I'm back (finally)! So, my third year of medical school has ended up a lot busier than I planned, and I haven't gotten much baking done. But I think I've got my time management down and I'm going to try to work baking and blogging back into my regular schedule. Plus, over winter break, I did some holiday baking, so I have some of that to share as well.
Today I have my go-to recipe for homemade marshmallows. I'm quite surprised that I've never shared it here before. For the most part, I try to share recipes that use minimal equipment, but this recipe requires a stand mixer due to safety (sorry), so maybe that's the reason. Anyway, if you've never made homemade marshmallows, I definitely recommend it. They turn out soft and fluffy and they just taste better than store-bought marshmallows. I have another recipe for flavored marshmallows that I'll share in a few weeks, but this recipe makes wonderful vanilla marshmallows, the perfect addition for s'mores and hot cocoa.
Usually, when I make these for everyday eating, I'll just cut them up into squares, but for my holiday baking this year, I wanted something more festive. So I decided to make them look like snowmen. I halved the recipe so they'd be thinner and easier to cut into circles. Then I gave them faces with royal icing leftover from decorating gingerbread cookies. I also added a touch of cinnamon to the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture used to powder the outside of the marshmallows to make them extra festive. No matter squares or snowmen, they're still equally delicious.
adapted from about.com
1 1/2 envelopes (1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon (optional)
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the 1/4 cup of cold water. Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the water and let the gelatin soak. Cover a 8x8" square baking pan with plastic wrap and spray the plastic wrap with nonstick spray; set aside for now.
Mix the sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Place over the stove and bring to a boil. Boil hard for 1 minute. Pour the boiled sugar syrup into the stand mixer bowl over the gelatin. Add salt. Mix on high for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and mix a few more seconds. Use an oiled spatula and scrape the marshmallow mixture into your prepared square baking pan. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and place over the marshmallow mixture, greased side down. Press on the plastic wrap to smooth out the marshmallow.
Let set for a few hours. Once ready to cut, in a wide bowl, mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1/2 cup cornstarch and add the pinch of cinnamon if desired. Peel the plastic wrap off the baking pan. Move the marshmallow over to a cutting board and cut into squares with a knife sprayed with nonstick spray. (If you want to make snowman marshmallows, use a round cookie cutter sprayed with nonstick spray to cut out circles.) Roll the marshmallows in the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture as you cut them out. Once all are cut, keep in an airtight container until ready to serve.
NOTE: Above measurements are halved from original recipe. Feel free to double recipe for thicker marshmallows.
royal icing recipe (don't need to make whole recipe, can make 1/8 recipe)
black food coloring
orange food coloring
Color half the royal icing black and half of it orange. Keep the orange icing covered when using the black icing first. Use a toothpick to dot black icing for eyes and mouths. It might not stick very well since the marshmallows are covered with powder, so press the icing into the marshmallows, sort of like inking a tattoo. Blob on orange icing for the noses, pulling the toothpick upwards so the icing is slightly pointy.