We go through phases where we’re completely obsessed with marshmallows. Okay, not really me but the rest of my family. I’ll buy a bag of marshmallows with every intention of using them in a recipe or just to make s’mores or something simple and completely delicious, only for me to forget about them. Then the family flies in like vultures and gobbles the bag, not leaving a speck behind. It may take them a few breathers but it’s quite a sight. Okay maybe a slight exaggeration but really… mini ones, regular ones and even the super jumbo campfire marshmallows that clearly were meant for the jolly green giant to eat because they’re so huge – all have a way of vanishing.
For years I’ve watched homemade marshmallow recipes pop up left and right and always looking super appealing. I wanted to dive head first into the fluffy pile of sugary goodness each time. Finally I caved and gave it a whirl.
Now these marshmallows… They looked fluffy and perfect in the pictures. The picture gave me hope for smooth sailing but I should’ve known better. My first attempt ended up in a sticky pile of awfulness. I probably should’ve run to the store and bought 2 boxes of rice krispie treats to make a giant helping of sticky treats because clearly that was the only option at that point. Sticking to me, my pan, my spatula, everything. A giant gooey mess.
I continued with round two just hoping for the best. While the results, with tweaking and helpful tips gave decent results, it still wasn’t without issue. I still had areas stuck to the pan and these were so much thinner than I ever had imaged they’d be. Though in the end, that’s not a bad thing. I love the giant marshmallows I see, but can you imagine having a 2″ marshmallow floating on top of your hot chocolate? It’s like a whale in a backyard pool! These thinner marshmallows are kind of perfect since they melt just enough and are then small enough to gobble up when your drink is gone.
My other challenge was in the cutters, my snowflake did not turn out at all but that’s okay. Totally meant to be because you see… I wanted gingerbread men, no really. I wanted them in my drink so I could imagine them screaming like the wicked witch of the west from Wizard of Oz… ‘I’m meeellllttting!’ Put a man shaped marshmallow in your drink and try to resist the urge from even thinking it. You can’t.
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2/3C water, divided
1 1/2C granulated sugar
2/3C corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla OR 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Lightly coat a 12x17 inch jelly roll pan with vegetable oil, cover completely with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper with powdered sugar, so no paper shows through.
Pour 1/3 cup cold water and gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer, allow to soften.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1/3 cup water. Stir occasionally until syrup registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).
Using a whisk attachment and mixer on low, slowly pour hot liquid down the side of your bowl. Gradually increase speed, continuing to whisk until mixture has nearly tripled in size, 8-10 minutes. Add vanilla or peppermint extract, whisking for 15-30 seconds.
Immediately pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Smooth with a small offset spatula dipped in hot water. Gently press and spread. Dip spatula in hot water whenever necessary to avoid sticking.
Sprinkle well with powdered sugar. Allow marshmallow to set for at least 3 hours. Use cookie cutters or a pizza wheel to cut out desired shapes and sizes. Store in an airtight container.
Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart