I swear I used to absolutely HATE marshmallows. They were sticky, powdery, and had no flavor. Little did I know just how delicious they could really be. Homemade marshmallows are pillowy, fluffy, and have a rich flavor. The best part is, you can substitute any flavoring you want for the vanilla used in this recipe, and have whatever flavor you want!
You WILL need a candy thermometer to make these. It is critical. I got one from WalMart for right around $3.
What you need:
3 envelopes unflavored Knox gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided in half
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
How to make it:
1. Sprinkle the gelatin into a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer if you have one). Pour in 1/2 cup of the ice cold water, and stir it with a fork. This will set up into a fairly solid mass shortly, but it's ok.
2. In a small saucepan, pour in the other 1/2 cup of water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Stir well, and cover. Let this cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
3. Uncover the saucepan, and carefully clip a candy thermometer to the side. You may have to hold it with your hand to make sure the end of the thermometer is in the liquid and not floating on top.
4. Leave the mixture alone and let it cook until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit. This can take around 8 minutes or so. Once it reaches 240, remove it immediately from the heat.
5. If using a stand mixer, insert the whisk attachment. If not, use a simple hand mixer with the regular beater attachments.
6. Turn the mixer on low, and gently pour the hot sugar mixture into the bowl with the gelatin, while the mixer is running. You want to mix the gelatin mixture into the syrup as soon as you start pouring it in. If your gelatin has solidified, the hot sugar will melt it.
7. Once all of the syrup has been poured in, turn the mixer on high, and beat for roughly 15 minutes. The mixture will become white, fluffy, and almost triple in size.
8. During the last minute of mixing, add in the vanilla.
9. Prepare a square baking dish by spraying it lightly with the cooking spray, then dusting with a bit of the powdered sugar and cornstarch. You want the bottom and sides of your pan to be completely covered.
10. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, and dust the top with the remaining powdered sugar and cornstarch.
11. Let the marshmallows sit in a cool place for at least 4 hours. (Overnight is best.)
12. Using your fingers, gently pull the marshmallow away from the sides of the pan, then turn it out onto a clean work surface that has been dusted with powdered sugar. Dip a knife or pizza cutter into powdered sugar, and cut into squares.
13. Make sure to dust all sides of each marshmallow with powdered sugar so they don't stick to each other, and store in an airtight container.
***Note: These will keep for roughly 3 weeks if kept sealed.