In our house, it's a holiday tradition to make marshmallows. Each year, we make batches and batches of the fluffy stuff to give as gifts (ok, we eat some too!) I used to make homemade cocoa, put it in cute containers...add a baggy of thick, marshmallows, and a plate of goodies....and deliver loving baskets of yummies to neighbors, friends and teachers.
Since joining Dove, I have foregone the cocoa, and instead give Dove Chai Teas and Sipping Chocolates. My old recipes of cookies and truffles have been replaced with chocolate dipped candy canes and spoons, and homemade designer chocolates. And now this year....Dove has come out with gourmet marshmallows....and while it's tempting to give the Dove chocolate covered marshmallows, I simply cant give up my traditional Sprague Marshmallows.
I have tried many variations of marshmallows over the years, and have found this recipe to work out best:
3 (1/4 ounce) envelopes gelatin (Knox Gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or other flavoring)
In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 C of cold water, and let sit for 10 minutes. The water will absorb the gelatin, and it will look like this:
In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, mix granulated sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 C of water. Continue to mix until granulated sugar is disolved. Then turn to high and bring to hard boil for one minute.
Pour sugar mixture into gelatin, and add salt. Using hand mixer, mix on high for 12 mninutes.
12 minutes of mixing is a long time, so you might want to enlist the help of a cutie like this..... (and notice that my refrigerator is missing in the background! The house is still in an upheaval from the foundation leak back in OCTOBER..ACK!!)
As you mix, the marshmallow mixture will get creamy. Here is a picture from the 5 minute mark...
As mixing continues, the marshmallow will get fluffy and grow! Here is a picture from the 10 minute mark, notice how much higher it is in the bowl....
After 12 minutes, quite honestly, the marshmallow has expanded so much that it is crawling up the top of the mixing paddles. This is the time to add the vanilla, or any other flavoring you might like (kahlua, caramel, peppermint, orange....)Make sure you mix it in well.
You will want to cover the bottom of your pan with powdered sugar. Make sure the entire surface has sugar...this will keep the marshmallow from sticking.
Pour mixture into your pans. I double the recipe and use one 9x9 and one 9x13 glass pan. This yields me 40 large, thick squares.
Cover the entire surface with more powdered sugar, and let sit out overnight.
When ready, you can use a warm knife to make sure that marshmallow separates from the sides of the pans. Then cut into squares.....and ENJOY!