Thursday, January 20, 2011

Homemade Marshmallows

Nothing speaks to cold weather better than a steaming cup of hot chocolate overflowing with marshmallows.

I don't know what it is about those little fluffy pieces of heaven, but I absolutely love them.

After an afternoon of playing in the snow, I was the kid that tried to stuff as many marshmallows as I could in my mug of hot chocolate so that the cocoa didn't even stand a chance of cooling until the sugary clouds melted.

During the holidays I was seeing homemade versions of the chubby bunny stars pop up all over the blogsphere and bookmarked countless posts, determined to have some made by the end of the year.

Alas, time slipped away and I entered the New Year mallow-less.

This wouldn't mean that I would continue the year mallow-less though. Oh no, they had to be made.

Now that I've taken the opportunity to make them, I can't believe I waited this long.

They're perfect.. possibly even better than the packaged kind. I wonder how they would hold up in s'mores?

Homemade Marshmallows
Recipe by Alton Brown
Makes one 9x13 baking pan

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
dash of salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch

Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix powdered sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl.
Sprinkle one spoonful of mixture into pan and move around, making sure to cover everything as if you're flouring a cake pan- set aside.
In your stand mixer bowl, add gelatin powder and 1/2 cup water.
In a small sauce pan, add 1/2 cup water, sugar, salt and corn syrup. Place over medium heat and cover for 3-4 minutes, until boiling.
Uncover and clip candy thermometer on pan. Continue to boil until sugar mixture reaches 240 degrees, about 7-8 minutes.
Once temperature is reached immediately remove from heat.
Turn mixer on low and slowly add sugar mixture to gelatin.
Once all sugar mixture has been added, turn speed to high and continue to whip for about 10-12 minutes or until mixture thickens, becomes luke warm and looks like a glossy meringue.
Add vanilla during last minute of whipping.

When ready, pour mixture into prepped baking dish and with a lightly oiled spatula smooth out evenly. This can be a little tricky and I ended up oiling my hands and smoothing it that way.
Dust top with sugar/cornstarch mixture, covering lightly but completely.
Let mallows sit out, uncovered for at least 4 hours up to overnight.
After resting, turn marshmallows out on a cutting board and cut into small squares or use cookie cutters to make shapes.
Once cut, lightly toss in remaining sugar/cornstarch mixture to coat freshly cut sides.

Now prepare yourself a good warm mug of hot cocoa, get cozy, add a handful of marshmallows and enjoy a good book...well at least that's what I did :)

Happy Baking!