a bakers dozen ~ marshmallows

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Back in January when I set a goal to bake one thing, each month, that I've been putting off yet really wanting to challenge myself by doing it.

I totally flaked on last months challenge.

I was hoping no one noticed.

The husband did and reminded me why I wanted to do it.

It was one of those situations where he's not mad, he's disappointed. Which is way worst.

I finally got my butt in gear and made them and oh man, so worth it.

First off, way simple to make. If you can boil sugar and you have a stand mixer, you can make marshmallows. Secondly, they are so much better than commercial marshmallows, fluffy, chewy, sticky, speckled with vanilla. Completely nom-able.

I love the big jet-puffed marshmallows you buy at the store, but I can't have them in the house. I will eat a bag without even thinking about it. It's even worst with the homemade ones. I might need to bake them into something so I don't eat them as a mid-morning snack.

Homemade Marshmallows
[ from Bon Appetit ]

Unlike some commercial marshmallows, these are not gluten-free. If you have someone you love with a gluten allergy, look for potato starch and use that in place of the corn starch.

1 cup cold water, divided
3 1/4-ounce envelopes unflavoured gelatin
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 powdered sugar

Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil. Spray foil liberally with non-stick spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour 1/2 cup cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over top. Let stand for at least 15 minutes, gelatin will be completely absorbed and mixture will be feel like firm jell-o if touched.

In a medium saucepan, add remaining water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Over medium-low heat, stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil and boil without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees, about 8 minutes. Note : I don't have a candy thermometer, so I just set the timer to 8 minutes and continued from there.

Turn stand mixer onto low and gradually pour hot sugar mixture, in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl. It's very hot, will steam and splash so be careful. We want marshmallows, not a 3rd degree burn. Once sugar mixture has been added, gradually increase mixer speed to high and beat until the mixture is light, thick and stiff, about 15 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and beat for 30 seconds more. Scrape marshmallow mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top with a wet spatula. This step is very, very messy...and sticky. Let rest uncovered for at least 4 hours, marshmallows should be firm to the touch.

Stir together the cornstarch and powdered sugar in a small bowl to combine. Sift a dusting of starch mixture on a clean surface, making sure that you have dusted an area bigger than the pan. Invert the marshmallows on to the surface, peeling off foil. Dust other side of marshmallow square with cornstarch mixture. Using a knife coated in non-stick spray, cookie cutters or a pizza cutter, cut marshmallows into squares or shapes. Roll each square lightly in cornstarch mixture.

Store layered between parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.