Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Homemade Marshmallows!

What? That doesn't look like marshmallows to you? Oh yeah, sorry but I forgot to take a picture of the final fluffy little marshmallow cubes. You'll just have to use your imagination. I was too busy packaging them up to send to our neighbors with hot cocoa mix on Christmas Eve while four of my kids were cutting out gingerbread cookies and eating the icing. At least I don't try to do too many things at once! Ha ha. These make perfect gifts for people because they are so surprised by them, I mean, whoever heard of homemade marshmallows? If you don't tell them how easy they are they can keep on thinking you are Martha Stewart, which is where I got this recipe, by the way. So they are fun, easy, inexpensive and full of healthy things like egg whites. We do need our protein! Really they aren't full of much healthy but for Pete's sake, their marshmallows. At least they have no blue dye. It's in those jet puffed babies, read the label. The only thing you'll need besides pantry items is unflavored gelatin. You can find it by the Jello at the grocery store. It comes in a little box with 4 packets in it. You will need 3 of the packets. This irritates me because now I have a box with 1 packet in it lurking in my cabinet. But what can I do? I guess I'll have to get over it.

Homemade Marshmallows
2 Tablespoons 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (3 packets)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
cornstarch for dusting the cut marshmallows

Soften gelatin in the cold water. This will turn into a fairly solid clump of gelatin but never fear, this will go away. Mix sugar, corn syrup, hot water and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook to soft ball stage (234 degrees on a candy thermometer). My mom taught me to test my candy in a cup of cold water and that is the most reliable way for me. All you do is dribble a bit of the mixture into a small cup of cold water and see how it hardens. For soft ball, you should be able to gather the syrup into a ball that slightly flattens when you lift it up out of the cold water. This is much easier for me than testing a thermometer and fiddling with trying to keep it in the pan right. Besides, with the cold water method you can sample the tests as you go along. Can't exactly throw out that little ball of syrup can you?
While your syrup is cooking, beat the egg white to soft peaks. If you have a stand mixer you want to use it for this or find a strong man to help you. Flatter or bribe, do whatever you need to do because you are about to need some help! After you decide the syrup is soft ball stage, take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla and the gelatin. It will bubble up when you stir it in but stir on. As soon as the gelatin is well mixed pour it into the beaten egg white with the mixer running. That is why you need a stand mixer or helper, that syrup is super hot!

Once you get the syrup mixture beat in, beat for 10 minutes (see I told you would need help). The marshmallows with triple in volume and be very fluffy. Pretty isn't it?

After 10 minutes, pour into a buttered 9 x 13 pan and cover with a piece of buttered waxed paper. If you do not butter it you will hate me and come looking for me, so butter away my friend. The paper smooths the top and gives the final marshmallow a nice square shape. After several hours you can remove the paper and sprinkle the top with cornstarch. This keeps it from sticking. Turn it out onto a cutting board and cut into strips then cubes with a knife. I put a 1/2 cup of cornstarch in a big bowl and toss the marshmallow in the cornstarch after I finish cutting a strip. This is very messy and sticky but fun. I keep them in a gallon ziplock bag and use them for smores and hot cocoa. Really, they are great, you have to try them!


Kaylovesvintage said...

thanks ..I will try to make it

Alyson said...

These look great! I've never ever thought about making marshmallows, but I think I might just have to try soon! You know what is funny? I read this post yesterday, and then dreamed about making them last night! I just realized that it was only a dream when I saw your blog title on my blog. It took me a second to realize that I had dreamed it! Just thought you'd like to know I'm dreaming about your blogs!! Love you friend!!

Kristin said...

Yee haw!

Rebekah said...

I have had homemade marshmallows, from another friend who likes to make homemade gifts - yum!

I've had a terrible time working with candy, the thermometer, and all that. I really want to conquer it, though.

Ron Hollis said...

Stranded away from home on a convention trip isn't a really good time to look at this blog site! Homesick? Ya think!