I don’t love store-bought marshmallows. They’re too sweet and spongy, and taste too artificial for me. Yes, they have their use for rice krispies treats and s’mores, but that’s as far as my concern for them goes. You can understand my confusion then, when I made peppermint marshmallows this past Christmas and fell in love. It’s a whole different ballgame. The texture and taste is so much different, and I actually want to eat these by the handful. It’s not as hard as it might seem to make them, it just takes a little patience, and if you don’t have a stand mixer, some soapy water to clean the base of your hand mixer.
Strawberry Marshmallows (adapted from Betty Crocker)
- Butter for greasing
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup water
- 3 1/2 tsp strawberry extract
- 12-15 drops red food color
- Generously grease bottom and sides of 9×9 baking dish with butter; dust with 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar. In bowl of stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water to soften; set aside.
- In 2-quart saucepan, heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Heat to boiling; cook without stirring 30-45 minutes to 240°F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into cup of very cold water forms a ball that holds its shape but is pliable; remove from heat. If this is going very slowly, you can increase heat to medium-low.
- Slowly pour syrup into softened gelatin while beating on low speed. Increase speed to high; beat 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is white and has almost tripled in volume. Add strawberry extract and food coloring; you can adjust flavor and color to your taste. Beat on high speed 1 minute. Pour into baking dish, patting lightly with wet hands. Let stand uncovered at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Dust cutting board with about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Place remaining powdered sugar in small bowl. To remove marshmallow mixture, loosen sides from dish and gently lift in one piece onto cutting board. Using sharp knife greased with butter, cut into squares of desired size (1 inch by 1 inch works well). Dust bottom and sides of each marshmallow by dipping into bowl of powdered sugar. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.
Notes: Don’t worry if your sugar mixture looks yellow as it boils, it will turn bright white when you start to beat it. I am very impatient, and the heating steps were taking longer than I felt they should have, so I actually had my heat at 3-4/10 to speed it up, and it was fine. For the heart marshmallows you see above, I sliced a piece in half to reduce the thickness, then pressed down with a buttered cookie cutter. I tried this with a smaller flower shaped cookie cutter that didn’t work as well – I think because the shape was not as simple as the heart.