homemade marshmallows

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This post is dedicated to my middle sister because she has been asking me to make marshmallows for a few weeks now.  I used to live with her for a short while when I was in Texas.  My favorite things to do with her were running and watching the same movies over and over again (anything related to musicals, dancing or Amanda Bynes…ha).  I miss chillin’ with her and her husband  and cooking new recipes for them to try.  Good times!  Even though we are miles apart I’m still glad I can share food with you.

So soft pillows of fluffy sugar in the form of homemade marshmallows is what I am sharing today.  I feel the same way about marshmallows and bread.  They are both significantly better homemade compared to store bought.  Now I’m not saying you always have to make homemade marshmallows every time you want some (let’s not be silly) but I think you should experience them homemade at least once.

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One of the ingredients you may need to get is gelatin.  That is the beige powder in the center.  I found this in the baking aisle where all the canning supplies are.

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A candy thermometer  and a stand mixer are the key pieces of equipment you need.  FYI at the store you will also find meat thermometers that I don’t suggest using.  There are a number of factors why it’s best to use a candy thermometer but one reason is that the range of temperature is not as high.  I’ve heard that some meat thermometers only go up to 220 degrees F and for this recipe you need to heat the sugar mixture to 240 degrees F.   I’m not sure about the benefits of  digital vs. dial so I’m not much help there but I will tell you I chose a dial candy thermometer because it was more economical and simple to use.

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The recipe is pretty simple you just need to get the temperature right.  Above is what the sugar mixture looks like at 240 degrees F.

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Doesn’t this look good? This makes me want to make marshmallow fluff and peanut butter sandwiches.  I guess that would be too much work for a sandwich but at least it would be an amazing sandwich :).

After about 15 min of whipping the sugar mixture and gelatin together they become fluffy and ready to pour in the prepared pan.  While you are whipping, the mixture should NOT have the consistency of taffy or pulled sugar.  STOP MIXING if this happens to you.  This means that the sugar mixture was not the correct temperature and unfortunately there is no way to fix this.  I’ve read reviews on this recipe and people have broken their stand mixer because they continued to whip their sugar mixture while it had a taffy or pulled sugar consistency.

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The recipe says to leave the marshmallow fluff uncovered for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.  I’ve done both and there isn’t much of a difference.  Once time has elapsed, it ‘s ready to cut.  This is my favorite part because they look so cute!  Beware though this gets messy.  I set out a couple long pieces of parchment paper over my work area to make clean up easier.

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I had a friend try them and he said that the marshmallows tasted really good with the lemonade he was drinking.  My husband said the same thing.  I didn’t try it but I believe them since the flavor combinations of tartness from the lemonade and the sweetness of the marshmallow seem to make sense.  It sounds like a deconstructed lemon meringue pie.  Yum…pie.

Enjoy!

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Homemade marshmallows

recipe from Alton Brown

Ingredients

3 packets of unflavored gelatin

1 cup water

1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

nonstick spray

Directions

For this recipe, you will need a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. In the mixing bowl place the gelatin and 1/2 cup of water.

In a small sauce pan combine the remaining 1/2 cup of water, sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Cover and cook for 3-4 min. over medium high heat.  Uncover and attach the candy thermometer to the pan.  Continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F. Once it reaches the correct temperature, immediately remove from heat.

Turn the stand mixer onto low speed and begin to slowly pour the sugar mixture down the side of the mixing bowl into the gelatin.  Once everything is incorporated turn the speed to high and continue to whip up until the mixture becomes fluffy, approximately 12-15 min. Add vanilla during the last few minutes of whipping.

Please note the mixture should NOT look like taffy or pulled sugar.  If this happens, stop mixing to prevent any damage to your stand mixer.

While the sugar mixture is whipping, prepare the pan by spraying a 13 x 9″ pan with cooking spray.  In a small bowl, combine the confectioners sugar with the cornstarch and use the mixture to coat the sides and bottom of the pan.  Keep the remaining cornstarch mixture at set aside. Once the the sugar mixture is finished whipping, pour into the prepared pan. Use a greased spatula, to spread the mixture evenly.  Dust the top with a small portion of the cornstarch mixture.  Leave uncovered for at least 4 hours or up to over night.

Once time has elapsed, turn out the marshmallow onto a cutting board.  This will be messy so I spread out two pieces of parchment paper over my work area. Use a knife to cut into 1 inch squares or whatever size you desire.  You could also use cookie cutters.  Once the marshmallows are cut, dust all sides with the remaining cornstarch mixture.  If you don’t have any cornstarch mixture left, simply mix a couple spoonfuls of confectioners sugar and a couple spoonfuls of cornstarch.

Store in an air tight container for up to one week.

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