Don’t be afraid. Making your own marshmallows is surprisingly easy. First, round up your ingredients:
2/3 cup water, divided in half
3 (1/4oz) envelopes unflavoured gelatin (or two packets of 1 tablespoon each)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar, for dusting
Spray the inside of an 8 x 8″ pan with vegetable oil (I used a 9 x 13″ pan and it worked out fine). Generously coat this with icing sugar and set aside. I took the added precaution of laying waxed paper in the bottom to make removal easier.
Pour 1/3 cup water into the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle the gelatin over top. Leave to stand about 10 minutes.
In a saucepan off heat, combine the remaining 1/3 cup water with sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place the pan over medium heat.
Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan (don’t let it touch the bottom) and cook the mixture without stirring it until it reads 240°F.
Brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to wash away the residual sugar crystals. Be careful — this is boiling sugar, after all.
With the mixer on low, very carefully add the hot syrup to the gelatin.
Add in the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat for 8-13 minutes, or until the mixture is very stiff, white, and sticky.
Spread the mixture into the prepared pan using a lightly oiled spatula. With wet hands (and I mean SOAKING), press the batter evenly into the corners and smooth the surface. Allow to sit for about an hour, or until the mixture is firm and cool.
Run a wet knife around the edges of the pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface.
Cut the marshmallow into squares of your desired size. Wet the knife often to make this less sticky.
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Toss each marshmallow in the icing sugar until completely coated.
Alternatively, you can also toss the marshmallows in unsweetened cocoa (my favourite) or toasted coconut. You can also fold things into the marshmallow batter (like chocolate chips, dried cranberries, etc.) before you spread it into the pan.
Store the marshmallows in a single layer or in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container for up to a month.That wasn’t that hard, was it? These were quite popular at the hockey team bake sale.