Thursday, December 29, 2016

Homemade Marshmallows Three Ways

Years ago when I first got my beloved pink Kitchenaid Mixer, I made marshmallows for the first time on a lark.  They were a huge hit, I think more for the novelty factory than anything else.  But years later, they are still my thing at Christmastime. Some people make and gift cookies or fudge.  I make and gift marshmallows to all the tiny humans in my life.

Over the years I've tried several recipes, but the one I go back to consistently is Alton Brown's.  It works every time.  If you've never tried making your own marshmallows, this is the best recipe to use.  As long as you follow the instructions, have a stand mixer, and a candy thermometer {can be purchased for $5 at any local grocery store if you need one or if yours breaks...not that I know that first hand or anything...just you know...hypothetically of course}, it's very easy and can be done with kids.


* 3 packages unflavored gelatin
* 1 cup ice cold water, divided
* 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
* 1 cup light corn syrup
* 1/4 tsp kosher salt
* 1 tsp vanilla {or other flavor} extract
* 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* Nonstick spray

* Place gelatin into the bowl of your stand mixer and add 1/2 cup of water.  Set whisk attachment next to mixer so it's easy to put on immediately when needed.  

* In a small saucepan, combine the remaining water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt.  Place on medium heat, cover, and allow to cook for three to four minutes.  Uncover, clip on candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure the bottom of the thermometer isn't touching the bottom of the pan.  Cook until mixture is exactly 240 degrees.  This can take anywhere from seven to 10 minutes.  But be sure to stand close and check often to be sure you don't go past 240!

* Once mixture reached 240 degrees F, immediately remove from heat, pour mixture over bloomed gelatin in stand mixer bowl, add whisk attachment, and turn on low.  Move briskly but very carefully as you do not want 240 degree boiling sugar to get on you!  Turn the speed of the mixer up to high and continue to whip until the mixture becomes thick, white, and fluffy.  It will feel lukewarm on the side of the bowl and will take about 12-15 minutes.  

* Add vanilla extract {or other flavor of extract of your choosing} about one minute before the mixture is finished.

* While mixture is mixing, prepare your pan as follows.  In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and cornstarch.  Very lightly spray bottom and sides of a pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Add a few tablespoons of the sugar/cornstarch mixture to pan, move it around until completely coated.  

* When marshmallow mixture is finished mixing, pour into prepared pan with spatula.  Allow marshmallow pan to sit uncovered for at least four hours, preferably over night.  Dust flat surface {I do this in a large sheet pan to attempt to keep the sugar dust contained} with thick layer of remaining sugar/cornstarch mixture.  Turn marshmallows out into this surface.  Using a large knife or a pizza cutter, cut into squares or desired shapes.  A very light coating of nonstick spray often helps the pizza wheel to move easier through the candy.  Toss marshmallows in a generous coating of the sugar/cornstarch mixture so that all outer surfaces of each marshmallow are no longer sticky to the touch.

And that's it!  Really very simple and doesn't take much time at all.  The time in the mixer is almost entirely hands off time.

This year I packaged the marshmallows up in little gift bags, as well as cute little takeout style boxes, lined with parchment paper.

I made three flavors this year: strawberry, pumpkin spice, and vanilla bean.  

While they were all pretty, I have to admit I didn't really care much for the pumpkin spice flavor.  So I kind of considered that one a bust.  Vanilla is consistently my favorite but in the past I have made chocolate, almond, coconut, lemon, cinnamon {probably my second favorite after vanilla bean}, rum, and cherry.  

As a trio though, they did all look so lovely and cheerful together!

What's your signature holiday gift from the kitchen?  Have you ever made marshmallows?  And what flavors do you think I should add into the mix next year?

1 comment:

Laura said...

Beautiful! I've always wanted to try and make Ina's recipe, I'll try this one first. Where did you buy your flavorings?


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