Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Countdown: Homemade marshmallows

Even though hubby and I don't usually do much for each other on Valentine's Day, I just knew I had to make these marshmallows. Okay, well actually, the truth is that I had planned on making them for him for Christmas a year ago (so two Christmases ago) then again last Christmas, but it just didn't happen.

But, it seemed like it would make a good Valentine's gift...

Now, my hubby is a marshmallow fiend. I don't think anyone in the world loves marshmallows as much as him. And, I didn't even really think people even liked marshmallows before I met him. I mean, you use them for s'mores, maybe hot chocolate and that's it, right? But, nope, he can polish off an entire bag of Jetpuffs in one sitting.

So, I enlisted the help of my trusty assistants and got to work...

Homemade Marshmallows


3 packets unflavored gelatin
1 C ice water, divided
1 1/2 C sugar
1 C light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 C corn starch
1/4 C powdered sugar

-- Add all flavorings and colorings in the last few minutes of beating.
For Cocoa Marshmallows: add in 3-4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. If you make cocoa marshmallows, add a spoonful or two of cocoa powder to your cornstarch mixture as well.
For Peppermint Marshmallows: add in 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
For Colored Marshmallows: add food coloring in the last few minutes of beating (think colored fruit flavored marshmallows!)

9 x 13" pan
non stick spray

Place the contents of the gelatin packets into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add 1/2 C of the ice water.

Stir gently to combine and then set that bowl aside.

In a small saucepan combine: remaining 1/2 C water, corn syrup, granulated sugar, and salt. Stir mixture to combine and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then clip a candy thermometer onto the pan.
The sugar mixture needs to remain on a simmer and come to a temperature of 245 degrees F.
This was taking a long time for me, so I increased the temperature to more of a slow boil, which got it there much faster. Just keep a close eye on it and the temp and stir occasionally.

While you're waiting for your mixture to reach the correct temp, you'll have some time to, say, put on a fun photo shoot with your pint-sized sous chef.

After the mixture reaches 245 degrees, remove from heat.
While your mixer runs on low speed, you need to slowly pour the sugar mixture into the bowl with the gelatin.
You may want to put the mixture into something with a pour spout, to make it easier to get in your mixer.

After you add the entire sugar mixture to the gelatin turn the beater speed up to med-high. Continue to whip for 12-15 minutes, adding the vanilla in the last few minutes of beating.
*If you plan to add flavoring/color, remember to do it in the last few minutes of beating.

Take this time to prepare your pan.

Combine the cornstarch and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Spray a 9 x 13" pan with non stick spray and coat the bottom and sides with the cornstarch mixture. Tap excess out and save it.

When your marshmallows are done beating the mixture should be thick and white, kind of like jarred marshmallow cream.

Using a spatula, coated in non-stick spray, scrape bowl into your prepared pan. You may have to spread it around a little, which is why you want your spatula sprayed, to make it even.

Let the pan sit at room temp for about an hour (to form a dry layer on the top) and sprinkle a couple spoonfuls of the corn starch mixture over the top. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and let it sit overnight.

When they're ready to cut, just pull the marshmallow sheet out of the pan.

Now, it's time to cut (this is a great project for the kiddos!)!
You can use cookie cutters to make fun shapes (we did hearts!) or just use your pizza cutter to cut into bite size squares. Make sure to coat your cutting implement frequently with the cornstarch mixture, because this stuff gets pretty sticky!

And, now for the fun part! You can, of course just start digging in or even prepare a nice mug of hot chocolate to plop them in. If you're giving them for gift you can prepare your packaging. We simply put ours in a cellophane bag tied with a handmade note for the hubby. You could really have fun with it, even coating them in chocolate...or how about putting them with a graham cracker and dipping the whole thing in chocolate! Yumm!

We presented them to my hubby tonight and he loved them! I had saved a few out, and we used those to put in hot chocolate (we added peppermint to ours, so they added a nice extra touch to the hot chocolate) and they were delicious!

So, I know Valentine's Day is officially over, but that shouldn't stop you from making this for the next holiday, birthday or just random Thursday (trust me, that are that good!)

And, if you do make some, link back to me, so we can see what you came up with! :)

Linking up here:
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  1. thanks so much for commenting on my wreath & following - i really appreciate it!

    i love the homemade marshmallow idea! yum! i'm following now so i can check back for more great ideas :)

    oh and my niece's name is avalyn....kind of similar to your daughter's!

  2. i keep wanting to make homemade marshmallows & have never given them a try.. i hear they are soo much better than store bought junk! :)

  3. Angie, thanks for following me back! I love new followers! :o)
    That is so funny that their names are so similar! I intentionally gave my kids 'different' (actually I made them up...haha!) names up (my son's is Zavion) so that there, hopefully, wouldn't be any more kiddos out there sharing their names. ;o) So, hopefully Avalyn is the closest we'll get. ;o)

  4. Jen and Kristy, thanks for stopping by!
    They are pretty tasty, and SO much better than the store-bought marshmallows (and that's coming from someone who doesn't even really like! :)

  5. Peggy, you won my apron giveaway! Please email me the best address to send the apron to you, and I'll get it in the mail and on it's way. I was so glad it was you!

  6. Ooops! My email is I'm going to change that right now! :O)


I love hearing from you...thanks for taking the time to stop by! :)

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