Homemade Marshmallows | Edible Gifts

easy Homemade marshmallows Recipe

There are not many foods that cross seasonal lines with ease and fluidity. The time for stone fruits is fleeting. Tomatoes are best if eaten when sun-kissed by the warmest summer temperatures. Asparagus is just about perfect when pulled from the earth during the damp days of spring.  We feast on the finest pears and apples in the fall around here.

But what food brazenly leaps across the seasonal barriers without skipping a beat?

Marshmallows.

I mean it.

Although you might not put these pillowy chunks of goodness into your shopping cart as you prepare for your camping trip, you will certainly pick them up later when you hit the small store on the outskirts of the national park. You know what I’m talking about, right? You breeze in there for a bundle of firewood and realize you forgot to pick up the marshmallows. Surely no summer camping trip is complete without them. After all, you wouldn’t want to disappoint the kids.

Please also consider for a moment those gooey bits that form a blanket over your mother’s famous Thanksgiving yams. These are the yams you feast on for days. These are the yams you love and tried in vane to replicate for the first Thanksgiving meal you attempted after college. These yams would be ordinary orange tubers without their fine marshmallow dressing.

And let’s not forget the ambrosia salad that is essential to any potluck picnic or company party. You know this salad well. It’s the one for which you feign disdain. You scoff. It’s the salad you secretly love to eat, but you plop only a small spoonful on your plate lest anyone think you don’t know good food from bad.

Easy Homemade Marshmallows

Call me crazy, but marshmallows, the staple of my college diet along with diet coke, are one of the things I love most in this world. And in these dark and damp days of early winter, I crave hot chocolate smothered in a healthy coating of melted marshmallows. It is just about the best thing. Last winter during the final days of my pregnancy when my stomach was enormous and real estate was tight, this was my meal of choice.

Easy Homemade Marshmallows

Considering this long-standing love affair with marshmallows, it is actually quite surprising I didn’t attempt to make them from scratch far sooner. I feel so silly because these marshmallows were really a joy to make. The ingredients are few. The recipe is simple. It’s so breezy, in fact, I was able to crank out this batch of white magic goodness as Maeve took an afternoon nap. Getting anything accomplished in that 40 minute window is nothing short of miraculous and truly a testament to the simplicity of this recipe.

Easy Homemade Marshmallows

The marshmallows were delicious. The vanilla flavor was subtle, but pleasantly sweet. The texture was soft and fluffy. And, although working with the uncoated taffy was a bit sticky, the dusting of fine powdered sugar made these little gems easy to handle. I do think they are quite possibly the perfect gift. Maybe even coated with chocolate or roasted coconut?  There are no rules or limits with marshmallows. Seasonal eating be damned!

easy Homemade marshmallows Recipe

Homemade Marshmallows

Vegetable oil, for brushing
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ 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.

Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours. When firm, cut into one inch squares. Pour the powdered sugar onto a plate and dip individual marshmallows into the powdered sugar to coat.

Source:  Martha Stewart

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29 Comments

  • December 14, 2011 - | Permalink

    I love that these were your meal of choice at the end of your pregnancy! The marshmallows look so nice floating in that mug of cocoa. Pretty!

  • December 14, 2011 - | Permalink

    I’ve always wanted to try to make marshmallows, but have never taken the plunge…but that mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows might be the motivation I need to give it a try!

  • December 14, 2011 - | Permalink

    A great gift idea! Something I’ll soon have to make.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • December 14, 2011 - | Permalink

    Marshmallows are a weakness of mine as well. I love them topped with toasted coconut. Your pic reminds me that I haven’t had a cup of hot chocolate yet this winter. Must correct that ommission ASAP!

  • December 14, 2011 - | Permalink

    Those are gorgeous, Robin! I’ve never made them but I may give it a shot now.

  • December 14, 2011 - | Permalink

    this is great! I’ve always wanted to make my own marshmallows

  • December 14, 2011 - | Permalink

    Ha! You’re right. The humble marshmallow knows no season! I was just talking to someone recently about how I’m not so into marshmallows, and she said, “That’s because you’ve never had homemade.” Maybe she’s right. Thanks for the recipe.

  • December 15, 2011 - | Permalink

    I’ve been eyeing a very similar (possibly the same) mug at Anthropologie for months and months and months! I think it’s time to finally go get it….and then make some marshmallows.

