Marshmallows are soft, fluffy and sweet confections we love since we were kids and still enjoy today. While the modern marshmallow we are more familiar with are readily available in stores, did you know that the first marshmallows (said to date back to ancient Egypt) are made by extracting the sap of the marshmallow plant and mixing it with honey. The extraction process was so labor intensive that French confectionaires thought of alternative ways and ingredients such as egg whites and gelatin to make the spongy treat.
Today, the marshmallow is one of the most popular confections in the world. It can be enjoyed as is or roasted in an open fire during bonfires. Marshmallows can also be incorporated in other treats such as cookies, brownies and as cupcake toppings. Miniature mashmallows can make a mug of hot chocolate even more special. And who could ever forget the memories associated with roasted marshmallows s’mooshed between two graham crackers with a square of chocolate for the classic campfire treat, S'mores! Here is an easy dessert recipe for marshmallows.
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 clear vanilla extract
- Line a 13-in. x 9-in. pan with foil and grease the foil with butter; set aside.
- In a large metal bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water; set aside. 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° (soft-ball stage).
- Remove from the heat and gradually add to gelatin. Beat on high speed until mixture is thick and the volume is doubled, about 15 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Spread into prepared pan. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight.
- Using foil, lift marshmallows out of pan. With a knife or pizza cutter coated with cooking spray, cut into 1-in. squares. Dip the cut sides of the marshmallows in additional confectioners' sugar. Shake off excess sugar and store the marshmallows in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to two weeks. Yield: about 9-1/2 dozen.