Marshmallows are one of those confections you don't think about making from scratch, but it's really not that difficult! The following will take you through the step-by-step process.
Step 1: Assembling Ingredients
In addition to the following ingredients, you will need a glass baking dish, candy thermometer, knife, cutting board, standing mixer, pot and heart-shaped cookie cutters.
shortening for greasing
powdered sugar for dusting
2 1/2 tbsp Knox plain gelatin (a little less than 4 packets)
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp vanilla
1/8 tsp red food coloring
1 tsp peppermint extract
Okay, before you begin: this recipe makes enough to fit a 9X13 glass dish. I made another batch that was half this size, using an 8X8 glass dish, and halving all the ingredients and it worked perfectly as well. Also, a few variations. Want just plain marshmallows? Omit the food coloring and peppermint extract and use 2 tbsp of vanilla instead of just 1. Want chocolate marshmallows? Again, omit the food coloring and peppermint extract, use 2 tbsp of vanilla instead of just 1 and add 1/3 cup cocoa powder right after the sugar mixture combines with the gelatin mixture on low spee
Step 2: Prep
1. Grease the 9X13 dish with shortening and dust with powdered sugar the same way you would flour cake pans. Youll have to move the powdered sugar around more with your hands rather than the hitting-the-sides process as with flour. Set aside.
2. Whisk attachment in place, combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the mixing bowl. This needs to sit for 15 minutes, which is about how long the next part will take, so keep on reading!
Step 3: Heating Up Stuff
3. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup of water over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. (about a minute)
4. Turn the heat up to high and stick your candy thermometer in. Now its time to sit back and watch. Heat on high until the temperature is between 242 and 248 degrees F. NO STIRRING, just wait and watch it bubble and smell that sugar! It takes about 10-14 minutes if you make the whole batch, a little less if making a half batch. When between 242 and 248, remove from heat.
Step 4: Mixing Time!
5. Back to the mixer, turn speed on to low and slowly pour the sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture. Increasing the speed one setting at a time for about 10 seconds each, eventually get to the highest setting on your mixer. Its wait and watch time again! Youre waiting for the mixture to double-to-triple in size, get a shiny, waxy white color and look really thick. This will take between 10-15 minutes. When its done, keep the speed on high and add in the vanilla, red food coloring and peppermint extract. (Um, can I tell you how happy I am that I made these the same shade of pink as my KitchenAid mixer? SO HAPPY).
Step 5: Spreading Time!
6. With a spatula, spread evenly into your prepared pan. (Dont worry about scraping the bowl cleanits near impossible because of the stickiness). Dust with more powdered sugar and use your fingers to spread it around. (I love the soft feel of it!) Leave uncovered for about 8-10 hours, or overnight.
Step 6: Cutting Out the Marshmallows
7. Do-do-do-do-do, and were back! Sleep well? Cover a cutting board with powdered sugar and plop out the giant marshmallow onto it. You can loosen the sides with a knife. With a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, dipped into powdered sugar every time if necessary, cut out the heart shapes. Roll the sides in the powdered sugar so there are no sticky parts left. If you just want to make square marshmallows, dip the knife in powdered sugar and cut to desirable size, again rolling the sides in powdered sugar. Done!!! Store in an airtight container, or package them up in cellophane and go woo someone with a sweet tooth.
Step 7: The Finished Product