Homemade marshmallows. I don't know, I kinda felt a little snooty and foodie elitist while I was making them. I mean, WHO, besides Martha makes homemade marshmallows? Marshmallows from the market cost what 1.50 a bag... Right? So WHY would anyone go through the mess and trouble of making them from scratch....... I'll tell you why, because they are damn good. Damn good. And they are somewhat of a novelty. " Oh look honey... She MADE marshmallows. How...... very interesting."
I have had the Martha (of course, who else!) recipe for a while now in my " to try" folder and decided that the holiday baskets needed them this year. They were, suprisingly, very very easy to make. I has some sort of weird idea that they were just going to be one of the hardest things I have ever made... and they were not that at all. I am not sure why we don't all make these more often. They blow the supermarket bags away. I think it is because no one really has a tangible idea of what in the hell a marshmallow is made of.... Then Kraft has to go and get all high tech on us by using the term " Jet Puffed" on the bag. What is jet puffed? That conjures up all kind of weird images in my head.... And all those images pertain to weird and expensive equipment that I will never own. Some that hasn't even been invented yet!
But trust me.. If I can make them you absolutely can make them. They are fun , actually! And people really are intrigued by them. Here is the recipe I used... Cut them into neat little shapes, color them, flavor them as you wish... just don't come back here and tell me that you have Jet Puffed.
2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar (for dusting)
Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let it stand 30 minutes.
Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup of water in a small heavy saucepan; place over low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals. Clip on a candy thermometer; raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244 degrees (firm-ball stage). Immediately remove pan from heat.
With mixer on low speed, slowly and carefully pour syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to incorporate.
Generously dust an 8 x 12-inch glass baking pan with confectioners' sugar. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar; let stand overnight, uncovered, to dry out. Cut into shapes.