A batch of homemade marshmallows is perfect for hot chocolate, the best s’mores, or homemade treat bags for the holidays!
I first made homemade marshmallows more than seven years ago, but I’ve been making this new recipe for at least three years now; it is far and away my favorite and I realized I had yet to share it with you! If you’ve never treated yourself to homemade marshmallows, let me start off by saying yes, they are absolutely, positively, a million times better than any store-bought marshmallow you’ve tasted. The homemade version is fluffier, tastier and surprisingly not as cloyingly sweet…. AND they’re not very difficult to make, either!
While it’s easy (and traditional) to cut the marshmallows into squares, you could use cookie cutters to make marshmallows of any size and shape. You could also spread the marshmallow mixture into a half sheet pan so that they are shorter and cut “mini” marshmallows if you’d like. I’m also toying with the notion of dipping some of these in chocolate for an extra pop on the Christmas cookie trays. I’ve LOVED chocolate-dipped marshmallows every time I’ve had them from a candy shop, so I’m adding it to my list!
However you cut, package or serve the marshmallows, once you’re done, drop a couple in a piping hot cup of hot chocolate, kick back and enjoy! (And then make the best s’mores you’ve ever eaten!)
Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, enough so that excess foil hangs over the sides of the pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cornstarch; set aside.
Pour ½ cup of the cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand until the gelatin becomes very firm, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining water and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Pour the sugar into the center of the saucepan and add the salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, gently swirling the pan, until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Turn the mixer on low speed and carefully pour the hot syrup mixture into the gelatin mixture, avoiding the side of the bowl as much as possible. Gradually increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is very thick and stiff, 10 to 12 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated, about 15 seconds.
Working quickly, scrape the mixture into the prepared pan using a spatula that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Smooth the top into an even layer. Sift 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar mixture over the pan. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature.
The next day, turn the marshmallow slab out onto a cutting board and peel off the foil. Sift 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar mixture over the slab. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, cut into 1-inch strips one way, and then across the other way for square marshmallows. You could also use round cutters to cut them out as well.
Place the remaining powdered sugar mixture in a large ziploc bag. Working with 3 or 4 marshmallows at a time, toss the marshmallows in the bag with the powdered sugar mixture, then toss in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any excess powder. Marshmallows can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container or bag for up to 2 weeks.