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Homemade Marshmallows Recipe
A special homemade treat from Cindy Bearman of ABC Kitchen. Best served atop a mug of piping hot cocoa, with a chocolate mint cookie on the side.
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 sheets gelatin
- 4 egg whites
- 1 vanilla bean
- Confectioner’s sugar, for finishing
- Cornstarch, for finishing
Place sugar into a saucepan with ¼ cup water and gently stir. Soak gelatin sheets in very cold water until soft.
Heat sugar and water mixture over high heat until it reaches 245 degrees on a candy thermometer. While the sugar heats, place the egg whites into a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, and start beating on medium-low speed. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin, taking care not to squeeze too hard, and add the gelatin to the sugar mixture as soon as it reaches 245 degrees.
Once the whites are frothy, turn the mixer speed down low and pour in the hot sugar-gelatin mixture. Turn the mixer on high and whip until the marshmallow has cooled and is firm, about 15-20 minutes.
While the marshmallow whips, line a sheet tray with waxed paper and sift a mixture of equal parts cornstarch and confectioner’s sugar over the waxed paper to coat it entirely so that the marshmallow does not stick.
Spread the marshmallow into the sheet tray with a metal offset spatula, and sift more of the cornstarch-confectioner’s sugar mixture over the top.
Let the marshmallow set in the refrigerator for at least four hours, then cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters or a knife, tossing the shapes in more confectioner’s sugar-cornstarch mixture so that the freshly cut sides won’t stick. Use immediately, or store in a bit of confectioner's sugar and cornstarch in a tightly sealed bag or quart container.
They're fluffy, they're soft, they're straight from the heavens: homemade marshmallows just can't be beat. Once you make this yourself, going back to the bagged stuff will be a difficult decision fraught with inner struggle: do you want convenience, or do you want the best of the best?
Equipment you'll need
It might sound intimidating, but making marshmallows at home is super easy and super fun. Keep a can of cooking spray nearby because things will get sticky! You'll need to use it on your spatulas, your pan of choice, and your knife. If you want smaller or less lofty pieces of marshmallow, go with a wider pan like a half sheet pan. We like ours super tall and fluffy, so we're using an 8" square pan to yield perfect 1 1/2" cubes of marshmallow.
Two pieces of equipment that you'll need to make this process a breeze are a candy thermometer and a stand mixer. To make this confection, we'll be heating our syrup to 245°F before streaming and whisking it into the bloomed gelatin. While not impossible to do with a hand mixer&mdashsome recipes even call for just whisking by hand&mdasha stand mixer will provide control over how gradually you add in your hot 245° syrup and prevent any accidental spillage. For the fluffiest marshmallows, the mixture will be whisked at a high speed for maximum aeration, so a stand mixer will also result in less bicep soreness!
For our syrup, we're using water, granulated sugar, and light corn syrup. Corn syrup is an inverted sugar syrup that is necessary here to ensure your marshmallows are super soft, fluffy, and creamy to the bite. It also stalls staling by acting as a stabilizer and helping the marshmallows retain more moisture as time passes&mdashdon't skip it!
Begin by adding water to your pot, then slowly pour in the sugar to avoid splashing. Wait until all the sugar has been soaked by the water, then add in corn syrup. Adding the ingredients in this order prevents crystallization in your syrup by eliminating the need to stir the solution as it boils&mdashless agitation means smoother marshmallows. On a medium heat, boil your syrup until it hits the soft ball stage, between 240° and 245°&mdashthe hotter the syrup goes, the stiffer the marshmallow will become.
Too much heat can kill the thickening power of gelatin, which means your mixer should be running on a medium-low speed as you begin to pour in your hot syrup. Constant agitation will cool the syrup with steady aeration, dissolving the gelatin into the mixture without too much harm. Increase the mixer to a high speed once the syrup is all in until the marshmallow fluff has tripled in size. At this point, you can use the fluff as is or pat it into your prepared pan to let it set into marshmallows overnight.
A word to our vegetarian and vegan friends: gelatin is an animal-based product, which means marshmallows are not a vegetarian food. While some alternative recipes do call for agar agar to be used in place of gelatin, the results are just not quite the same: the mouthfeel is less silky, the texture not as spongy.