  • December 15, 2011 - | Permalink

    Can´t believe I can make these at home. It´s quite difficult for us to find real marshmallows in Spain, it´s not something we eat, not even as a snack, and when we do, I find them in pink or orange, so welcome white marshmallows!, lol.
    Thanks for sharing this, I have to try it. I´ll let you know.
    Kisses
    Marialuisa

  • December 15, 2011 - | Permalink

    What a nice, crisp site. (For some reason “crisp” came to mind). And your blog heading photo is funky, too.

  • December 15, 2011 - | Permalink

    I love those miniature ones in hot chocolate! If I can get some free time, I will try these. I do love to roast them over fire as well, though mine always catches fire :)

  • December 15, 2011 - | Permalink

    This is the first time i will try making homemade marshmallows. Excited much! I hope they’ll turn out as soft fluffy as I want them to be. Thanks for sharing the post.

  • December 16, 2011 - | Permalink

    The picture of the mug makes me want to go curl up under a blanket and read a book!

  • Lynn Herink
    December 16, 2011 - | Permalink

    I don’t care for marshmallows personally, but this post almost persuades me to give them another try! It’s also funny and well-crafted. Thanks for always making me smile.
    Have a wonderful holiday–can’t wait to read and view the pictures of what you will share afterwards…

  • Elizabeth
    December 16, 2011 - | Permalink

    Hey Mama – as I have just made several pans of this over the last two weeks, I can attest to one more trick: if you cover the top with oiled parchment (or lightly oiled plastic wrap) then you can smush the marshmallow into shape. This was far easier than trying to push around with a spatula, because once it comes out the mixing bowl, you have a very limited opportunity to move it. Thankfully I sent many of them away as Christmas gifts, and last night managed to leave a couple packages at a potluck, where, interestingly enough, we discussed making a high-brow ambrosia with homemade marshmallows. xoxo E.

  • December 16, 2011 - | Permalink

    The recipe for those marshmallows doesn’t sound to hard. It should be done quickly. The best of it – as you sad it – it’s a great home-made present for Christmas days.

  • December 16, 2011 - | Permalink

    Oh college life…marshmallows and diet coke. Mine was ramen noodles and Pad Thai from Trader Joe’s. That was ‘cooking’ back then! Eek. Anywhoo, I tried making marshmallows once and it was a complete disaster. I think enough time has passed for me to try again. Happy holidays sweets!

  • December 17, 2011 - | Permalink

    I love this idea. You make them look so good!

  • Jess
    December 17, 2011 - | Permalink

    I can’t wait to try these! Not a big marshmallow fan but I’ve always wanted to make some that we’re homemade. Just wondering,how did you end up storing these? And how long did they stay fresh?

    • redmenace
      December 18, 2011 - | Permalink

      Hi Jess,
      Thanks for your comment! The original recipe suggests keeping the marshmallows in an airtight container such as tupperware for up to 3 days. Mine are going on 1 week and they’re still yummy and fresh!
      I hope that helps. Let me know what you think! xo Robin

  • December 18, 2011 - | Permalink

    I smiled when I saw the first photo on your post–marshmallows are my favorite food ever. You don’t even want to know the sugary concoctions I made when I was a kid, but now I appreciate them as a treat even more (with my husband’s famous Colombian hot chocolate, no less)! Thanks for sharing my love!

    • redmenace
      December 19, 2011 - | Permalink

      Leslie,
      A fellow marshmallow lover. You are after my heart! Thanks for the sweet comment. Happy Holidays! xo Robin

  • Nikki
    December 22, 2011 - | Permalink

    Is it just me, or does the recipe not specify when to add the powdered sugar?

    • redmenace
      December 22, 2011 - | Permalink

      Hi Nikki,
      Thanks for your comment. You’re not crazy! In fact, you’re the best. Thanks for pointing that out to me. My mistake! I’m going to ask Santa for a brain this year. Ha! It’s fixed now. Happy Holidays, Robin

  • Dawn
    February 18, 2012 - | Permalink

    Just wondering if the flavor of the homemade ones are better than store-bought ones. With all the ingredients and time and effort put into making them, if they don’t taste any different, or better, then I think I would stick to paying $1 for a bag of them!

    • redmenace
      February 18, 2012 - | Permalink

      Hi Dawn,
      Thanks for your comment. I totally get it. They take a bit of effort to make. I have to say, however, I am a HUGE fan of the homemade marshmallows. They were absolutely delicious and tasted much subtler and fresher– if that makes any sense. I could’ve eaten loads of them, but I had to give them away. It was too tempting. So, in sum, I would say YES. These are better than store bought marshmallows :) I hope you’ll agree!
      Thanks,
      Robin

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  • Bere
    March 11, 2012 - | Permalink

    mmmmmm that looks so good!!

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