Ok. I LOVE marshmallows. They’re goofy and bouncy and silly and happy sorts of things. They are a candy, only not, because they’re full of air, only they are because they’re mostly sugar, only not because somehow when I was a kid, marshmallows weren’t forbidden like everything else was. They go on top of hot chocolate, or on a stick and in the fire, or passed around for people to eat.
Huh…you say. The ones from a bag are fine, thankyouverymuch. Sure they are. So is white bread from a bag. Stale white bread. It’s kind of filling and holds cheeze together for a grilled cheeze sammich. Homemade marshmallows are…well, like a fresh loaf of homemade bread still warm, with real butter from a cow and a couple of slices of gouda cheese from the dairy down the road O Yes. Do you understand? Do you get it?!
The first time I made…well…attempted to make marshmallows was not quite a dismal failure but they sure weren’t anything I’d give to adults. They didn’t quite set up right, maybe the sugar syrup wasn’t cooked long enough. They were…um…mucusish. Like snot. Gross. Only, the boys were in middle school at the time and they were delighted. So I let them wrap blobs up in waxed paper to give to their friends, who also were delighted. So it wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t the result that was hoped for.
Last year I tried again, this time with a different recipe, a candy thermometer, and the proper equipment. By proper equipment I mean a heavy stand mixer with a whisk, and jelly roll pans.
This time I was patient, I let the stuff whip in the bowl for a long, long time- that’s why you’ll want a stand mixer. I suppose if you want to be all “but I’m Old School and I want to do it the Right Way” you can go right ahead and whip it with a big wire whisk in your big crockery bowl and go at it for 20 minutes until your arm falls off, but I am a proponent of modern technology (most of the time, except with the stupid smart phone and I really want my flip phone back even though the candle app is neat). By letting it whip a good 15 minutes you can get everything else cleaned up or even start on a blog post or something!
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 4 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
- 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cup peppermint candy chips (or mini chocolate chips, or colored sprinkles or nothing at all)
- 1 cup sifted powered sugar…sifting is important so there’s no lumps.
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, making a lip up the sides, and spray with non stick spray.
Using a pot bigger than you think you need (trust me on this), put the sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water in it and put this on the stove on medium-high heat. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil, then stick a candy thermometer in and boil until it comes to 260 (soft crack) degrees. While that’s coming up to temp, go do the other stuff.
Put the egg whites in the bowl of the stand mixer, and with the wire whip, whip until it’s got stiff peaks. While that’s whipping, go to the next step.
Put a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove and bring it to a boil. Put 3/4 cup water in a heat safe bowl or pyrex thing, and add the gelatin. Let it sit a minute until it’s all in the water and it’s pretty thick. Then set it in the pot of boiling water and stir constantly until it’s all liquid and kind of translucent. Add the peppermint extract. Set aside
When the sugar syrup reaches 260 degree, pour in the gelatin mix. IT WILL FOAM UP, this is why you need a big pot!
Pour this mixture into the egg white, with the mixer on medium. When it’s blended, turn up to high and let it rip for about 15 minutes. Just let it go, and clean up or write a letter or something. When it’s done, it will be glossy and very thick, and will have cooled off substantially.
Pour all this onto the greased foil and do the best you can to spread it out evenly.
Sprinkle the peppermint chips all over evenly and press into the gooey stuff.
Let this sit for several hours (at least 3) UNCOVERED, you can go longer, but you don’t want to let it sit less than 3 hours. Overnight is fine…whatever works.
After a couple of hours (or whenever you get to it), flip the whole thing over on another piece of foil, and let it sit for several more hours. Then dust it with some powdered sugar.
Cut into squares and toss each one in some sifted powdered sugar so they won’t be sticky. I recommend using a big knife with a heavy blade, and make one big chop to cut the slice. You can run the blade through the powered sugar before you make the cut, if it helps.
Package up nice and pretty!
11 Comments so far
Leave a comment