Monday, December 18, 2006

Homemade Marshmallows

For dinner tonight we had Spaghetti Pie and it was tasty and I am set for lunch. However, this is not the point of this post.

Yesterday and today I made homemade marshmallows to give some of my friends as part of their Christmas gifts (along with a tin of hot chocolate and a mug). It was fun and made me feel all hardcore-chef, which was cool. They're actually surprisingly easy as long as you have a mixer and a candy thermometer. They ended up looking really nice. I cut them into one-inch cubes, so probably only one at a time would fit into a mug. I am also curious as to how these would hold up as s'mores. Hmm. Who knows! Anyway. I like these and think they are going to go over very well as gifts. I would make these again, absolutely.

The recipe was originally from The Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. Her recipe also calls for toasted coconut to go on the top of the marshmallows, but I didn't want to do that so I just made the standard recipe. You could also do interesting variations like adding peppermint extract, topping it with chocolate chips or candy canes, etc.

Also, a note! When you're cutting the marshmallows, wet the knife before you start slicing so the knife doesn't stick. It's very helpful.

Homemade Marshmallows
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water, plus 1/2 cup
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Allow to sit while you make the syrup.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Pour the marshmallow batter into an 8 by 12-inch non-metal pan and smooth the top of the mixture with damp hands. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight.

Remove the marshmallows from the pan and cut into squares. Roll the sides of each piece carefully in confectioners' sugar. Store uncovered at room temperature.

Yield: 20-40 marshmallows

Mine, resting before being packaged:

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