The first time I thought about making marshmallows, I was super intimidated. I thought in order to make that gooey, soft, fluffy, almost foamy texture there had to be more than just meets the eye.
Thankfully, that’s not the case — I was surprised by how easy they were to make. Last year, when I was looking for fun Halloween treats to make, I found this great recipe that does a great job walking through the specific colors and textures that the mixture is supposed to be throughout the process, which made the whole thing much less intimidating. I also enjoyed it because it had never occurred to me to dye marshmallow to make them even more festive for different holidays!
Of course these marshmallows can be made to make s’mores, they can be cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters for a birthday party, and they can be given away as Christmas gifts! For this year, these are one of three candies I’ve made for giving to the folks at the Post Office who graciously fielded all of our amazon.com packages, the lovely group at the Dennis Chamber of Commerce who welcomed my fiancé and I into the group, some of our friends on town committees, and neighbors or are also braving the Cape winter. Stay tuned for the the other two: homemade peppermint patties and blue and white chocolate bark.
These marshmallows are fun to make and even more fun to eat. They have that same great texture as store-bought marshmallows but I enjoy the much more pronounced vanilla flavor (read: not fake tasting) more. If you wanted to go crazy, you could also sub in the vanilla extract for other types of extract to make peppermint, spearmint, or even orange flavored marshmallows! The possibilities are endless!
3 packages unflavored gelatin (1/4 ounce packets)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 cup cornstarch for dusting the pan and the top
Food coloring in colors of your choice
Prepare your pan and mixing bowls with spoons for mixing the colored marshmallows (I left some of my marshmallow white and just kept that in the big mixing bowl). To prepare the pan, spray with cooking spray and then dust with the cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture to coat the entire pan.
Mix the gelatin and 1/2 cup of water in your mixing bowl and let sit so the gelatin can bloom
Mix the rest of the water, sugar, salt, and corn syrup in a pan and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar dissolves, raise the temperature to high and use a candy thermometer to get the sugar mixture to 240 degrees (about 7-8 minutes).
When the mixture reaches the temperature, turn on the mixer and mix the gelatin mixture. Slowly stream the sugar mixture into the mixer on medium speed. Once all the sugar has been added, increase the mixture speed and mix for apps. 6 minutes. Then you will added the vanilla extract and mix for another few seconds until well combined.
Divide the marshmallow mixture into the bowls and add your food coloring and mix until combined. Make sure to keep some of the marshmallow mixture white! You will want to work quickly before the marshmallows start to set up.
Once the marshmallows are mixed, start by dropping dollops of each color into the pan. Once they are all added to the pan, use a butter knife to gently swirl the mixture to create a marbled effect.
Dust the top with more of the powdered sugar mixture and let set for several hours to overnight to set up.
Yield: 16 marshmallows