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It’s a Marshmallow World

Whether you’re enjoying campfire s’mores or a big, steamy cup of hot cocoa, soft, ooey-gooey marshmallows play a starring role.

We’ve all bought those packaged marshmallows, but have you ever tried to make them? Believe it or not, it’s really an easy process.

And once you have a basic recipe, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some tips for making homemade marshmallows:

First and Foremost…

Make sure to not skimp on this first step. Forgoing it will prevent your marshmallows from coming out of the pan in one piece, or at all. So, before doing anything else, generously, oil your pan with vegetable oil. Next, mix together equal parts of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Make sure to save some for later.

If the marshmallows are going to be chocolate or another color that is not pristine white, add some cocoa powder to the cornstarch mixture. Of course, skip this step if making a colored marshmallow.

Once the marshmallows are panned up, dust the top with the same mixture.

Bloom the Gelatin

Pour the water into a stand mixer bowl and sprinkle gelatin over water. Whisk briefly and then allow to bloom while you make the sugar syrup.

Make the Syrup

Boil the sugar, water and corn syrup to 240 F. – softball stage.  Avoid the temptation to stir once it begins to boil. Doing so can cause crystallization on the sides of the pan. Since the corn syrup is an invert sugar, it can help prevent it, but brushing down the sides with a wet pastry brush can also help. Alternatively, simply cover the pot for a minute or so. At the beginning of the boiling process. The steam created will also prevent crystallization.

Once the mixture has reached 240 F, remove from heat and stream into mixer with gelatin.

Beat, Beat Beat!

After adding all of the syrup to the mixer, turn it up to high and let it go until it is thick and fluffy, about 12 minutes or so. Add flavoring and gel coloring during the last few minutes of beating.

Pan it up!

Now, all of that scrumptious fluff is ready to go into the prepared pan. (Aren’t you glad you prepared that ahead of time?) Use an offset spatula to evenly spread it in every nook and cranny.

Dust and Rest

Use the leftover cornstarch mixture to dust the top of the marshmallows. (You did save it, right?) Leave marshmallows uncovered at least 4 hours or overnight.

Cut and Enjoy

Use a large knife or cookie cutters to cut shapes. Toss the cut marshmallows into a bowl with a little more of the cornstarch mixture.

Play with Flavors

The fun part of making marshmallows is flavoring them. A few ideas might be:

Any liqueur
Powdered, freeze-dried berries

Have fun creating your own custom marshmallows!

Jill Meredith
Jill Meredith
Jill Meredith is a pastry chef, food writer and culinary instructor. She is passionate about all things sweet and loves sharing that passion and knowledge with others. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, daughter and 3 cats.