Introduction: Marshmallows, Yummy!

Picture of Marshmallows, Yummy!

Marshmallows are so yummy. We look at their jet-puffed perfectness and float away on visions of marshmallow topped yams, hot chocolate, and moon pies.

I first got the idea in my head to make marshmallows when a friend of mine reported that her “cookie a day” update was for graham cracker cookies with a from-scratch marshmallow filling. How fabulous! Marshmallows from scratch? I went straight home and pulled up marthastewart.com and pulled up the marshmallow recipe. Then I Googled and compared Martha’s to a recipe on Cooks.com and then to a recipe blogged by Smitten Kitchen. Ultimately I found Martha’s recipe to be the most friendly to the lay baker, and was pleased with the ingredients she listed, minus the vanilla bean. Smitten Kitchen’s recipe called for egg whites and as we have an egg allergy in our house we try to avoid using eggs in too pure a form.

Here is my recipe as it ultimately was used:

3/4 ounce gelatin

1/2 cup cold water plus an additional 1/4 cup water

2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cup light corn syrup (which I used simply because I had some on hand, you can make them without as well)

pinch of salt

teaspoon of vanilla

vegetable oil (for greasing)

mixer

mixing bowl

non-stick saucepan

Step 1:

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Oiling the pan is an excellent job for little hands. They have a great time scrabbling around and being silly with the vegetable oil. But double check to be sure that they covered the entire surface! Even in their zeal they can miss spots and you don’t want your marshmallow to stick to anything! Its a bond that almost can’t be broken.

Step 2:

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Once your pan is oiled lightly, lightly coat the oiled pan with powdered sugar (like flouring a bread pan). Another job kids will love to take charge of! I gave one of them a quarter cup measuring scoop, they scooped up the sugar and dumped it in the pan. Then the other one got to do the shaking. By the way, don’t wear black to make marshmallows. White powder and white threads of sticky goo show up in the darnedest places!

Step 3:

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Next, let the kids take turns tearing open the gelatin packs and pouring them into the mixing bowl. This is a great time to start making observations about your materials. Gelatin is a gritty powder, until you get to the next step and pour the half cup of cold water over the pile of gelatin. Let them swirl the bowl to make the solution and set aside.

Step 4:

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To your saucepan ad the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water. We added the sugar first then observed the consistency and texture of the sugar versus the corn syrup, and of course a taste test was called for! It was further interesting to see that the corn syrup did not absorb readily into the sugar but coated it instead.

Once your ingredients have been added to the saucepan its time to heat it. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil hard for one minute.

While the sugar mixture is heating, visit the mixing bowl of gelatin and water. The kids will be shocked to discover its become a funny, spongy lump! Let them push on it and feel it and discuss.


Step 5:

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After the sugar mixture has boiled for one minute pour it into the mixing bowl and commence mixing. This will take between ten and twelve minutes. Do not be afraid if using a hand mixer! This is a fun process and the minutes fly by. You can let it cool for a few minutes before mixing, but I jumped right in using a potholder on my left hand to hold the metal bowl. It cooled while I mixed and I let the kids help hold the mixer after a couple of minutes. The substance quickly starts to change from molten sugar into a joyful, puffy whiteness. Most of the directions I read said to add the salt and vanilla towards the end of mixing, but I was afraid I’d forget and added them right off the bat. Our marshmallows were wonderful so I don’t think it will make much difference.

***Seasoning Note: this is a great time to add other flavors or coloring. For example: orange extract and food coloring to match for orange cream marshmallows, or a lavender extract would be amazing! And there you are, you've got gourmet marshmallows you can claim as your own.***

Step 6:

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Once your mixture has thickened, set the mixer aside and pull out the oil again. Oil a spatula (and here I went ahead and oiled my hands as well) and use the spatula to scrape the stuff into the already oiled and sugared 9×9 inch pan. You can leave the top of the mixture gloppy if you want, that kind of home-made texture is fun, but you could also use the oiled spatula to smooth the top of the marshmallow mix in the pan. Next oil a piece of saran wrap and cover the marshmallows and set aside for two hours. I needed to get on with dinner, so I actually put mine in the fridge overnight (otherwise we get ants) and that worked just fine for us.

Step 7:

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Clean up was a blast. I gave each kid something to lick then sent them sticky and sugar crazed to play in the tub to get clean. All marshmallow residue wipes off utensils easily with warm, soapy water.

