As we near the end of the year, it’s the perfect time to look back on the last twelve months and engage in a little productive self-reflection. In this period of soul searching, think about what you can do to improve your life and become a better person.
I did just that this weekend and came to the conclusion that I need to start making my own marshmallows.
If this doesn’t make me a better person, it certainly will make everyone around me love me a more, because homemade marshmallows are the closest thing to heaven you will ever eat. They are fluffy, perfectly flavored, and melt in your mouth. They are fabulous on their own, in a cup of homemade hot chocolate, and absolutely stunning dipped in melted chocolate.
The recipe isn’t difficult but is pretty hands on the whole time. I used McCormick’s basic recipe but changed up the flavoring just a tad. Be careful when adding flavor - I used pure mint flavoring, which can vary depending on brand, so I would recommend starting off with a small amount and adding more to taste if necessary.
Another important note is that this recipes uses a microwave, and of course microwaves vary. Mine is a standard that’s just a couple years old, so the first batch turned out perfectly. I tried a second half-recipe and overboiled the sugar so it hardened and ruined the batch. If your microwave is older or not as powerful, or if you want to half or double the batch, I’d recommend a stove top method.
1 to 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, for coating
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 envelopes (¼ ounce each) unflavored gelatin
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼-½ teaspoon or more natural peppermint flavor
Green gel food coloring
Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with non stick cooking spray then coat heavily with some of the confectioners’ sugar. Set aside.
Microwave 1/2 cup of the water, granulated sugar and corn syrup in a Pyrex measuring cup on HIGH 7 minutes. Stir to dissolve sugar. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes longer. (Mixture will have a slight yellow tint.)
Very carefully remove hot bowl from microwave. It will be very bubbly so stir with a rubber spatula (keeping your face away from the bowl) until the bubbling subsides.
While the sugar is cooking, place remaining 1/2 cup water in mixer bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Gradually beat in hot syrup mixture with whisk attachment on medium-low speed. Beat 8 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat 10 to 12 minutes longer or until mixture is fluffy, shiny and at least tripled in volume. Beat in extracts during the last 4 minutes of beating, tasting between peppermint additions.
Spread marshmallow mixture in prepared pan. Smooth top with a spatula. Sift about 2 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar over top. Let stand at room temperature overnight or refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Cut marshmallows into 1 1/2-inch squares. Sprinkle your knife with powdered sugar between slices to help keep the knife from sticking. As you’re cutting, roll cut sides in excess powdered sugar on cutting board, sprinkling more sugar as needed until marshmallows are no longer sticky. Shake off excess sugar and store marshmallows in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.