We're using vanilla extract for a classic flavor profile, but you can use whatever extracts you'd like: peppermint extract for that wintertime vibe, a splash of rosewater for a delicate, floral fragrance for a Valentine's day treat. Use between 1 and 2 teaspoons of liquid flavorings, and add in the final minute of mixing.
If you've made these sweet, pillowy clouds, leave a rating and let us know in the comments down below how you liked it! For ideas on what to make with your perfect marshmallows, check out these 60+ s'mores desserts!
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees 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.
For traditional marshmallows:
With a sieve, generously dust an 8 x 12-inch nonmetal baking dish with confectioners’ sugar. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth the top, and dust with more confectioners’ sugar. Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out.
Turn the marshmallows onto a board and cut them in squares. Dust them with more confectioners’ sugar.
For Toasted Coconut Marshmallows:
Place the coconut in a very large dry saute pan and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing frequently, until lightly browned. Set aside.
Sprinkle half the toasted coconut in an 8 x 12-inch nonmetal pan. Pour in the marshmallow batter and smooth the top of the mixture with damp hands. Sprinkle on the remaining toasted coconut. 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.
Copyright, 2002, Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, All Rights Reserved
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Grease a 3cm deep, 16.5cm x 26cm (base) slab pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 3cm overhang at both long ends.
Combine sugar and 2/3 cup hot water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves and syrup is clear.
Using a whisk or fork, combine gelatine and 2/3 cup of cold water in a jug. Pour this mixture into hot syrup. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until gelatine has dissolved and mixture is clear. Pour into bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and gelatine mixture on high for 6 to 10 minutes or until very thick. Add vanilla and food colouring to reach desired colour and beat for 1 minute. Spread into prepared pan. Smooth top. Set aside, at room temperature, for 1 hour or until set. Lift onto a board and cut into squares using a wet knife.
Optional: Place coconut in a shallow bowl. Once freshly cut, roll marshmallow into coconut to coat. Remove to a wire rack until surface feels dry.
Homemade Marshmallow Recipe
I've used these Homemade Marshmallows for everything from plain old hot chocolate, to s'mores, sweet potato casserole, and even as a filling in homemade candies.
If you have the time to try them (they seriously take 10 minutes, you should find the time), you will not be disappointed.
A little note about gelatin: I used to use the Knox brand gelatin for this recipe. It works ok, however, I would recommend investing in the Great Lakes brand gelatin pictured above.
It's from grass-fed cows, it's kosher, and it's actually good for you. It promotes healthy joints and bone strength, and has a healing affect on your whole body.
That means these marshmallows are GOOD FOR YOU. I'm just saying. That's worth it to me!
You can buy a single can here or a 2 pack here. I purchased my 2 pack almost 3 years ago and I still haven't made it through one whole bottle. this stuff will last you forever.
Sugar in the Raw syrup: I've used molasses, cane syrup, honey, and golden syrup in the past for this recipe. They all turn out perfectly on the texture front, but the flavor varies quite a bit. This Sugar in the Raw syrup is the best I've ever tried as far as achieving that light and subtly sweet marshmallow flavor.
It also helps the marshmallows turn out nice and bright white, instead of a darker cream or yellow.
My local grocery store sells this product, or you can buy it here.
NOTE: If you want to make fully organic marshmallows, skip the Sugar in the Raw and instead add an additional 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of water to the recipe. Omit the Sugar in the Raw completely and follow the rest of the directions.
A big thanks to my mom who helped me with the texture demonstration part of this post! See how nice and pliable they are?
They pull apart just like the store bought marshmallows!
And they melt nicely in hot chocolate too! I love the way they form this gooey layer of sweetness that perfectly doles out a helping of melted marshmallow with each sip.
But don't take my word for it, make them yourself today!
Strawberry & Cream Croissant French Toast For Your Weekend Brunch
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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.
Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?
“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."
On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.
Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1/2 cup cold water and gelatin. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
In a small heavy saucepan over low heat, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, remaining 1/2 cup water and salt. Sir until the sugar dissolves. Use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides as needed when sugar crystals form.
Raise the heat to high under the pan and clip a candy thermometer on the side. Cook the syrup WITHOUT stirring until the temperature reaches 244º (firm ball stage). Immediately remove the pan from the heat.
