September is already here, and pretty soon, the holiday season will begin, starting with Halloween. Its that time of the year when desserts and sweet delicacies will likely fill your dinner tables, and as the holiday season picks up speed, there will be more than one reason to make some easy goodies at home. Whether you are entertaining friends at home, having a tea party, or need ideas for holiday goodies to pack in tin boxes, Marshmallows never fail to impress. Toss them in some Hot Chocolate, or blend them to make a cool Marshmallow Frosting to cover your cupcakes – this basic recipe will be a keeper! Add flavors like Chocolate, Strawberry, Lavender or even Lemon, for that extra-special touch to your everyday cooking!
This basic Marshmallow Recipe [photo by iheartCuppyCake] has been adapted from the famous Food Network chef Alton Brown; However, you can add your favorite flavors and colors to suit any occasion. I have added tips on flavor variations at the end of the post. Smitten Kitchen also has a great tutorial on how to make marshmallows, if you need more help.
Yields about 9 dozen marshmallow cubes
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Digital Food Thermometer
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a food thermometer onto the side of the pan and 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.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. 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 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
For regular marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough 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.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks
Lavender Marshmallows – Add some Lavender extract for the beautiful flavor and a lovely purple tinge. Pairs well with any hot tea beverage, or great as a gift in a tinned box.
Chocolate Marshmallows – Use 3/4 cup corn syrup with 1/3 cup Dutch processed Cocoa Powder to make the Marshmallows. For the Coating, use the above recipe, but add 3 tbsp cocoa powder.
Strawberry Marshmallows – Replace the recipe above with 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup strawberry puree, and 3/4 cup light corn syrup.
Enjoy these Marshmallow Recipes during the Holiday season, and don’t forget to make some Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting – your kids will love them!