I was so surprised by how easy they were to make, and how few ingredients they require.... perhaps due in part to the lack of preservatives and fresheners that are in the home-made variety!
I googled a recipe and this one from marthastewart.com came up first. These are just simple vanilla marshmallows. Simple, yet utterly delicious.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3 (1/4-ounce) packages unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, plus 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- Confectioners' sugar, sifted, for coating
- Lightly spray a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water; let stand for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and, with the mixer on high, slowly pour the boiling syrup down the side of the mixer bowl into gelatin mixture. Add salt and continue mixing for 12 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds; mix until well combined. Spray a rubber spatula or your hands with cooking spray. Spread gelatin mixture evenly into pan using prepared spatula or your hands. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, spray side down, on top of marshmallows. Let stand for 2 hours.
- Carefully remove marshmallows from pan. Remove all plastic wrap and discard. Cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares using a sprayed sharp knife. Place confectioners' sugar in a large bowl. Working in batches, add marshmallows to bowl and toss to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.
*First, I liberally sprinkled my cutting surface with the powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Then, once I flipped the marshmallow out of the pan I was worried that it was maybe still a little too squidgy and sticky so I sprinkled the top as well.
*Since I don't like cooking sprays and did not want fake buttery taste to interfere with the beautiful vanilla bean flavour, I opted to omit the spray, and instead dipped my knife blade in powdered sugar after every few cuts. I did find though that after cutting several pieces I would need to rinse the residue off with hot water, and then dip it in the sugar again.
*About halfway through the cutting process, I discovered, that lightly patting the large sides that had been cut, helped the sticking. It also prevented too much sugar from sticking to the marshmallows as I tossed them in the sugar at the end. My first couple pieces seemed too powdery. Not really a problem until you are snacking on one, inhale suddenly and end up with a lung-full of sugar.
*I cut mine into much smaller squares. No reason for this, except that I plan to share them with a sizable gang. That did mean that I was cutting a lot more, and exposing many more sticky surfaces.
I definitely will make marshmallows again. Now that I have the basic recipe under my belt I can begin to expand my flavour repertoire.