I love to make homemade marshmallows! The only trouble is, they're time-consuming and messy. But oh boy! The taste is so much nicer than store-bought, it makes them worth the trouble. So tonight I made a batch to use with my recipes for the holidays. If you'd like to give it a try, here are the steps.
You will need:
1- 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup plus 2 Tbs water
1 Cup light corn syrup
1/2 Cup cold water
3 (1/4 oz) envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1 Tbs vanilla
1 Cup powdered sugar (and more for dusting!)
1/2 Cup cornstarch
Wax paper or parchment paper
Line a 13 X 9 inch pan with wax or parchment paper being sure to leave "tabs" on each end to use as handles lift the marshmallows out of the pan later. Lightly oil the paper and liberally sift powdered sugar over the paper.
In a saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, 3/4 C plus 2 Tbs water, and corn syrup. Stir to moisten the sugar. Cover and bring to a boil without further stirring.
Uncover the pan, and place a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and continue to heat without stirring to 240 degrees. (Just over soft ball stage) Be patient-on my electric smoothtop stove, reaching the correct temperature takes about 10-15 minutes at a medium setting on my stove dial (which is 5). Once the syrup has started to boil, place the 1/2 C cold water in the mixing bowl. (I highly reccomend a stand mixer because you will be mixing this for 10-15 minutes!) Sprinkle the 3 envelopes of gelatin over the cold water and stir to moisten any lumps of gelatin. Let it soften for at least a minute.
After the syrup has reached 240 degrees, carefully and slowly pour the syrup over the gelatin mixture, beating it at LOW speed until the syrup has all been added. It will splash!
I drape a towel over the bowl and secure it with a clip until the gelatin mixture takes a firmer shape. Once the mixture thickens, you can remove the towel drape, and safely turn up the speed to high without fear of splashing.
Scrape the bowl frequently, stopping occasionally to check the thickness of the mixture.
When the mixture becomes opaque (white) and begins to thicken, add the vanilla.
It takes me about 10-15 total minutes of mixing with a Kitchen Aid mixer to reach the desired consistency.
Once it's thick enough, pour and scrape it into the prepared pan. It will be sticky! Using a spatula dipped in water helps to get it smoothly in the pan. Let it cool for at least 2 hours.
This is the messy part and you will not be able to avoid it, but it is worth the mess! Place wax paper on your counter top and sprinkle it liberally with powdered sugar. Using a knife, loosen the edge of the marshmallows in the pan. Lift out the marshmallows by the wax paper tabs and invert it onto the wax paper on the counter top. It may stick a little, but using generous amounts of powdered sugar will unstick each edge. Combine the 1 C of powdered sugar with the 1/2 C of cornstarch. Place it in a dish (I use a large measuring bowl).
Using a pizza cutter dipped in water, carefully cut the size rows you'd like your marshmallows to be. I cut mine in 10 short-side rows by 8 long-side rows. While you cut, keep dipping the pizza cutter in the water--it will help to stop the marshmallows from sticking.
Once the rows are cut, place each piece in the sugar/cornstarch mixture and toss to coat all sides. Shake off excess with a sieve.
I store mine in a plastic jar container with a screw on lid. This recipe makes about 80 medium-sized marshmallows. (Not as large as store-bought, but much tastier!) To make miniature marshmallows, simply cut thinner long-side rows and snip with kitchen shears dipped often in water. Dredge and shake off excess sugar/cornstarch as above.