Using a whisk attachment, turn your standing mixer to low and slowly pour the hot syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture has tripled in size. This should take about 15-18 minutes. The mixture will be very thick and white. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.
Generously dust an 8X12 inch Pyrex baking dish with powdered sugar. Pour mixture into pan. Dust the top of the mixture with powdered sugar and press flat into the pan with wet hands. Dust again with powdered sugar. Set out overnight uncovered. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut marshmallows with a dry hot knife into 1 1/2″ squares. Dust again with powdered sugar.
Paula’s Gift Packaging Tips: These marshmallows are such a wonderful gift. Give them along with your favorite hot chocolate mix for an added surprise. I love how they look in clear plastic bags tied with a vintage velvet ribbon and given in old milk glass containers I find while out junkin’. The white marshmallows against the white milk glass is so beautiful.
This recipe is one of our Gifts from the Kitchen. Click here to see other Gifts from the Kitchen.
How to Make Homemade Marshmallows
Great for gift-giving, homemade marshmallows are a fun do-it-yourself project. Our step-by-step directions take the mystery out of these magical puffs.
If you&aposve never tried homemade marshmallows, you&aposre in for a treat! If you have tasted homemade marshmallows, you already know why they&aposre worth the effort: They&aposre light, airy, fluffy, and rife with fresh vanilla flavor that most store-bought marshmallows simply cannot match.
With our step-by-step directions, handcrafted, homemade marshmallows can become a specialty of your house -- an exquisite food gift your friends and family will remember long after they&aposve savored the treats. But be sure to keep some for yourself: Homemade marshmallows are simply divine in a cup of hot chocolate in winter or tucked into s&aposmores to enjoy around the campfire in summer.
What Are Marshmallows?
Originally, marshmallows were sweet treats made from the root of a marshmallow plant. However, the confections now are generally made from corn syrup, gelatin, egg whites, sugar, and flavorings such as vanilla. Commercial products may also include thickeners and stabilizers -- ingredients you won&apost need in fresh, homemade versions.
Equipment for Making Homemade Marshmallows
You likely already have most of the items you need for making marshmallows. The only specialty item required is a candy thermometer -- it&aposs the most accurate way to ensure that your candy mixture has reached the temperature specified.
Tip: If you&aposre purchasing a new candy thermometer, choose one that is easy to read and that clips to the side of the pan.
Here are the items you&aposll need:
- 13x9x2-inch baking pan
- Plastic wrap, waxed paper, or parchment paper
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large metal or heatproof bowl
- 2-quart heavy saucepan
Tip: Be sure to use this exact size of saucepan. If your pan is too large, the candy mixture can spread too thin in the pan if the pan is too small, the candy mixture can boil over and cause dangerous spills.
- Candy thermometer
- One large and one small mixing bowl
- Electric mixer
- Heatproof spatula for spreading mixture
- Cutting board
- Chef&aposs knife or slicing knife
- Resealable plastic bag
- Airtight container for storage
How to Make Homemade Marshmallows
1. Gather the Ingredients
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (4-1/4 teaspoons)
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup light-color corn syrup
- 1/3 cup refrigerated egg white product or 2 pasteurized liquid egg whites
Tip: Be sure to use a product that is only egg whites -- no yolks. We do not recommend
using fresh egg whites, because in this recipe, they will not reach a high enough temperature (160 degrees F) to ensure food safety.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
2. Prepare the Pan
- Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with plastic wrap or line the bottom of pan with waxed paper or parchment paper. Coat the plastic or paper with nonstick cooking spray set pan aside.
3. Soften the Gelatin
4. Prepare the Candy Mixture
- In a 2-quart heavy saucepan stir together the remaining 1/4 cup cold water, 1-3/4 cups of the granulated sugar, and the corn syrup until combined. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Cook, without stirring, over medium-high heat until the thermometer registers 260 degrees F, hard-ball stage (12 to 15 minutes total).
Tip: Because the actual temperatures of the heat settings among stovetop models may vary, adjust the temperature as necessary. The mixture should cook at a moderate, steady rate (bubbles should form over the entire surface of the mixture).
