Homemade Marshmallows . . . plain, chocolate and peppermint topped!

     Years ago I ran across a recipe for homemade marshmallows in a vintage cookbook. I was intrigued but didn't actually make them until after I saw Martha Stewart's demonstration . . . back when she had a morning cooking show on one of the major shows.
     At that point, I dug out my old recipe and gave them a try. Now I make them at Christmas + also in the summer for use in Smore's. 
     There are basically three main ingredients (gelatin, sugar, corn syrup) but you'll need a heavy duty mixer and a candy thermometer  to undertake this project. Plus, this is definitely one time you need to read through the recipe in advance and gather and prep all needed ingredients before starting on the first step.  

Homemade Marshmallows
A durable stand-type mixer (such as a Kitchen-Aid®) is needed for making marshmallows.
Ingredients:                               ½ batch (6x10” dish)   Full batch (9x13” dish)
Vegetable oil, for brushing
    or pan spray
Cold water                                6 Tbsp.                         ¾ cup
Unflavored gelatin (Knox®)      2 pkg. (each ¼ oz.)        4 pkg. (each ¼ oz.)
Granulated sugar                       1½ cups                        3 cups
Light corn syrup                        ½ cup + 2 Tbsp.            1¼ cups
Salt                                           Pinch                            ¼ teaspoon
Water                                        6 Tbsp.                         ¾ cup
Vanilla                                      1 teaspoon                    2 teaspoons
Powdered sugar, sifted               About ½  to ¾ cup        About ¾ to 1 cup

1.   Brush a baking dish (select dish size that corresponds with ½ or full batch) with vegetable oil or spray with pan spray. Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper large enough to cover the bottom of the dish and overhang the longer sides. Place parchment in dish, brush with oil or spray, and set dish aside.
2.   Pour cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer, and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let stand for 5 minutes. (Actually this step can be done after you begin on step #3 – but time this so that the gelatin has “bloomed” about the time the sugar solution is at 238°.)
3.    Place granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and additional water in a medium saucepan. Set saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Insert a candy thermometer, and cook until mixture reaches soft-ball stage (238°), about 9 minutes (it will take less time for the half batch).


4.   In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on low speed, beat the hot syrup into gelatin. Gradually increase speed to high, beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, and smooth the surface with an offset spatula  (Note: To prevent sticking, spray the spatula with pan spray). Set aside, uncovered, until marshmallow becomes firm, at least 3 hours and up to overnight. (Truthfully, sometimes I cut them before the 3 hours are up!)
Add hot syrup to the bloomed gelatin.
Now it's beginning to set up and look like marshmallow cream.
The marshmallow mixture is beginning to stiffen and peak.
Spray a spreader with pan spray to help spread the marshmallow mixture.
Notice that I've also used clips on the parchment lined pan i -- this is to keep the paper out of the way when the marshmallow mixture in added to the pan.

Immediately after adding mixture to the pan, I sprinkled a third of the top with finely chopped dark chocolate and another third with crushed peppermints (I crushed a large peppermint stick in the food processor.)

5.    Remove marshmallows from the pan by lifting the edges of sprayed parchment  Lightly spray a sharp knife with pan spray, and cut marshmallow into bite-sized pieces. Dip cut edges in powdered sugar. 
Cut marshmallow with a sharp knife.
Dip cut edges of marshmallows in powdered sugar.
6.    Store in a covered container at room temperature.
Variations:
 Toasted Coconut Marshmallows -- Sprinkle toasted coconut into the marshmallow batter. Sprinkle on more toasted coconut on top of the marshmallow mixture after it has been transferred to the prepared dish.
  Peppermint Marshmallows – Substitute peppermint flavoring for the vanilla. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top of the marshmallow mixture after it has been transferred to the prepared dish.
  Chocolate-topped Marshmallows – Sprinkle with shaved or finely chopped chocolate.
  Chocolate-dipped Marshmallows – Dip part of a square of marshmallow in melted chocolate.
  Smore Marshmallows – Dip part of a square of marshmallow in melted chocolate and then in crushed graham crackers.


 Hot Cocoa and Homemade Marshmallows -- the perfect combination!
Recipe without photos . . .
Homemade Marshmallows
A durable stand-type mixer (such as a Kitchen-Aid®) is needed for making marshmallows.
Ingredients:                               ½ batch (6x10” dish)   Full batch (9x13” dish)
Vegetable oil, for brushing
    or pan spray
Cold water                                 6 Tbsp.                         ¾ cup
Unflavored gelatin (Knox®)     2 pkg. (each ¼ oz.)       4 pkg. (each ¼ oz.)
Granulated sugar                        1½ cups                        3 cups
Light corn syrup                         ½ cup + 2 Tbsp.           1¼ cups
Salt                                             Pinch                            ¼ teaspoon
Water                                          6 Tbsp.                         ¾ cup
Vanilla                                        1 teaspoon                    2 teaspoons
Powdered sugar, sifted               About ¾ cup                 About 1½ cup

1.   Brush a baking dish (select dish size that corresponds with ½ or full batch) with vegetable oil or spray with pan spray. Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper large enough to cover the bottom of the dish and overhang the longer sides. Place parchment in dish, brush with oil or spray, and set dish aside.
2.   Pour cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer, and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let stand for 5 minutes. (Actually this step can be done after you begin on step #3 – but time this so that the gelatin has “bloomed” about the time the sugar solution is at 238°.)
3.    Place granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and additional water in a medium saucepan. Set saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Insert a candy thermometer, and cook until mixture reaches soft-ball stage (238°), about 9 minutes (it will take less time for the half batch).
4.   In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on low speed, beat the hot syrup into gelatin. Gradually increase speed to high, beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, and smooth the surface with an offset spatula  (Note: To prevent sticking, spray the spatula with pan spray). Set aside, uncovered, until marshmallow becomes firm, at least 3 hours and up to overnight. (Truthfully, sometimes I cut them before the 3 hours are up!)
5.   Remove marshmallows from the pan by lifting the edges of sprayed parchment  Lightly spray a sharp knife with pan spray, and cut marshmallow into bite-sized pieces. Dip cut edges in powdered sugar. 
6.    Store in a covered container at room temperature.
Variations:
   Toasted Coconut Marshmallows -- Sprinkle toasted coconut into the marshmallow batter. Sprinkle on more toasted coconut on top of the marshmallow mixture after it has been transferred to the prepared dish.
    Peppermint Marshmallows – Substitute peppermint flavoring for the vanilla. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top of the marshmallow mixture after it has been transferred to the prepared dish.
    Chocolate-topped Marshmallows – Sprinkle with shaved or finely chopped chocolate.
    Chocolate-dipped Marshmallows – Dip part of a square of marshmallow in melted chocolate.
    Smore Marshmallows – Dip part of a square of marshmallow in melted chocolate and then in crushed graham crackers.

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