Saturday, December 18, 2010

Homemade Marshmallows

One of the BEST things about Christmas is marshmallows.  I'm not talking about the ones you get at the grocery store already made with ingredients you can't pronounce.  I'm talking about homemade marshmallows.  I'm telling you, and I'll bet you all my presents, you'll never taste anything like a homemade marshmallow.  This is what they should taste like.

This recipe has now become a tradition within our household during the holidays.  The kids are so into to making them, that I can't just make them myself.  All have to participate.  Watching the concoction start as a creamy mixture then evolve into a foaming white, heavenly mass before your eyes is quite a sight to see.  It's hard not to eat the final product before you let it sit to form into perfect squares of holiday bliss.  In fact, the creamy mixture is WONDERFUL smashed between gingerbread cookies or even stirred into hot chocolate.  I mean, c'mon, folks!  Even Santa would put on a few extra pounds to eat this.

So, from my house to yours, enjoy this wonderful recipe.  I hope all of you have a Christmas as fantastic a homemade marshmallow, melting in you mouth and a New Year as sweet.


Nonstick vegetable oil spray 
1 cup cold water, divided 
3 1/4-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin 
2 cups sugar 
2/3 cup light corn syrup 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/2 cup potato starch 
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with foil. Coat foil lightly with nonstick spray.
Pour 1/2 cup cold water into bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until gelatin softens and absorbs water, at least 15 minutes.
Combine 2 cups sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup cold water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat and bring syrup to boil. Boil, without stirring, until syrup reaches 240ºF, about 8 minutes. 
With mixer running at low speed, slowly pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture in thin stream down side of bowl (avoid pouring syrup onto whisk, as it may splash). Gradually increase speed to high and beat until mixture is very thick and stiff, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to blend, about 30 seconds longer.
Scrape marshmallow mixture into prepared pan. Smooth top with wet spatula. Let stand uncovered at room temperature until firm, about 4 hours.
Stir potato starch and powdered sugar in small bowl to blend. Sift generous dusting of starch-sugar mixture onto work surface, forming rectangle slightly larger than 13x9 inches. Turn marshmallow slab out onto starch-sugar mixture; peel off foil. Sift more starch-sugar mixture over marshmallow slab. Coat large sharp knife (or cookie cutters) with nonstick spray. Cut marshmallows into squares or other shapes. Toss each in remaining starch-sugar mixture to coat. Transfer marshmallows to rack, shaking off excess mixture.

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