Step 8:

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When your marshmallows have set, take an oiled knife, I used an eight inch chefs knife, to separate the marshmallow from the sides of the pan. (You have to oil everything or it will stick like crazy. If you have non-stick spray that may be safer to use on the knife than applying oil by hand.) Next oil your cutting surface. I used a plastic cutting board. Although you oiled and sugared the pan the mallow mixture may still cling. Have no fear. Oil your hand lightly and pull the fluff out and lie it on the cutting surface. Now, sprinkle the top of your marshmallow with powdered sugar. This will reduce stickage the way you use flour when kneading bread. Then either wash the hand you’ll be holding the knife in or use a washcloth for gripping the handle, and start to slice through the marshmallow. Here I got smart. If you press firmly down on the knife you can pull the marshmallow up and away from it. It will come away in a clean tear.

***Holiday Note*** If its a certain season, say Valentine's day, use oiled heart shaped cookie cutters to cut out your marshmallows!***

Step 9:

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Immediately powder sugar all sides of the mallow strip. Continue slicing and dicing until you have a bunch of square marshmallows. I suggest cutting a few smaller marshmallows for the little ones to try.

Step 10:

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These things pack quite a punch and are not for the faint of heart! Toss the cubed marshmallows into a bowl with powdered sugar and toss to coat. And voila. There ya have it folks, homemade marshmallows.

Comments

inhaos (author)2011-05-11

may be straw marshmallow or some other juicy marshmallow???
i may try and post the steps too.

haha~~~~

AdamVigneaux (author)2011-01-18

It's actually spelled marshmallows, with an "a" where you put an "e".

woowho (author)AdamVigneaux2011-01-18

oh thank you. you may notice that i spelled it correctly everywhere else. i couldn't see where to edit the title and i had things to do.

nerys (author)woowho2011-01-20

OK this is just plain cool! - I hate using corn syrup if I can help it. you mention you don't have too.

whats its purpose in this? do I just skip it or replace it with something else?

makalove (author)nerys2011-01-20

@nerys, this recipe (which is the one i use to make marshmallows - the author has an ENTIRE cookbook of marshmallow recipes) includes a recipe for a corn syrup replacement: http://howthecookiecrumbles.typepad.com/recipes/vanilla-marshmallows.html

porcupinemamma (author)makalove2011-03-01

A whole book on making marshmallows? Yip-eee! Wow! I'm going to look for it. Thanks :0)

star folder (author)nerys2011-01-20

I, too am allergic to eggs, or at least the whites. I also do my best to avoid corn in any of its many forms. What happens if I were to just not add any corn syrup? I appreciate your mentioning all the other recipes you checked on. Gives this credibility, as I respect the places you mentioned.

woowho (author)star folder2011-01-20

you might use the following:

Pure Cane Syrup

Lyle's Golden Syrup

Honey

Molasses

and i quote:

Along with honey, golden syrup and molasses, many times, ordinary sugar and brown sugar are also used as corn syrup substitutes. You can make a simple syrup, by adding 2 cups of sugar to one cup of water, and then boiling this solution over medium heat. While boiling, you have to stir it continuously, till the sugar dissolves completely, and the solution becomes a bit thicker. Now, let this syrup cool, before using it to substitute corn syrup in your recipe. But, generally, honey and golden syrup are the preferred options for substituting both light and dark corn syrup. However, this decision would depend to a great extent on your particular recipe as well.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/corn-syrup-substitute.html

molasses would make an interesting marshmallow. i also think syrup in general would work: maple syrup marshmallows sound so yummy! if you try any of these substitutions let me know how it works out. :-)

nerys (author)woowho2011-01-20

Oh my maple syrup infused mallows sound so damned good. pity the stuff is so stinking expensive!! 1/2 a cup would be lie $5 almost :-) hehehe

I also am 100% addicted to honey. will have to try that. Been grabbing a couple extra honey every time I goto wawa for tea I have thosuands of packs of it after 10 years :-) hehe

probablepossible (author)woowho2011-01-20

Okay-- I've been talking about making marshmallows lately. Now I WILL. Molasses marshmallows sound so wonderful-- a little bit of a bitter bite under the sweetness...

woowho (author)star folder2011-01-20

i went back and looked at my hand-written notes - just leave it out. don't use it. boil the sugar/water mixture for one minute and proceed without it.

woowho (author)nerys2011-01-20

y'know i can't remember why i said you can skip it. there was something i read in my marshmallow research that explained why. i'll try to find it and share. look down to my reply to star folder regarding corn syrup substitutions.

woowho (author)woowho2011-01-20

i went back and looked at my hand-written notes - just leave it out. don't use it. boil the sugar/water mixture for one minute and proceed without it.

mcadorette (author)AdamVigneaux2011-01-20

That's your comment? This person gives you a recipe for a food which exists solely to be enjoyed over campfires and in hot chocolate and all you can do is point out a single spelling error? And who ever heard of enjoying marshmellows without also enjoying the fallowhip of friends? Who makes s'mores alone?

