Marshmallows are a happy food. They glue together Rice Krispies Treats®, float in hot cocoa and perch on the end of skewers around cozy campfires. Just thinking about the sweet, cloud-like cubes and their squishy texture probably brings a little smile to your face, or at least tickles a comforting, nostalgia nerve.
My recent experimentation with graham crackers opened my eyes to just how much better homemade versions of the usual store-bought treats can be. With dozens of graham crackers around the house, my thoughts immediately jumped to marshmallows. Perhaps you have guessed where I am going with this. Imagine sandwiching homemade marshmallows between two homemade cinnamon graham crackers with a square or two of quality chocolate. S’more heaven!
If your familiarity with marshmallows is limited to the grocery store bags and you like them, I have great news for you. It can get so much better. These homemade marshmallows have natural, aromatic vanilla flavor and a much softer, springier cushion. Though these don’t have the same shelf life, they also don’t have the stale, crusty shell on the outside. And once you start eating them, I’m quite sure limited shelf life won’t be a problem. My first batch disappeared in a matter of days.
The process of making these homemade beauties takes a little time and the stringy, whipped marshmallow “batter” is a bit messy. However, I think you’ll find it is worth it. These sweet, edible pillows are the stuff sweet dreams are made of.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, add the gelatin, then the ½ cup cold water and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
- In a heavy, large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and ¼ cup water. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin.
- Increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 5-6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap and spray with cooking spray. Use a 9 x 9-inch pan for large marshmallows or a 9 x 13-inch pan for smaller marshmallows.
- Add the vanilla and beat on high for an additional 2 minutes until stiff.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth with greased spatula.
- Spray the top with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap or parchment and pat to smooth the top.
- Let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight to get firm.
- For the dredging mixture, in a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar and the cornstarch.
- Pull the sheet of marshmallow out of the pan and remove the plastic or parchment. To cut the marshmallows, grease a pair of scissors and cut into strips and then squares.
- Drop the squares into the mixture and toss thoroughly to coat.
- Marshmallows will keep, tightly wrapped, up to 5 days.