using a rubber scraper (or spatula) to get every last drop from the pan. Now turn the mixer up to high speed. Whip until the mixture looks like Cool Whip or marshmallow cream (light, fluffy, and heavenly) which takes about 12-13 minutes. Add the vanilla
(or whatever flavoring you like during the last minute of whipping).
While that’s happening, prepare a 13″X9″ pan (I like using a jelly roll or lasagna pan with nice tall metal sides) with cooking spray. Dust with the corn starch and powdered sugar mixture until all the sides are thoroughly coated. Now spray your rubber scraper or spatula with cooking spray (I use a spray bottle with oil to save money but do your own thing), and use it to scrape the gelatin mixture into the prepared pan. Now dust the top with the rest of the corn starch and powdered sugar. Let sit overnight at room temperature. Do not sneak in and sample them. Resist! (I have never actually successfully resisted so don’t feel bad if you find yourself seated at your kitchen table at 3:00 a.m. with a mouthful of marshmallow. Just own it: we have no self-control.)
Turn out on a large piece of wax paper and use a pizza wheel dipped in the powdered sugar mixture to cut into squares or dip metal cookie cutters in the mix and make fun shapes like hearts. Dust the squares in corn starch and powdered sugar so that all sides are coated. Store in an air-tight container for a week or so. (They won’t last that long because you won’t be able to keep yourself from them. They will call to you in the night.)
Now for the fun ideas and add-ins:
- After pouring the whipped marshmallow goop into the pan, add toasted coconut and/or miniature chocolate chips to the top. Let cool overnight. Devour.
- Dust with cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg after cutting
- Add lemon or orange zest while whipping the mixture for the last minute
- Crush some candy canes and use them to top the whipped marshmallow goop once in the dusted pan.
- Melt some chocolate and dip half of the marshmallows in and let cool for some fancy dessert marshmallows.
- Dust with candy sprinkles before allowing to cool overnight. Use seasonal sprinkles for added fun.
Enjoy! Bask in the glow of your own gourmet status. You have now joined an elite group of foodies — now just loll about in the sugary haze of your own genius because you, my friend, rock like KISS.
Also, congratulations Elizabeth Massie! You won the Seeds of Change giveaway from the GRIT.com post, Natural Pesticides: To Kill or Not to Kill.