Woowho: I am going to make these mellow marshmellows during my snow day tomorrow and think warm thoughts. Thanks for the post.

AdamVigneaux (author)mcadorette2011-01-20

Just trying to help. No need for hostility.

If you would like to help authors with spelling, then may I suggest that first you thank them for their contribution, and then graciously mention the "typo" and finish up with a positive comment. I also suggest that you do it privately by sending the author a message that will not be posted on the public board.

stoobers (author)porcupinemamma2011-01-20

Nah. Don't bother even mentioning typos. Who cares, anyway?

Bringing up a typing error is like learning to luge or learning the biathlon. They serve no real purpose and are a couple of stupid things to do in the snow. (fun, though pointless.)

Totally pointless! Just like the comment I am typing right now. Blast! I've trapped myself in my own twisted logic!

Have a nice day!

I agree I'm dyslexic and despite spell check sometime i make errors ( mostly with words that have simular letter groupings) I have been called out on my spelling and it makes me feel horriable as I have been teased about it since i was young. Here on instrucuctables you knever realy know the background of the person your "righting" and how your coment might appear to them. I agree with stoobers its pointless in this situation. If it is completly non-coherent then you might nicley mention your difficulty understanding but other than that this sight isnt about perfection it's about sharing do it yourself projects wich are by a majority gritty and down to earth so who cares if the lanuguage matches. -Jorgia

jorgegunn I'm so sorry to hear that you have been bullied about your spelling. "Walk a mile in someone's shoes"... No one knows the battles we face. Today there is spell check, (which wasn't around when I was young,) but it's not always possible to access spell check. My suggestion is to write, write write. Don't impede your creativity! I used to write for a local newspaper. (I was approached by the editor.) She wanted to hire me. When I explained that I was worried about spelling /grammar issues, she said, 'that's why I'm the editor.I take care of that. Just write! You have great ideas!' (I ended up writing a weekly column and it was a very interesting/fun job). When I wrote my children's book, I had it professionally edited,( there were a couple of errors in punctuation) but first...I wrote out my story. Don't stop! Keep your head up. Famous people have dyslexia, and they've made huge contributions to humanity. Check out this link:

http://www.dyslexia-test.com/famous.html

You are in fabulous company!!!

Thanks for your encouragment Porcupinemamma. My mom actually embraced my diffrence and while she used to teach 1st grade when i was diagnosed she started developing techniques of teaching and working with dyslexia children. Now she teaches Middle school reading and writting Resourse including ESL and Dyslexia students. Daily i am encourged by her dillegence in helping kids simular too me. I am actually a poet and a went to school for photojournalism I love telling stories I've just learned to do it more with light and voice. Thanks so much for encouraging me.--Jorgia

{{{{{ }}}}} Rock on!! woo hoo! (see lol...I told ya so ;0);0) lol)
If you get a chance, take a look at my children's book. Info in my bio.
I've subscribe to your Instructables. You are being "followed" boo hah hahhhha) ;0)

porcupinemamma (author)stoobers2011-01-21

I agree! I just wanted to point out a better way if the person feels the need to be the spelling police-also, the author can just delete the comment. It's all so petty. Let's foccus on the fact that whoohoo (love the name) shared a cool Instructable with the community :0)

I'll keep that in mind, though I doubt I'll ever correct anybody here again.

woowho (author)mcadorette2011-01-20

mcadorette, you make me smile. enjoy!

