Homemade marshmallows are the easiest and most affordable edible gift. Package them in a mug with hot cocoa mix, and you’ve got the perfect (i.e. cheap) gift for someone that you don’t care enough about to give a real present. (Totally kidding, if you have received this from me and are reading this right now.)
They’re also really versatile, because you can swirl purees in them, flavor them with something like a cordial for adults, or peppermint and crushed candy canes for kids. Cool it in a 9″x13″ Pyrex and cut them in 1″ cubes for big squares perfect for packaging or pipe them for mini marshmallows. If you want extra adorable marshmallows, add a couple drops of food coloring, and cut them out with mini cookie cutters.
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar/corn starch (50/50 blend for dusting)
Stir the gelatin and water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Allow to sit while you cook the sugar
In a saucepan, combine the other 1/2 cup of water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Then raise the heat to high and cook until it reaches 240 degrees (invest in a $10 digital thermometer), and immediately remove from heat.
With the mixer on low speed, pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the dissolved gelatin. I will warn you that at this point it gives off a really unpleasant odor that reminds you of what gelatin is made out of. It turns into a mucky liquid, but don’t panic, it whips up to marshmallow fluff quickly.
Turn the speed up to high, and whip about 15 minutes, or until it becomes thick and glossy.
While the marshmallow is whipping, prepare your Pyrex or sheet tray.
For big cubes: use a 9″x 13″ Pyrex pan. Pour the mixture into pan, smooth the top, and dust with more sugar/cornstarch. Let sit overnight, uncovered. Turn out onto cutting board, and cut into squares, and dust with more sugar.
For minis: you will need a piping bag with a 1/2″ round trip and sheet pans lined with parchment and dusted with the powdered sugar. (You probably could skip the parchment, but I use it for everything. Easy clean up!) Pipe long lines, dust with the sugar mixture. Let sit uncovered overnight, or at least 4 hours, and cut with a pizza cutter or knife that is lightly coated with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
For cut-outs: you will want a couple sheet pans as well. Spread out about 1/2″ – 1″ thick, depending on your preference. Dust with sugar mixture, and let it dry out overnight. Cut with lightly oiled cookie cutters, and dust with more of the sugar cornstarch.