Fluffy Vanilla Marshmallows!

One of my favorite things in the world is homemade marshmallows! Granted, I’d also eat any store-bought kind as well, but really homemade is the absolute best. These pillows of sugary goodness have so much potential and can be used in a variety of ways… We are talking s’mores, sweet potato pie, hot chocolate.. even better spiced and spiked hot chocolate. MMMM delicious

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Marshmallows really are very simple to make.. you just have to be prepared to deal with some hot liquid, own a mixer of any sorts, and be ok with getting your hands a little sticky. Everything else is pretty much a piece of cake (yumm cake). Unlike store bought marshmallows, I usually cut mine into squares and they are fluffy as can be. When I posted a picture of these on my facebook someone commented that my marshmallows looked like tofu. At first, I was offended, but let’s be real, they kind of do, and tofu is delicious so it’s all good.

These marshmallows became my favorite snack during finals week, and also made an appearance at Celine’s bridal shower as part of the chocolate fondue…Marshmallows + Chocolate = Deliciousness. I can’t wait to add some cocoa into my marshmallows or start flavoring them, but I thought I’d stick to the basics for my first time.

Fluffy Vanilla Marshmallows

Makes about 70 1-inch cubed marshmallows

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (~4 envelopes)

1 cup cold water, divided in half

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup corn syrup

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract OR 1 vanilla bean

Confectioners’ sugar and corn starch for dusting

Method

Combine 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar with 1/2 cup of cornstarch together. This will be used for coating the marshmallows. If you don’t have corn starch, any ratio of confections sugar and corn starch works just fine!

Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch metal banking pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray or oil the sides and dust the bottom and sides with the confectioners sugar and corn starch mixture.

In the bowl of your stand mixer or any large bowl, add 1/2 cup of cold water. Sprinkle gelatin over the mixture and let it soften for at least 5 minutes.

In the meantime, in a pot combine another 1/2 cup of water, granulated sugar, and corn syrup together. Cook on low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until all of the sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved, turn up heat to medium-high and cook mixture until it is boiling and has reached 240°F on a candy thermometer, typically around 12-16 minutes. Do not stir the mixture, 240°F is known as the soft ball stage. If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can use the cold water test to see if your boiling liquid. When the sugar syrup is dropped into ice cold water, it should form a soft ball instantaneously. The ball is flexible, and should still flatten when taken out of the water. To not burn my hand more than necessary, I tend to stick some sort of stick or fork into the boiling liquid, grab some syrup and then drop it into water to see if it is ready.

Once the sugar mixture is up to temperature, turn the mixture on low speed and slowly pour the sugar mixture into the gelatin. Once all of the syrup has been added, increase the mixture speed to high and whip the mixture until white and glossy. It should take around 6-8 minutes, and should be thick and at least doubled in volume.

When the mixture is ready, quickly add the salt and vanilla and let it whip for 30 more seconds to incorporate the flavor.

Pour your mixture out into your pan. I pour as much of it as possible into my pan, do a quick scrap with my spatula and then clean as much off the spatula and into the pan as possible. In terms of spreading out the mixture, I’ve found that wetting the palms of your hand allows your to push down on the marshmallow and flatter it as much as possible without sticking. You should work quickly as the marshmallows will start to set, and you don’t want to end up with a big lumpy mess.

Once your marshmallows or flattened into the pan, dust the top with more of your confectioner/corn starch mixture. Let the marshmallows firm up for at least 3 hours uncovered.

To eat, simply lift the marshmallows out of the pan using the parchment paper and drop them onto a cutting board. Wet or spray your knife, and trim off the edges of the marshmallows so you can end up with nice clean squares. Cut cubes out, using a wet or sprayed knife and toss them in your excess confectioners/corn starch mixture. Keep them in an sealed container so they don’t dry out and enjoy them as a casual snack at all times.

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My favorite way to enjoy them is just to spread a light layer of peanut butter or nutella on the marshmallow, add some chocolate chips, and pop the whole thing into my mouth. It’s delightful!

Let me know what other cool marshmallow ingesting tricks you can think of in the comments below. Someone please do me a favor and inject your marshmallows with fudge or speculoos! #yolo

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