DELETED_jorgegunn (author)2011-02-28

this was a great instructable i love how you noted how to include the children. I have been baking with my nephew since he was 3 and its one of his favorite activities. He is almost 6 now and can crack an egg all by himself. Whenever I visit he allways ask me what are we gonna make this time. Next time i will reply "Marshmallows" thanks again--Jorgia

SageMinto (author)2011-02-21

This is exactly what I needed! :D
I've come across so many recipes that require marshmallows, when I haven't got any. But for some odd reason I have the ingredients required to make marshmallows! Talk about fate! 8D

Thank you so much for posting this.

rathmiron (author)2011-01-22

oh now is see. i missed that the bowl you put the sugar mix in, is the gelatin bowl.
another thing. the gelatin i bought, has an entirely different way of preparing. (it needs to bee cooked) but it's still 250 ml (1 cup). should i just do that?

woowho (author)rathmiron2011-01-22

try it and see what happens! :-)

rathmiron (author)woowho2011-02-09

maybe it was my mixer, but it wouldn't fluf up, it just stayed a clear liquid

woowho (author)rathmiron2011-02-09

maybe try a different gelatin? one you don't have to cook? or revisit the directions on your gelatin, we just poured the powder into a bowl and added water, we didnt' follow directions on the gelatin packaging.

rathmiron (author)woowho2011-02-09

maybe i'll try that

silver912targa (author)2011-01-24

Hey thank you for this wonderful instructable. For years I was wonderig how to make these and now it's here right in front of me.
Just made a tray full and they are suuuuper.
Great for the kid's birthday party.

Thanks again!!

kikiorg (author)2011-01-23

I've made peeps by clipping the tip of a ziploc filled with homemade marshmallows. (Make the bodies and pull off a tip for the tail, then go back and make the heads, pulling off a tip for the beak.) I've also made roses, but they didn't work nearly so well. If you use a ziploc with no metal icing tip, then you can microwave for 3-4 seconds when it gets too cool to pipe, which is often.

I've also substituted the sugar and water for maple syrup. It makes really great tasting marshmallows.

Lastly, the marshmallow is named for a plant (so it's not "mellow" but one of the mallow family of plants): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Althaea_officinalis

Kiki

woowho (author)kikiorg2011-01-23

and i've changed the spelling, its been an issue, lots of discussion. you might have noticed it was spelled correctly in every other instance, bummer of a type-o in the title.

woowho (author)kikiorg2011-01-23

good idea about the ziploc and being able to microwave!

tayzzmom (author)2011-01-23

Before Christmas I found a recipe for Dark Chocolate Dipped Homemade Marshmallows!!!!!!!!! I haven't made them yet, but can hardly wait.........yum, yum. 8-)

rathmiron (author)2011-01-22

i think i missed it, but when do you add the gelatin?

woowho (author)rathmiron2011-01-22

step 3

rathmiron (author)2011-01-22

and what is saran wrap?

woowho (author)rathmiron2011-01-22

its that clear plastic on a roll you buy in the section of the store with ziploc bags and aluminum foil. its for wrapping food. the brand is saran.

HandyMan1959 (author)2011-01-21

I make these wonderful delictables, and I add peppermint extract with red food coloring to give the red swirls and chocolate (use 1/4 cup coco powder in a 1/2 cup hot water and add at the last moment to keep white swirls in it.) I also use ice cube trays to mold them in instead of cutting them (I hate cutting them). (Use about 2-3 tablespoons of coco powder in the release mix of sugar and corn starch for the chocolate marsmallows.

woowho (author)HandyMan19592011-01-21

ice cube trays are an excellent idea!

jonomon2002 (author)2011-01-20

thank you for the detailed instructions i will definitely be making these with my 7 year old (i think my other 3 will want to join in as well) and i will surprise my wife with them she is marshmallow crazy once again great instructable

woowho (author)jonomon20022011-01-21

i, too, am marshmallow crazy. chill the finished marshmallows and drizzle them with magic shell ice cream topping - yum!

tovari (author)2011-01-21

I saw an episode of the TV show Good Eats where the host Alton Brown made marshmallows. He did everything you did with one addition; his second batch was deposited into a piping bag with a circular tip for small round marshmallows. If you were careful you could try piping star shaped mini marshmallows or what ever kind you would want to try.

woowho (author)tovari2011-01-21

awesome idea!! you could use the same method to pipe marshmallow accents onto cakes just like icing. neat!

nutsandbolts_64 (author)2011-01-21

In case of drowsiness, take approximately 4-6 marshmallows to relieve sleepiness. If symptoms persist, eat some more!

mtnsofutah (author)2011-01-21

1 cup granulated sugar=200 grams granulated sugar

RonitF (author)2011-01-20

This is great.
I was thinking that cupcake/candy molds could be used for this as well. Designer marshmallows sounds good.

scottsmith (author)2011-01-20

Looks like a fun project with the kids!

On a related note, has anyone tried this with marshmallow root (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshmallow_root) or know where to get some of that?

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