Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Some people we know spend an arm and a leg on "homemade" marshmallows from a mega-kitchen store that cost almost $1 each. We are not some people.
For the holidays this year, Number One decided to make our own marshmallows. This recipe comes from The Martha Stewart Cookbook, and believe it or not, marshmallows are actually quite easy to make. You do need a stand mixer, and a candy thermometer, and you need to be careful with the molten sugar mixture.
He did follow Martha's recommendation of foil and oil, and removing the foil from the marshmallow slab takes some finesse. I did some other research, and Ina Garten has a similar recipe, but simply coats the pans with powdered sugar. It sounds like that would work too. We'll try her recipe next.
The marshmallows are fluffy and fabulous, and they melt like heaven in a mug of hot chocolate. They also toast quite nicely over a campfire, not bursting into flames like their preservative-laden counterparts. We stored them in a plastic container, layers separated by waxed paper. Although Martha says "two days," ours are just fine for hot chocolate and campfire roasting about two weeks later. (and still fresher than anything you'd buy in the store!!)
Happy Holidays! Enjoy.
Makes about 40 marshmallows
Marshmallows must be kept in an airtight container and are best eaten within two days of their making.
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups water, divided
3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus additional for rolling
Oil an 11x17-inch Pyrex baking dish with vegetable oil. Line the dish with lightweight aluminum foil, and lightly coat the foil with more oil.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, soften the gelatin with 3/4 cup of the water. (pour water in bowl, then sprinkle gelatin on top and let stand).
Place the sugar, corn syrup, the remaining 3/4 cup water and the salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the syrup reaches 234 to 240 degrees F, or the soft-ball stage, on a candy thermometer.
With the whisk attachment of the mixer at full speed, beat the hot syrup slowly into the gelatin until mixture is very stiff, about 15 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into the foil-lined dish and smooth the top with an oiled spatula. Allow the mixture to rest, uncovered, at room temperature 10 to 12 hours.
Using a fine sieve, sprinkle the confectioners' sugar onto a cutting board. Turn the stiffened marshmallow out onto the sugar, and using a small, lightly oiled cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Be sure to dip the cut edges of the marshmallows into confectioners' sugar to prevent sticking.