We love marshmallows. We use them all the time in our baking recipes. But for some reason we hesitated to try to make our own marshmallows from scratch. It seemed daunting. Boy were we wrong. Not daunting at all. Dare we say, they are even kind of easy to make actually. And these fresh marshmallows taste so much better than the ones we already love from the grocery store. So please trust us and give this The Best Homemade Marshmallow Recipe a try. We are so glad we did and if you are also a marshmallow lover, you will be too!
First step, prepare your baking pan. We used an 8″ square baking pan. You can use a 9″ square pan but he marshmallows will be a little shorter that the ones you see here. We lightly sprayed the baking pan with cooking spray and then covered the pan with plastic wrap. (The spray will help the plastic wrap stay on the pan.) . Then brush the plastic wrap with vegetable oil.
Pour the vanilla and the ice cold water into your mixing bowl. Now sprinkle the three envelopes of Knox Unflavored Gelatin onto the water in the bowl. Gently whisk with a fork until there are no longer any large clumps of gelatin. Allow the gelatin to continue to bloom while you make the simple syrup.
In a medium sauce pan, add sugar, light corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil while stirring. Stop stirring when the sugar is dissolved. You want the sugar mixture to reach a hard boil which means the entire surface of the sugar mixture is bubbling. If you have a candy thermometer, boil the syrup until it reaches 240°F. I don’t usually use a thermometer, instead, when the sugar mixture is at a hard boil I allow it to boil for one more minute and then I take the syrup off the heat.
Turn the whisk on low and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the mixing bowl with the gelatin. Add a pinch of salt.
Once you have poured all the syrup into the bowl, turn the whisk up to high. The mixture will begin to turn white.
Allow the marshmallow mixture thicken for 10-12 minutes. The marshmallow mixture will be thick like a meringue, it will no longer be hot and it will begin to pull away from the edges of the bowl.
Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan. If necessary, lightly oil your spatula and finger tips to smooth out the top of the marshmallows. Lightly oil a piece of plastic wrap and then cover the top of the marshmallows. Allow the marshmallows to completely cool and firm up at room temperature overnight.
To create the Marshmallow Dust, mix the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Spread out a piece of parchment paper and cover it with a small amount of the Marshmallow Dust. Turn out the marshmallow block from the pan.
Lightly oil a sharp knife and use it to cut the marshmallows into individual marshmallows. Toss the marshmallows into a bowl with the Marshmallow Dust and cover on all sides.
Store the marshmallows in an air-right container. Separate the layers with parchment paper. The marshmallows will last 2-3 weeks at room temperature and a few months if frozen.
Neutral oil (like grapeseed or corn) for greasing
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (a little less than three 1/4-ounce envelopes) unflavored gelatin
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch
1. Grease the inside of a 13 × 9-inch baking dish dust the bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar, tapping out any excess. Put 1/2 cup cold water and the vanilla in a large heatproof bowl (use the bowl of a stand mixer if you have one) and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over it let soften while you make the sugar syrup.
2. Put 1/2 cup water into a medium saucepan along with the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, then set a candy thermometer in the pan, making sure it’s not touching the bottom of the pan, and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook without stirring until the mixture hits 240°F (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat and carefully pour over the gelatin beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and glossy and has nearly tripled in volume, about 10 minutes if you’re using an electric mixer or a few minutes less with a stand mixer.
3. Clean the beaters well and, in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold them into the sugar-gelatin mixture until just combined, then use an oiled spatula to scrape it into the prepared dish smooth out the top. Let set for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
4. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Dust a thin layer of the mixture over the top of the marshmallow, then run an oiled knife along the edges of the dish to loosen it. Invert onto a cutting board and cut into cubes, oiling the knife as needed to keep it from sticking. Toss each marshmallow in the cornstarch mixture to coat. Store at room temperature in a sealed container for no more than 1 week.
Combine 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 cup hot water in a small bowl and whisk until smooth, then stir it into the gelatin mixture just before pouring in the sugar syrup in Step 2. Substitute cocoa powder for up to half of the confectioners’ sugar in the coating if you like, add 1 tablespoon cinnamon to the coating.
These are like a mini lemon meringue pie you can swap the lemon for any other citrus if you prefer: Beat 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest into the gelatin mixture just before adding the hot sugar syrup.
Perfect with a big mug of hot chocolate: Substitute 1 teaspoon peppermint extract for the vanilla extract. Crush about 15 peppermint candies into a very fine powder and combine with the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch.