Homemade Marshmallows

My kids and I made our first batch of homemade marshmallows last night, and in less than 24 hours, I’ve had a bunch of requests for the recipe. I figured posting online is the fastest and easiest way to get this out to everyone. After I wrote this up, we made a second batch to test it out.

I recommend reading the whole way through before starting. It helps to have the ingredient list and all of the equipment ready too. Please make sure to watch the video first as well.

This is a fun activity for all ages, but an adult should be present, and take care of most of the steps, especially the ones involving the stove and knife. This activity can be a bit messy, but it’s easy to clean up. The marshmallows are much better than the ones in the store, plus you can make different shapes, sizes, and flavors.

First, assemble all of the things you’ll need: a mixer and large bowl, 13” x 9” casserole type pan, small bowl, foil, oil spray or shortening, water, gelatin, granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, saucepan, candy thermometer, vanilla or other flavoring, cornstarch, confectioner’s sugar, plastic wrap, 2 rubber spatulas, measuring cups and spoons, cutting board, candy thermometer, and a big kitchen knife. A stand mixer is best, but a hand mixer and large bowl will work, too (that’s what we used). It’s best to have others to help you – especially if you use the hand mixer, so you can take turns.

Line the 13” x 9” pan with foil and coat with cooking oil spray or shortening. Coat a rubber spatula also, and set aside for later.

Put ½ cup cold water in the large mixing bowl; sprinkle 2.5 tablespoons of gelatin over the water. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes, while you prepare the sugar mixture.

Put ½ cup water, 1/3 cup corn syrup, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Pour 2 cups of granulated sugar in the middle. Try to avoid having the sugar touch the sides of the pan. Do not stir. Bring to a boil on medium heat, and let boil about 6 minutes or so. Swirl pan gently once in a while until temperature on candy thermometer reads 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the sugar solution reaches 240 degrees, use the mixer on low in the gelatin water for a minute; then pour the hot sugar syrup into the bowl with the gelatin. Start on low, then gradually increase speed to high – mix about 10 to 12 minutes. It will not smell like marshmallows right away, but don’t worry. The mixture will get fluffier and ‘climb’ up the bowl. Touch the bottom outside of the bowl after about 10 minutes to see if it’s barely warm. If it’s still hot, keep mixing. This part is a little tricky – you want it to be firm without being too hard. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla or other flavoring while mixing. When you’re done mixing, VERY quickly scrape the mixture into the foil lined and oiled pan, then smooth it out. Don’t worry about getting everything out of the bowl – being fast is more important.

While the mixture is cooling in the pan, mix ½ cup cornstarch and ½ cup confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle some gently over the marshmallow mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight. Make sure to also cover the cornstarch mixture and set it aside for finishing the marshmallows the next day.

Then you can clean up. This is much easier and faster than you’d imagine it to be. First of all, most kids will want to ‘help’ get the extra marshmallow mixture out of the bowl. Feel free to help them with this! Second of all, all of the ingredients dissolve quickly and easily in warm water. We didn’t even rinse ours before putting them in the dishwasher, and they all came out spotless. If you hand wash your dishes, just let them sit in some warm water in the sink for a little while to make it easy.

The marshmallows can be finished the next day, or later the same day if you make them early enough. First, sprinkle some of the cornstarch mixture onto a cutting board. Turn the marshmallow mix out onto the cornstarch covered cutting board, and again sprinkle with some of the cornstarch mixture on top. Coat the large kitchen knife with the oil spray, and use it to cut the marshmallows. First, cut into strips, and then cut each strip into cubes. You can make them as big or small as you want!
Roll the cubes a few at a time in the cornstarch mixture, or toss them with a little of the mixture in a bag. You can shake off the excess in a strainer if you want.

They will keep about 2 weeks if stored in a plastic bag or container. They probably won’t last that long, though!

You can get creative if you want, and try making them in different shapes, or add some food coloring when you start mixing them. You can try different flavors of extract in them, and maybe sprinkle toasted coconut or something else on them instead of the cornstarch mixture. Have fun!

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The author Suellen

Suellen is a horticulturist and social matters writer for Human Diaries. Her writing has appeared in various magazines since 2004.

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