Most people in Wisconsin are dreaming of being somewhere warmer right now, like Tobolsk (a town in Siberia), Russia. This morning, the thermometer outside the kitchen window read negative twenty degrees Fahrenheit. Of the eight years I’ve been living in Wisconsin, I have never seen it dip that low. It feels absolutely brutal out there. The last time Keith let Ollie dog out, he lifted three of his paws from being cold and then fell on his back. The poor little munchkin didn’t want to move. He had to carry him in.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make homemade marshmallows for awhile now. It would be perfect to plop atop hot chocolate, as a special treat for my music students. It’s actually very easy. The key is to have all your materials ready, and your ingredients measured before hand. Also, don’t worry about having the final fluff perfectly leveled and flat or else you will have a stringy sticky mess all over you and your kitchen. Give the pan a little shake and it will flatten out.
I used Alton Brown’s recipe for this confection.
- 1 t. vegetable oil or nonstick spray
- 1/4 c. powdered sugar
- 1/4 c. cornstarch
Sift the sugar and starch together into a bowl. Oil and dust a 13″ x 9″ metal pan with the mixture. Shake off the excess powder back into the bowl. Save the extra sugar-starch mixture for later use. Oil 2 spatulas then set aside.
- 3 packets gelatin
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/4 t. salt
Place above ingredient into a large bowl and give it a quick stir.
- 1/2 c. water
- 1 and 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1 c. light corn syrup
Put everything in a deep pan. Cook covered on medium high for 3-4 minutes. Uncover then clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Continue cooking until it reaches the “soft ball” stage or at 240°F. If you are using a hand-held mixer, it is best to have someone pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture while you mix. If you have a standing mixer. You could do it by yourself.
- 1 t. vanilla extract
Whip the sugar and gelatin mixture together until it turns white and fluffy, about 12-15 minutes. Start of slow. You don’t want hot sugar all over you. Once it starts getting a bit frothy, put the mixer on high. Add the vanilla at minute 10. Keep whipping until the vanilla is incorporated. My mixture was ready at 13 minutes. With one of the oiled spatulas, quickly scoop out the mixture into the prepared pan. Use the other spatula to level it a bit. Give the pan a little shake then sift some of the sugar-starch mixture on top of it until it is completely covered. Let it sit for about 4 hours or overnight.
Peel the marshmallow off of the pan using a little more of the sugar-starch mixture if it feels too sticky. With a pizza cutter, cut the sheet into long strips then use a pair of scissors to cut into nuggets. Sprinkle some of the sugar-starch mixture again so they don’t stick together. Shake a bit more to get rid of the excess powder. Store in an air-tight container. It should be good for a week or two (if it lasts that long).
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