Wednesday, December 14, 2011


What happened? I used to make marshmallows for Christmas every year. It was a piece of cake, an easy confection. I used to make several batches in pink and green, or rolled them in cocoa powder, crushed candy canes, or toasted coconut. (my father and I loved these).
Polly and I decided to make some last year. It was so much work. What a mess. Was it really this hard back then? Surely not, I guess I'm just getting old. (but I knew that) This year I'm going to skip this. We're having Christmas dinner at Polly's, so I won't be making much of anything. Having diabetes has put a stop to many things I used to make.
My first set back was when I reached for the corn syrup, it wasn't there. I don't know where I moved it. So, since Polly was going to trudge down the hill to the market for some vegetables for soup, she got some corn syrup, too.
I don't have a candy thermometer any more, (I now have one, again) so I had to use the old fashioned method and put a spoonful in cold water. That worked fine. I gave away my big standing mixer, so I had to use the little had mixer. Polly poured the hot syrup onto the gelatin, why I manned the mixer. Finally it was whipped and we could put it into the prepared boxes. What a sticky mess we made. I even got it in my hair!
When it was set, I cut it with a Pizza wheel cutter and dusted all with more powdered sugar mixed with cornstarch.
We had hot chocolate and plenty of marshmallows to top it off.
Beautiful, if I do say so myself. Don't call me Martha!
  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray
Soften the gelatin in 1/2 cup of water in a large mixing bowl.
In a large saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. (or to the hard ball stage) Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. I lined box lids with parchment paper before spraying. Sift the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Press into the pan. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I have never come across home made marshmallows before. I guess we don't have all the ingredients here like corn syrup for one.

They look good though.


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