Something that has been on my "recipes to make" list for months now are homemade marshmallows. I love marshmallows, but I really got the urge to want to try and make them myself after tasting these amazing vanilla bean mallows from Quin Candy here in Portland over the holidays. While I enjoy a Jet-Puffed marshmallow for s'mores while camping, there is something so decadent and delicious about a more gourmet version. So this weekend, I finally bit the bullet and gave making them a try! I was thrilled with how they turned out, and I'm really excited to share the recipe with you today!
Making marshmallows is actually pretty simple; the only technical part of the process is just being sure to monitor the temperature of the liquid with a candy thermometer. Other than than, it's easy peasy! And also, it's fun! As you're beating the marshmallow mixture in your mixer, it starts to expand and I totally had deja vu to making a baking soda/vinegar volcano as a kid. This is just one of those recipes that reminds you that cooking is actually quite science-y (let's pretend that's a word) and can be pretty rad. It would be a fun project to do with kids, especially if you're snowed in!
Making your own homemade marshmallows is also an awesome gift idea and one I'll definitely be utilizing in the future! You could cut out the marshmallows in any size you like and could also use a cookie cutter to cut them in different shapes as well, which would be totally adorable. You could make flavored marshmallows, you could dip them in chocolate, you could roll them in colored sugar (homemade Peeps!), honestly, the possibilities are endless! I think this recipe would be an absolutely perfect thing to make for Valentine's Day as well! :)
As for the recipe, I ended up using this one I found on Pinterest and it turned out great. (I have included my notes/things I would change next time in italics throughout the recipe - just FYI!) I didn't take any pictures during the cooking/cutting up process, mainly because I actually wanted to enjoy making them and sometimes I get annoyed at taking photos while cooking, especially when trying a new recipe. Plus, the Kitchn has an awesome step by step photo guide (utilizing a very similar recipe) that details how to make them and it's a great resource if you've never made them before!
Speaking of photos, I'm not super happy with how the photos in this post turned out; I had grand plans that I wanted to style my finished mallows all cute with a cup of hot cocoa and take photos during the day sometime this week when there was good light...but then I realized I'm literally going to eat all of these marshmallows before I have a chance to do that. No bueno. So instead, I threw them in a bowl and snapped a couple of photos last night. Basically, don't let the poor lighting in my photos sway you from trying out this recipe because it's actually a testament to how delicious they really are!
Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
Recipe Source: The View From Great Island
makes 5 dozen large marshmallows
Vegetable oil, for brushing (I used melted coconut oil)
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
(I added a little cornstarch to my powdered sugar as well)
Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhanging paper on the ends so you can easily lift out the marshmallows after they’ve firmed up. Brush the paper with oil so the marshmallows won’t stick. (I didn't use parchment paper and just brushed the pan with oil - it took a little work getting them out of the pan, but it wasn't too bad!)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, put 3/4 cup of water. Sprinkle the gelatin over it and let it sit. Add the vanilla bean seeds on top. (I feel like I could have used two vanilla beans because my marshmallows don't have quite as many flecks as I'd like?)
In a medium saucepan, put the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Begin heating it, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then stop stirring and let the sugar syrup come up to 238 degrees. It will boil for a while before it gets there.
Then, with the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin. Gradually increase the speed until it is on high. Beat on high for about 12 minutes until the mixture is stiff. Beat in the vanilla.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish, smoothing it out evenly.
Let sit, uncovered, for 3 hours (or overnight). (That's what I did!)
Turn out the marshmallow block onto a surface covered with confectioner’s sugar. Peel off the paper and dust the whole top surface with more confectioner’s sugar.
Slice the marshmallows into squares using a sharp, oiled knife or pizza cutter. They will resist a bit, but keep at it. As you cut each strip, turn it to coat the cut ends with sugar, and as you cut each individual marshmallow, do the same. All the sides should be well coated and not sticky. Lay the marshmallows out on a tray.
Store in an airtight container and eat within the week.
(That won't be a problem)