Homemade Basic Marshmallows

“O.M.G. This is a magical cloud!” That’s the text I got from my friend when she tried the marshmallow that I gave her earlier that morning. It’s true, these are little magical clouds of heaven for your mouth. Life changing goodness here.

All I can think about is fluffy marshmallows right now. How many is too many to eat in a day? Is it ok to have dessert after each meal? When is my husband going to get home so I can make hot chocolate and not get in trouble for eating them without him!?

Hot chocolate is a big thing in our house. So when I tell you that the hot chocolate’s new sole purpose is to get that ultra melty fluffy marshmallow in my mouth, that should tell you something.

These are super easy to make, the hardest part is letting them cool for 6-8 hours so you can eat them. They’re also very sugary, I’m planning to experiment with cutting down on the sugar so I can eat more of them without feeling quite as guilty. If I come up with a recipe that doesn’t compromise the incredible texture they currently have, you’ll be the first to know.

While marshmallows are easy to make, there are a few things to be aware of. First off, the temperature of the sugar mixture is very important. There a big difference in texture and fluffiness between 240 and 246 degrees. Trust me, I discovered this myself. Both temperatures will produce very good marshmallows, but the higher temperature makes them slightly chewier and not quite as fluffy. A candy thermometer is going to be your best friend here.

Now, a bit about sugar. A lot of recipes call to use corn syrup. That’s because it’s a liquid sugar form, meaning it won’t crystalize during the heating process and mess up your marshmallows. If you use all regular sugar, this could be a problem. Although there are plenty of ways to avoid it, I chose to use some maple syrup with my regular sugar. I don’t know the science behind it, but this seems to balance everything out and I’ve never had a problem. I bet you can use any type of liquid sugar if you don’t have maple syrup, I was playing mind tricks and telling myself that it’s healthier with the maple syrup.

Side note: If using maple syrup, you’ll notice that the sugar mixture will be quite brown. That’s ok, after whipping it for a few minutes you’ll watch it transform into a beautiful fluffy white.

Homemade Marshmallows

Suggested Equipment
Ingredients
  • 2.5 tbsp gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water, separated into halves
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
Directions
  1. In the bowl of a mixer, add 1/2 cup cold water. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and whisk it together. Let it sit to “bloom” while you prepare the sugar mixture. This allows the gelatin to start dissolving and avoids clumping in your precious marshmallows. It will look like thick applesauce after sitting for a few minutes.
  2. While the gelatin is blooming, combine the sugar, maple syrup, molasses and remaining 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan on the stove. Heat it over medium heat and stir until it dissolves. Add your candy thermometer and let it continue to cook on the stove until it reaches 235-240 degrees (soft ball stage). This will take about 10 minutes. Leave it alone and don’t stir it once it’s dissolved.
  3. When it reaches 235-240 degrees, immediately remove it from the heat. Slowly pour the sugar mixture down the side of the mixing bowl (so it doesn’t splatter) with the mixer on low to combine it with the bloomed gelatin. Once all the sugar mixture is added and incorporated with the gelatin, carefully turn the mixer up to high speed. Your sugary goodness will triple in volume over the next 10 minutes.
  4. While the marshmallows are fluffing into magical clouds, take a 13×9 pyrex and line it with parchment paper.
  5. Mix the arrowroot and powdered sugar together.
  6. In the last minute of whipping, add in the vanilla and salt and allow that to incorporate.
  7. The marshmallow is ready once the mixer bowl has cooled down to only slightly warm and has medium soft peaks – the peaks shouldn’t be too hard, but should still hold their shape for a moment before sagging. Working quickly, use a silicone spatula to pour the mixture into the parchment lined pyrex and push it up to the sides and smooth out the top. Sprinkle some of the arrowroot/sugar mixture on the top, but leave most of it for later to coat the marshmallows when you cut them up.
  8. Let cool for 6-8 hours.
  9. When they’re done cooling, get a sharp knife and slice them into squares (or whatever shape you’d like, you can even use metal cookie cutters to cut out shapes). Toss the cut marshmallows in the reserved arrowroot/sugar mixture and enjoy! Store in an airtight container.

Note: I’ve found that sometimes I need to leave the marshmallows sitting out for a few hours after I cut them to allow the edges to dry out. If you notice that they are soaking up the powdered mix and are still damp, simply lay them out on a cookie sheet and leave out for a few hours and then toss with a little more powdered mix. You want to make sure they are completely dry on the outside otherwise the moisture will mess with their texture, create a sticky mess, and make them go bad faster. It’s an easy fix though.

 

Hope Reynolds

I’m a tea obsessor, book addict, Sci-Fi junky, archer, traveler and wife to William, a guy who is incomprehensibly loving and patient. We live in our favorite city, San Francisco, where we want to stay forever. And, as you’ve already gathered, I’m also super into experimenting with healthy food and natural skincare.

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