I've read on many blogs how easy it is to make homemade marshmallows. I decided to try it this year to add to Christmas treat gifts. I will join that clan and say yes, this is easy! You know what isn't easy? Cleaning a corn syrup sugar mixture off your stove as the smoke fills your entire kitchen. Alton's recipe that I followed recommended a small sauce pan. I have to disagree because that left me with an absolute mess before the mixture reached temperature. However, the product of this recipe was impressive. I used these marshmallows to create hot chocolate on a stick. I'll share that recipe with you tomorrow because those would make great last minute treats for Christmas weekend! I'm off to continue picking at the stove with my fingernails because I'm too lazy to go out and buy a razor blade.
You will need:
*3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
*1 cup ice cold water, divided
*1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 12 ounces
*1 cup light corn syrup
*1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
*1/4 cup cornstarch
1. Place the gelatin and 1/2 cup of the water into the bowl of a stand mixer . With the whisk attachment in place.
2. In a medium saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place over medium high heat and cover. After cooking 3-4 minutes, remove cover, and clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan. Continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
3. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture while the mixer is running. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 15 minutes. Add the vanilla extract during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
4. Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. (I do not own a metal baking pan that size, so I used my glass Pyrex) Coat the bottom and sides of the pan with the sugar and cornstarch mixture. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
5. When ready, pour the thick mixture into the prepared pan. Use a lightly oiled spatula to help spread evenly into the pan. Dust the top with some of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
6. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board. Use a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture to cut 1-inch squares. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar cornstarch mixture. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Alton's recipe also contains instructions for preparing mini marshmallows. It changes the directions after step 3 and you can find those steps through the link above.