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Author Notes: 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
Makes: about 4-5 dozen 1-inch cubes
tablespoons corn syrup
cup water, divided
envelopes unflavored gelatin
tablespoon 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.