Hot cocoa has always been a holiday favorite for my family, and the grandchildren LOVE marshmallows! I learned how to make marshmallows years ago, but had forgotten how easy they are. Since I'm on a homemade kick this year, I broke out the candy thermometer and got to work.
It takes 20 minutes to get to town, so we like to make sure we get anything we might need whenever we're there. This week, instead of buying marshmallows, I bought the supplies to make my own. Now, I can make as much as I want. All it takes is gelatin, corn syrup, sugar, confectioner's sugar, water, vanilla and salt. Yep, that’s it. For extra fun, you can use anything you want for toppings, or you can leave them plain. I crushed peppermints for the top.
• 2 teaspoons butter
• 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
• 1 cup cold water, divided
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 cup light corn syrup
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Confectioner's sugar to sprinkle in pan and on top of marshmallows
You'll also need:
Optional Toppings: Crushed peppermint, cake sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut, whatever floats your boat.
Prepare any toppings you'll want to use before you get started.
Butter 9-by-13-inch pan, and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.
In mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water. Set aside and let the gelatin absorb the water while preparing the rest.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 240 F (soft-ball stage).
With the mixer on low, begin mixing gelatin and water. It will be crumbly.
Add corn syrup mixture to gelatin in mixing bowl. Beat on high until mixture is thick and about double in volume. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. It's a good thing the mixture got thick when it did. My mixer was working just as hard as it could, and almost overheated.
Beat in vanilla.
Spread marshmallow mixture into pan. Using wet hands to get mixture out of bowl, and smoothed into pan, works better than a spoon or spatula. I haven't found a way for this step to not be fairly messy.
Sprinkle with any toppings you want, and gently press them into marshmallows.
Cover and let stand at room temperature 8 hours, or overnight.
Using a butter knife, gently loosen marshmallows from sides of pan. Lift marshmallows out of the pan, and lay them out on wax paper. Using a knife coated in cooking spray or dipped in hot water, cut marshmallows into 1-inch squares.
If your marshmallows are stickier than you would like, you can coat them with more confectioner's sugar.
Either store in an airtight container to enjoy later, or break out the hot cocoa!