Let’s talk marshmallows for a moment or two, shall we? I’m sure these little squares of heavenly deliciousness don’t exactly come up in daily conversation very often, but really… they should. When I was a kid, I thought the be-all-end-all in the marshmallow world was those giant things you get in a bag at the grocery store. That was before I tried homemade marshmallows. My eyes were open to new levels of yum that I just can’t describe. I found this recipe for homemade marshmallows several years ago, have been fiddling with it ever since, and I think it’s finally perfected.Jump to Recipe
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How Hard Is It To Make Homemade Marshmallows?
Honestly, back when I first started, I was scared to death of trying to make these. I honestly thought that anything that involved a candy thermometer and boiling sugar was just made to be super-difficult and death-defying. Then I remembered that I was once scared to drive a stick shift, ride a roller coaster, and snorkel. Yes, there’s a little learning curve, but it’s nothing too crazy and at the end of the day… no one died. I can tell you right now that as long as you follow directions, these are really easy to make. Just don’t touch the sugar syrup when it’s boiling. Because that would be bad. Mkay?
How Long Do Homemade Marshmallows Keep?
If you can actually stay out of these and not scarf them all down while binging your favorite show (not that I have any experience here…) these actually keep for a long time! When kept in an airtight container, your homemade marshmallows will keep for about a month without getting stale. Oh, and because of how they’re made, they freeze REALLY well. I’ve kept some in the freezer for up to about three months, and they tasted just as good when I removed them as when I put them in.
What If They Get Stale?
This is a really easy fix. If you’ve somehow managed to keep a few marshmallows around for a while and they’re a little stale, just put them in an airtight zip-top freezer bag (make sure there are no leaks!) and let the bag sit in hot water for a few minutes. Bada bing, bada boom… fresh marshmallows!
What Are Some Different Ways To Use These?
At the risk of sounding like Bubba in Forest Gump, here’s just a small list of ways to use homemade marshmallows:
- In hot cocoa
- Gift-giving & candy exchanges
- Dipped in chocolate
- Mixed in homemade ice cream
- Make the best-ever rice krispy treats
- Marshmallows on a stick
- Mixed into a gelatin salad
- Make a S’Mores Cake
- Mix into cookies
- Cake filling
Really, though… the options are pretty much endless!
Can The Recipe Be Altered At All?
You betcha! I’ve actually started using different Watkins extracts in addition to the Baking Vanilla. So, I’ll do half vanilla/half cherry. Or half vanilla/half cocoa. I’ve even done half vanilla/half lemon.
Instead of rolling the finished marshmallows in powdered sugar, you can coat them in sprinkles, coconut, finely chopped nuts, crushed candy canes, or even cinnamon-sugar.
Instead of cutting in squares, try using little cookie cutters! I’ve used a little rubber duckie shape (Those were so cute! I rolled them in yellow sugar sprinkles, and sold them for a fundraiser… those were the lemon ones, by the way! 🙂 ) Over the holidays, I’ll use a mini star shape and a mini candy-cane shape (and mix peppermint extract in!) to make super cute marshmallows for gift giving.
Want to change the color up? Use a few drops of food coloring! (Watkins makes really good all-natural food coloring… check it out by hitting the button below…)
Onto the recipe!
- Kitchenaid Mixer
- vegetable oil for brushing
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin 2 Tablespoons
- 1½ cups water divided
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp Watkins Baking Vanilla
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil; set aside.
- Pour ¾ cup of water into a saucepan, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to boil and boil for 11 minutes (softball stage, 235*F. on the candy thermometer); Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, put the other ¾ cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
- After you have the sugar syrup at softball stage, stir it into the soaked gelatin. Add the vanilla and salt; let stand till partially cooled about 10 minutes.
- Beat on high with the balloon whisk attachment for about 12 minutes or until mixture is fluffy white and fully thickened.
- Pour into your prepared pan; smooth out the top. (You might want to spray a little nonstick spray onto a rubber spatula to help with this process.)
- Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
- Once set, turn out and cut into squares. (I like to oil my knife or cookie cutter to do this, as it helps to cut a little easier. I've also found that using an oiled pizza cutter helps this go a little faster.)
- Roll squares in powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
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