Drumroll, please… I actually made marshmallows from scratch! And I’m (obviously) so excited about it!
I picked up the October 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living a few weeks ago because I wanted so badly to make batches and batches of Halloween treats. There were so many cute ideas and I even collected a few ingredients, but I’m still in “move mode” and the month really got away from me. This week, I realized it was now or never (or maybe 2009). I kind of have a “thing” for marshmallows (I’ll eat the big ones straight from the bag as a treat), so I thought it would be fun to try the Marshmallow Bones recipe from the magazine.
To start, I lined 2 baking sheets with wax paper. Next, I combined 1/2 cup of cold water and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in the bowl of my stand mixer. I sprinkled 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) of unflavored gelatin over the top and let it stand until it was softened (5 minutes).
Meanwhile, I brought 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup, and 1/4 cup of cold water to a boil in a small saucepan. I attached a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cooked the mixture until it was about 235F. As soon as it hit that temperature, I removed it from the heat.
Using the whisk attachment of my stand mixer, I whisked the gelatin mixture on high for 30 seconds. With the machine running, I poured the hot sugar mixture down the side of the bowl in a slow, steady stream. I continued whisking the mixture on high until it was very fluffy and almost stiff (9 minutes). I transferred the mixture from the mixing bowl to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip.
In a continuous motion, I piped a small figure 8, then a straight 5-inch line, then another small figure 8 onto the baking sheets to form the bones. Getting a consistent shape was definitely the hardest part! I also left quite a few “tips” after I piped the bones, so I used a small paintbrush to smooth them out. I let the bones stand, uncovered, for 8 hours.
When they were sufficiently dry, I generously sifted powdered sugar over the tops, turned them to coat, and brushed off the excess. (“Turned them to coat” sounds easy, but I actually used a small, offset spatula dipped in powdered sugar to help pry them off. They didn’t resist *too* much and they held their shape quite well in the process, but it’s not like they slid effortlessly off of the wax paper.)
(Oopsie on the upside-down plate!)
Oh, my. If you love marshmallows, this is the recipe for you. They have a classic marshmallow taste – nothing unusual there – but the texture is just amazing. They’re so incredibly fresh. I’ll admit the recipe is a bit of work and you do need some special equipment (I wouldn’t want to give this a whirl without a stand mixer and a candy thermometer), but I think it’s worth it. Plus, the marshmallows keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container, so you can continue to enjoy the fruits of your labor for days and days.
Now that I have a good basic recipe, I’d like to shake things up with different shapes and maybe some toasted coconut or chocolate ganache. The possibilities are endless!
TIPS: The marshmallow mixture becomes harder to work with as it cools, so it’s a good idea to use a large pastry bag to get as much mixture as possible in the bag. If you have to keep stopping to load a smaller pastry bag, you’ll lose precious time.
Recipe link: Marshmallow Bones