Anyone who has followed deLizious facebook posts will know that I enjoy marshmallows very much. They’re so simple, so pure. Sugar, all fluffed up. I made a batch 15 or so years ago and have always said I’d do it again. But it turned out to be one of those things I always thought about doing but never did. Until now. Backing up a bit…
When holiday baking season hit last November, I shopped the local Fleet Farm repeatedly to buy up their stock of Marshmallow Fluff. Living in the midwest, it’s hard to find fluff (I’m not talking creme here–it has to be fluff) on store shelves. I’ve purchased online before, but when it shows up at Fleet Farm November through December, I save myself shipping costs and buy enough to keep me going for the year.
After the Great Fluff Purchase, my mom started buying novelty marshmallows for me: French vanilla snowmen, gingerbread folk, peppermint minis, Christmas trees. I was tickled she thought of me when she saw them and loved the innovative flavors. (Thanks again, mom!)
Next on my ‘mallow trail was Attempt in Domesticity‘s (awesome blog if you’ve never been) gargantuan mug-topping marshmallow. Reading about her marshmallow-making experience reminded me that this was something I’d done before and could do again.
Then A/D turned me on to Plush Puffs. This maker of “gourmet” and “artisan” marshmallows was calling my name–I lost no time in following A/D’s example and ordering from their odds-and-ends selection. These marshmallow remnants are less expensive than their prettier cube cousins, but just as yum. My first order was for caramel swirl (!), vanilla bean, and cinnamon. When they had a 20% off sale, I collected pumpkin pie, mochaccino, and chocolate chipetta flavors. These marshmallows are worlds apart from the packaged jet-puff variety. Plushies are soft, fresh, fragrant, and full of Real Flavor. Am a huge fan.
Finally, I threw a challenge out to A/D saying I would make mallows if she’d take a turn at the caramel sauce she’s been wanting to make. And I’m here to say that I made my mallows!
Just as A/D had said in her post, nothing to it. The part where the whipped mixture went into the greased pan to firm was a bit sticky, but outside of that it was an easy task. I did veer ever-so-slightly from the recipe just twice: Plush Puff’s chipettas inspired me toss half-a-bag of mini chips into my batch before letting them set. Also, I was shy of the 1/2 cup powdered sugar I needed for dusting at the end, so mixed in a handful or so of gold sanding sugar. (How could that not be a good addition?) It was indeed pretty and next time I’d replace even more of the final dusting sugar with a more brightly colored sugar. My recipe follows and I encourage you to take up the marshmallow challenge. Or better yet, challenge yourself to make whatever it is you’ve been meaning to make for a very long time.
- 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 (cornstarch would be fine–I was surprised to see potato starch on my shelf–leftover from a gluten-free recipe, I think)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Line 13×9-inch pan with foil; coat with cooking spray.
Pour 1/2 cup cold water into large bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand 15 minutes until gelatin softens and absorbs water.
In heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, remaining 1/2 cup cold water, and the salt; stir over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat; bring to a boil. Boil, without stirring, until mixture reaches 240°F.
With mixer at low speed, gradually pour hot syrup down side of bowl into gelatin mixture. Gradually increase speed to high. Beat 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened and stiff. Add vanilla; beat 30 seconds longer or until well blended.
Scrape marshmallow mixture into pan; smooth top with wet spatula. Let stand uncovered at room temperature 4 hours or until firm. (I so cheated here–didn’t wait much more than 20 minutes. Didn’t seem to be a problem as the mixture was just dry enough to work with.)
In large bowl, toss together potato starch and powdered sugar. Sprinkle onto work surface. Invert marshmallow pan onto starch mixture; remove foil from marshmallow. Sprinkle some of starch mixture over marshmallow; pat lightly. Coat sharp, large knife with cooking spray. Cut marshmallows into desired shapes. (Can use cookie cutters, too.) Return cut marshmallows and starch mixture to large bowl; toss to coat. Transfer marshmallows to wire rack, shaking off any excess starch mixture.