I've been making my own marshmallows for years. They're so simple to make, but they pack such a "wow" that I love giving them as holiday gifts. This is a basic vanilla marshmallow recipe, with variations following. —campagnes
about 4-5 dozen 1-inch cubes
envelopes unflavored gelatin
vanilla extract (clear imitation for really snow-white marshmallows)
Lightly grease an 8x8 square pan, then coat with confectioner's sugar. Set aside.
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan. Stir over high heat until sugar is dissolved; allow to cook to 250-255 degrees without stirring.
Meanwhile, combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan; allow to sit for 10 minutes, then melt gelatin over low heat until liquefied. Keep in a warm place until ready to use.
Using a stand mixer, beat egg whites and salt until they're firm but creamy.
When sugar mixture has reached 250-255 degrees, remove from heat. Promptly stir in gelatin mixture, stirring briskly (gelatin will bubble up - be sure to use a large saucepan!).
With stand mixer on high speed, stream gelatin mixture slowly into egg whites. Whip on high speed until mixture starts to pull away from sides of the bowl, about 5-8 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then spread quickly in prepared pan and allow to stand for at least 1 hour. Cut into desired shapes and roll in confectioner's sugar.
FOR PEPPERMINT MARSHMALLOWS: Decrease vanilla to 1/2 tablespoon, and add 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract and a dab of green gel color, if desired.
FOR ROSE MARSHMALLOWS: When adding vanilla, add a scant 1/4 tsp. rose water and a dab of pink gel color, if desired.
FOR CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARSHMALLOWS: Bring 4 tbsp. water to a boil, then sir in 4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa. After whipping vanilla into marshmallows, fold cocoa mixture loosely into marshmallows without fully combining. Spread in prepared pan (fudge marshmallows may take a bit longer to set). Roll fudge marshmallows in confectioner's sugar with a bit of cocoa powder added, if desired.