How to Make Homemade Marshmallows
Spoil yourself with this homemade sweet treat.
Homemade marshmallows may take a little time and finesse to prepare, but their fabulous flavor and fluffy texture are well worth the effort. Be warned — once you spoil yourself with the homemade version, you may never go back to store-bought again!
Marshmallows get their springy texture from gelatin, which must be softened before use. To do so, place a 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer and evenly sprinkle on 3 (1/4 oz. each) envelopes of unflavored gelatin. Allow the mixture to sit and become a gel while you start the next step.
Due to the lengthy mixing time, a stand mixer works best for preparing homemade marshmallows. A hand mixer could work as well, but be prepared to mix for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Prepare Sugar Syrup
In a saucepan, combine 1 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, 1 cup of light corn syrup, 1/2 cup of water, and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the mixture reaches about 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Once it’s reached the proper temperature, immediately remove the mixture from the stove to prevent it from overcooking.
A candy thermometer will allow you to ensure that the mixture reaches a minimum of 240 degrees, and no more than 244 degrees.
Combine Gelatin & Sugar Syrup
Fit your mixer with it’s whisk attachment and turn it on a low speed. As it runs, slowly pour your hot sugar syrup into the now-softened gelatin.
Whip, Whip, Whip!
Gradually increase the mixer speed to high. Whip your gelatin and sugar combo on a high speed for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until your mixture is bright white, very thick and tripled in volume. Once you notice these changes, add 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract and thoroughly mix it in.
For flavored marshmallows, you can add other extracts such as coconut or peppermint. For chocolate marshmallows, mix in 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to your mixture.
Prepare Your Pan
While the marshmallow mixture whips, prepare the pan it will go in. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with plastic wrap. Coat the plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and generously dust the bottom and sides with confectioners' sugar.
Pour Into a Pan
Pour your marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan. Use a rubber spatula to spread the mixture around evenly and to smooth it on the top.
The marshmallow mixture will be very sticky. If you have trouble spreading it, spray your spatula with non-stick cooking spray and then dust it with confectioners' sugar as well.
Dust & Dry
Generously dust the top of your smoothed mixture with confectioners' sugar. Let it stand uncovered and overnight at room temperature to dry.
Dust a large cutting board with confectioners' sugar. Turn your marshmallow pan upside-down on the cutting board and lift off the pan. Peel off the plastic wrap and dust the surface of your marshmallows with confectioner's sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut the marshmallow sheet into 1-inch strips, and then into 1-inch squares. Roll the cut sides of the marshmallows in sugar.
If your knife sticks while cutting, spray it with non-stick cooking spray and dust it lightly with confectioners' sugar.
Once cut, your marshmallows will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. If your marshmallows become sticky in the container, remove the lid for a bit and allow them to dry. Float them in a cup of hot chocolate, melt them in a s'more, or eat them on their own.