Marshmallows!!! Fluffy, squishy, fun, and delicious — and pretty easy to make at home! No corn syrup or candy thermometer required. Here’s how:
1/2 cup cold water
2 tbsp. gelatin (2 envelopes)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tbsp. icing sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
8×8″ pan (or larger, for thinner mashmallows)
Parchment paper and scissors (or plastic wrap or aluminum foil)
Large knife (or pizza wheel or kitchen shears)
- Using a large bowl, sprinkle the gelatin into 1/2 cup of cold water and give it a quick stir. Set it aside to soak.
- Pour the other 1/2 cup of cold water into a small pot, and add the granulated sugar.
- On high, heat the water-sugar mixture until it begins to boil. Turn down the heat to low, and simmer this syrup for 10-15 minutes.* Remove the pot from the heat.
- While the syrup is cooling, line all sides of the 8×8″ pan with parchment paper. Use some vegetable oil to lightly grease the paper.
- Mix together the icing sugar and cornstarch,** and use about a tablespoon of it to dust all sides of the pan.
- Pour the syrup into the bowl with the gelatin, and beat it for 5 minutes with a hand blender until it’s white, thickened, and doubled in volume.
- Add the vanilla (and any flavouring or colouring), and beat it for another 7-8 minutes until it’s thick, glossy, and tripled in volume. It should almost be able to stand up on its own.
- Scrape the mixture into the pan using a rubber spatula coated with vegetable oil, and flatten out the top as best you can.
- Using the sieve, dust the top with the sugar-cornstarch mixture.
- Put the marshmallow pan aside and let it set, uncovered, for a few hours.
- Turn the marshmallow slab out onto a cutting board covered with parchment paper dusted with sugar-cornstarch. Oil and dust a large knife with sugar-cornstarch, and cut the marshmallow slab into 1 to 2-inch squares. Dust the marshmallow edges with more sugar-cornstarch to prevent them from sticking.
- Store the marshmallows in an airtight container at room temperature for ~1 week.
*We’re cooking the syrup until it reaches what’s called the “soft ball” stage in candy-making, which means that when you drop a bit of the syrup into cold water, you can pick it up and form a soft ball between your fingers. This is when the syrup has reached ~240°F. But even if you undercook or overcook the syrup, it doesn’t make a huge difference in the texture of the marshmallows. One time, I cooked the syrup for 2 minutes, and the marshmallows were still fine, just a bit stickier.
** You can use just icing sugar for dusting, but the cornstarch helps to prevent sticking.
You can always buy marshmallows at the store, but they don’t taste as fresh and yummy as homemade ones and have some not-so-good ingredients. Marshmallows can be made from just sugar, gelatin, and water, but store-bought ones usually have corn syrup, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, artificial flavour, and blue food dye added in as well. Hrmmm D:
Homemade marshmallows are also easy to customize, and can be given as pretty and unique gifts (Valentine’s Day is coming up ;P). You can add flavouring, colouring, roll them in sprinkles or coconut flakes, or make them into fun shapes with cookie cutters.
In terms of versatility, you can use them in exactly the same way you’d use marshmallows from the store — in hot chocolate, Rice Krispies squares, S’mores, or toasted over a camp fire!
And they’re so fluffeeehhhh!! That’s reason enough for me.