Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Perfectly Pink Homemade Marshmallows

I must confess, until a couple of years ago it never occurred to me that I might be able to make my own marshmallows.

They seem like they would be complicated, right?

Is it even possible for those spongy, sweet little confections not to bring a smile to your face?

Seriously. Marshmallows rock.  Personally I like the ones that are covered in toasted coconut- mmmmm.....*drool*

Well, a couple of years ago the Allrecipes Allstars partnered with Karo® and we made all kinds of little treats for a Haloween party, including these Spooky Homemade Marshmallows.  While the only thing that was really "spooky" about them was their name, they were a total game-changer for me.

Did you know that marshmallows are ridiculously easy to make?
Homemade marshmallows are soft, springy, delicate, delicious little gems.
Not only that, you can totally customize them with different flavor extracts and colors or by using cookie cutters to make them interesting shapes.

Like pink hearts.

:-) You had to know where I was going with this with Valentine's Day coming up, right?

I really wanted to flavor these with something interesting, but I didn't have any flavors that seemed to go with pink- next time I think I'll add some cherry or watermelon flavor.

Seriously though, they're fantastic as-is with their normal vanilla flavor.  

I like to make these in a 9x13 pan for a thicker marshmallow, but my heart cookie cutters were a little bigger than I'd remembered so I decided to make the marshmallows  a little thinner this time by using a jelly roll pan.

Here's the deal with keeping the mess under control- coat everything.
Seriously.  Do not forget to coat absolutely everything.
Otherwise you will wind up with marshmallow strings connecting your hands to the bowl to the 50 utensils you have shoved into the mess to try to get things under control and when you call your daughter for help she will stand there and look at you like you are a crazy person.

I mean...I can imagine that would be what might happen...I certainly didn't learn from experience or anything... :-)

Grease your pan.  Give any utensil that will come into contact with the marshmallow mixture a quick spray with cooking spray.  If you need to use your hands at any time to touch the concoction give your fingers a quick spray too.  Doing that will help keep the mess to a minimum!

Also, coat everything when you go to cut your marshmallows.  Use the powdered sugar to coat your knife/cookie cutters/marshmallow surface/whatever.  Use the powdered sugar liberally.  The excess will shake off of your marshmallows easily and you will have avoided another sticky mess!  Trust me on this one!

Anyway, aren't these cute?  I'm smitten.  They are not only delicious and adorable, but they make absolutely great gifts any time of the year.

1 cup water, room temperature, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 packets unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or flavor of your choosing)
Food coloring (if desired)
1 cup powdered sugar (or as needed)
1 1/2 teaspoons Argo® Corn Starch

1. Combine 1/2 cup water, salt and gelatin in large bowl of a stand mixer. Stir and set aside.

2. Combine remaining 1/2 cup water, sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Using a candy thermometer, cook until mixture reaches 240 degrees F or soft ball stage.

3. Gradually pour the hot syrup over the gelatin mixture with the mixer on low. Turn the mixer on its highest speed and beat for 8 minutes. Add vanilla (and food coloring if desired) and beat an additional 2 minutes. The mixing bowl will get very full. The marshmallows will become very thick, white and shiny. Spread mixture onto greased 13 x 9-inch pan.

4. Let marshmallows cool at least 4 hours or overnight. Combine powdered sugar and corn starch in a shallow pan. Cut the marshmallows into bite-size pieces with a sharp knife or scissors, dropping one at a time into the powdered sugar. Toss to coat well. Store marshmallows in an airtight container in a cool place. Best used within 1 month.

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