Yes, you could spend $16.50 on a package of fifteen gourmet marshmallows from Williams-Sonoma. Or, you could make them yourself, which will net you some pretty amazing results like:
- Adoring oohs and aahs from every single person who find out you made them yourself. Be sure not to cut them too perfectly so it’s clear they’re homemade.
- Major cost savings – probably a couple of bucks for the entire pack, rather than $1.00 each.
- The satisfaction of tasting the most incredible soft, creamy homemade marshmallows and knowing that you made them yourself.
- .75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
- 3/4 cup water, divided
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cups light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
- red food coloring (optional)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 T cornstarch
- Lightly grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan. If you have a flexible silicon pan, use it! If not, you can use any metal or glass pan. It’s just easier to remove the marshmallows from the silicon pan.
- In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer if you have one), sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water and allow it to dissolve for about 5-10 minutes.
- Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a very hard boil and cook for one minute (no need for a candy thermometer). Make sure you stir it frequently, and be careful – this mixture is very hot!
- Pour the boiling syrup on top of the gelatin and begin whisking on high. A stand mixer will make this job much easier, though I’ve used a hand mixer with no problem. Just be aware it’s possible that you could burn up your mixer using it on high for this long!
- Add the salt and whisk on high for about 10 minutes. At about 8 minutes in, I begin dipping my finger into the mixture and dropping a small dollop on the counter to test how close it is to “done”. If you drop a dollop on the counter and within 30-60 seconds, it starts to firm up like you would imagine a marshmallow would, you can probably stop whipping. Ten minutes is usually enough; you can go as long as 12 if you’re unsure.
- At the end of the mixing, add the vanilla and peppermint extract (if using). Pour half of the marshmallow mixture into the pan, then swirl around a few drops of red food coloring (if making peppermint marshmallows). Pour the rest of the mixture on top, then swirl in a little more food coloring.
- Allow the marshmallows to set until firm – usually about 4-5 hours.
- Once firm, combine 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 T cornstarch in a bowl. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the marshmallows into cubes. It helps prevent sticking if you dip your scissors in the powdered sugar mixture between each cut.
- Toss each marshmallow in the powdered sugar mixture and that’s it – you’re done! Store in a semi-airtight container. I’ve found that if they are in a completely airtight container, they tend to get a little soggy; so we usually leave the lid just barely cracked.
Even More Variations To Try
There are endless customization possibilities for these homemade marshmallows! Continuing with the peppermint theme, you could crush candy canes and spread them on the bottom of the pan and then on top of the marshmallows before they set. Chocolate-dipped marshmallows would be yummy, or could you try tossing them in cocoa powder instead of powdered sugar! How about coconut extract, or maple? The possibilities are endless.
Watch the video for a step-by-step visual tutorial of how to make homemade marshmallows, including some helpful tips to know when enough whipping is enough.
I used to make “Queen Anne’s” back in the 60’s and 70’s…they were a “sandwich” of home made marshmallow with a layer of home made caramel in between the marshmallow “bread” slices. SO terrifically tasty!! I used to pour the marshmallow out onto a cookie sheet lined with brown paper liberally sprinkled with the powder sugar/cornstarch mixture….let to dry 5-6 hours then flipped onto another brown paper to dry the other side…make two flats of marshmallow…then the next day…make the caramel, pour over one slab of marshmallow and let it cool just a moment before placing the second sheet of marshmallow on top. Cool completely…then use scissors to cut into small squares and tumble through the powdered sugar/corn starch and dish up…People will never believe you made this yourself!