Making marshmallows is actually, really easy. Once you make these, you will basically be ruined for store bought marshmallows forever. Serve with your favorite hot chocolate recipe for a deliciously decadent treat.
To make homemade marshmallows (recipe by Eric Gardner, Wild Orchid Baking), you will need: 5 tsp of powdered gelatin, 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of cold water, 2 cups of sugar, 3/4 cup of water, pan spray and cornstarch.
The recipe will yield 12 snow balls or an 8" x 8" square pan.
Prepare Pans and Start Mixing
Prepare the pans by spraying with vegetable spray and then generously dusting with cornstarch. Set aside while you make the marshmallows. Combine the gelatin and cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Add vanilla to gelatin and cold water. Set aside while you make the sugar syrup.
Combine the sugar and water in a 4-quart sauce pan.
Heat Sugar Mixture to a Boil
Cook the sugar on medium-high heat until the bubbles start to slow and the mixture appears glassy, about 10 minutes (240 degrees on a candy thermometer or softball consistency).
Add Mixtures Together
Pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin. It will bubble up and release a good amount of steam.
Whip Until Fluffy
Once the steam has dissipated, put the mixer on high and whip until the mixture is white, fluffy, and resembles marshmallow, about 15 minutes.
How to Make Round, "Snowball" Marshmallows
Spoon the marshmallow into a piping bag or large zip-top bag.
Pipe into Cake Pop Pan
Cut off the tip of the bag and pipe the marshmallow into the wells of a cake pop pan. Overfill the dome creating an ice cream-style swirl.
Cover and Set
Place the other half of the cake pop pan on top, smooshing the overflow into the well on the other side of the pan. Allow the marshmallow balls to set up for at least two hours.
Remove Snowballs from Pan
Once set, remove the marshmallow balls from the pan.
Trim away any excess.
Add a Powered-Sugar Coating
Toss in confectioner's sugar and serve.
How to Make Square Marshmallows
For squares: Pour the marshmallow into the cornstarch dusted pan and allow them to set up overnight before cutting. Dust the surface of your cutting board with cornstarch or powdered sugar before turning out the cooled marshmallows. Cut with a large chef's knife. Dust the knife to prevent sticking. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.