Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Some of my fake friends and I were talking about Christmas candy and marshmallows came up. My recipe is from Martha Stewart, but the recipe I found on her web page is not the same as the one I use. There are a couple aspects of my recipe that I think are better, so this is the one I'm posting.

They're a bit of a pain to make, but soooo good; infinitely better than store-bought. They're not particularly difficult to make, but they are time consuming--and a stand-mixer would be a very good thing to have. (Looks like I'm going to be going to my parents' house to get mine.) If I get around to making these, I'll try to remember to take pictures of the process. I know from experience, that with candy-making, sometimes a visual aid can be very helpful.

One more thing: this is a messy process. Between the powdered sugar and the stickiness of the whole endeavour, you might want to wait until the kids are tucked in bed. Or chained to the couch or something.

Martha Stewart Marshmallows
(Actual recipe in black, my notes in red.)
2.5 tsp plain gelatin (about 4 envelopes)
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar for dusting

1.) Prepare a 9x13 pan by greasing and dusting with powdered sugar.
Don't skimp on the powdered sugar. The marshmallows are incredibly sticky. If you skimp on the sugar, you're going to have a hell of a time flipping these out of the pan. This is not the place to be frugal.
2.) Combine sugar, syrup, and 1/2 c. water in a medium saucepan. On low, stir until sugar has dissolved. Raise heat to high and cook without stirring to 244*. Immediately remove from heat. I'm sure most of you already know this, but in case you haven't made candy before, the temperature is crucial. No, 240* is not close enough, and neither is 250*. A couple of degrees can be the difference between delicious candy and bricks. (Ask me how I know.) The temperature will rise slowly to begin with, but once it hits 220* or so, you'll want to stay pretty close.
3.) While waiting, combine gelatin and 1/2 c. water in mixer bowl. Allow to "bloom" while sugar cooks.
4.) When sugar is ready, turn mixer on low and drizzle syrup into gelatin. Once combined, gradually kick mixer up to high. Beat 15 minutes, until thick, white, and nearly tripled in volume. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
5.) Pour in pan, dust with powered sugar. Let stand overnight, uncovered.
A word of caution: you're going to have marshmallow creme stuck to everything--the bowl, the mixer, the scraper, and probably your hands. You definitely want to have a sink full of hot, soapy water ready to put the utensils in. Just thought I'd give you a heads up.
6.) Dust counter with powdered sugar, turn marshmallows out on counter and cut as desired. Dredge cute edges in sugar. Store in airtight container.
The original Martha recipe talks about cutting them out with cookie cutters. I tried it, but it's stupid for a couple of reasons. First, you end up with ginormous marshmallow. Most people don't want to sit down and eat a marshmallow the size of a cookie. Second, it's just plain difficult. The marshmallows don't really cut all that easily; they just kinda spring back. I usually use a knife to cut them into small squares. In searching for marshmallow recipes online, though, I found someone who said they used a pizza cutter to cut out theirs. I think that's the most brilliant thing I've heard all week. I'll definitely be trying that out this year.