I’m sure I mentioned it, in passing, not realizing I would be morally bound and obligated to make said marshmallows within a 2 hour period.
I was pretty much okay with that.
After a bit of online researching, I decided on Alton Brown’s recipe, with a few tweaks of my own to fancy it up. Because, you know, Fancy Pants Foodie. Big Kid and I decided on raspberry extract instead of the traditional vanilla as a start.
The resulting ‘mallows were lighter than expected, having opted against recipes calling for egg whites to lighten them up. We also swirled some food coloring on the top before they set, making them awfully festive. I think this needs to be a teacher gift or some such for Christmas. Anyone have a great homemade cocoa recipe?
I think this basic recipe has a lot of room for fun flavorings and garnish. You wouldn’t want anything too chunky on top, but I’m thinking mint extract and/or finely crushed candy canes would be great. For these raspberry ones, I think I’ll look for some freeze-dried raspberry powder for the tops, or to mix into the dusting powder if it’s really fine. Just a thought.
Oh, and a tip I picked up from reading other blogs: Don’t go crazy scraping all the “batter” out of your mixing bowl. And DO. Not. TOUCH. IT. You will be bound in a sticky maze of marshmallow goo. Being duly warned, I did okay with an oiled spatula and drawn-back fingers.
Pro tip I figured out for myself: When you’re cutting the finished marshmallows (dusted food-safe scissors worked well), make sure the bowl you’re throwing the finished marshmallows into doesn’t have a puddle of water in it from its last washing. Just saying. That handful did make a lovely small batch of rice crispy treats, though.
Slightly adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe
- 3 packets unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup ice cold water, divided
- 12 ounces sugar (about 1 1/2 cups, but get a scale!)
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. raspberry extract
- Americolor or similar paste food coloring, red or pink
- 1/4 c. cornstarch
- 1/4 c. powdered sugar
- 2 T. freeze-dried raspberry powder, optional
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment ready, pour the gelatin into the bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the cold water and stir a bit, then leave it to bloom, or dissolve.
Meanwhile, in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the remaining 1/2 cup water and the sugar, corn syrup and salt together (no need to mix, really) over medium-high heat. (I really can’t tell you what that means, just not all the way up.) Cover and cook for 3 minutes. (Again, can’t tell you why, but Alton says so.) Uncover and reduce the heat a bit, and affix your favorite candy thermometer to the side. Or, use a Thermapen. I did both, and they were pretty close. When it reads 240 degrees, pucker up.
Note: Here’s where you tell the kids to back up, stop wrestling the dog, etc. You seriously don’t want this stuff to touch you. I’ve seen burns that chefs have from melted sugar, and they’re not pretty. Moving on.
Turn the stand mixer to low (as to not splash said liquid lava sugar) and drizzle in the syrup against the side of the bowl. Once all the syrup is in the bowl and it has thickened up a bit, you can turn up the speed to high. Still, watch yourself.
Let the mixer do it’s thing for a while. Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch and powdered sugar together in a small bowl. Grease a 9 x 9 metal pan with cooking spray (Alton said 9 x 13, but that’s all I had, and I liked the size marshmallow I got) and dust it with the sugar mixture. Tap out the excess, keeping some for later dusting, and set aside. (Note: You could use your raspberry powder along with the sugar and cornstarch here, if it’s very fine. You could give it a spin in the food processor if it isn’t dusty enough.)
After about 10 minutes, just give the stuff in the mixer a look and see if it looks marshmallowy. Put your hand against the outside of the bowl and see if it is just warm to the touch, significantly cooler than the lava it once was. These are signs that it’s done. (Alton’s recipe says 12 to 15 minutes, but mine was done at just about 10. I’m afraid much longer than that and I would have lost some volume and fluffiness.)
Turn off the mixer. (Duh.) Using some cooking spray, grease down a rubber spatula. Without touching the stuff with your fingers (!), remove the whisk attachment and pour the mixture into your prepared pan and flatten it as best you can with the spatula.
Make no more than two or three small drips of your food coloring (this stuff is strong!). Using the toothpick, swirl the color all over the top of the pan of marshmallows. Be sure not to leave any large drops of color intact.
If you like, dust the top with some of the raspberry powder.
Let the marshmallows sit uncovered overnight. The fridge is not a good idea; leave them on the counter.
The next day, use some food-safe scissors (preferably ones that come apart for washing) dusted with some of your powdered sugar mixture to cut the marshmallows into 8 strips, then 8 pieces each. As you cut, place the strips and then the finished pieces into your bowl of powdered sugar and cornstarch to dust the sticky sides. Then shake them off a bit and store them in an airtight bag or other container.
Consume without shame for the next few days, or give away. Or both.