Did you know you can make your own marshmallows for the holidays? It’s super easy and your friends will think you’re a genius! Package them in little bags with ribbons or use them for them for the most amazing s’mores ever. This is the perfect recipe for the holidays and it’s super easy! Just make sure to be very careful with the hot sugar syrup! These marshmallows are so soft and creamy that it will be hard to go back to the store bought bags. If you want to to put a French twist on them, leave them uncovered for a few hours to form a crust on the outside. Enjoy!
The ingredients I list below have the cleanest flavor profile. Although corn syrup and corn starch can be easily substituted, I prefer to make my own syrup and use tapioca starch. *agave syrup is not recommended for this recipe, as it has an off-putting flavor.
3 packages unflavored kosher gelatin (Great Lakes) 1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces organic cane sugar
1 cup sugar cane syrup (recipe below)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
¼ cup organic powdered sugar (has no corn starch)
¼ cup tapioca (tastes better than corn starch)
Nonstick spray (I prefer coconut oil)
Chai Spice Marshmallows
For Chai marshmallows, make a strong Chai tea. Divide water into ½ cup strong Chai tea and ½ cup ice cold water (for gelatin portion). Add ½ tsp organic cinnamon with vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
Combine the gelatin with ½ cup of the cold water (or gelatin won’t dissolve) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
Combine the remaining ½ cup water, the organic cane sugar, cane sugar syrup and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Place over medium heat, cover and allow to cook for 5 to 7 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved (or syrup will crystallize). Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 8 to 9 minutes (time could depend on the temperature of your stovetop). When the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
Combine the organic powdered sugar and tapioca starch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil. Add the sugar and starch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and starch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel or knife dusted with the powdered sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
SUGAR CANE SYRUP RECIPE / makes about 1 quart
2 cups (16 ounces) water
5 1/3 cups (2 lbs + 10 ounces) organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1. Combine all of the ingredients in the saucepan and stir until the sugar is completely moistened. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan and set the pan over high heat. Do not stir the sugar after this point.
2. As the sugar comes to a boil, dip the pastry brush in a dish of water and brush down the sides. This dissolves any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan that could cause the syrup to re-crystallize. Once the syrup comes to a full boil, you don’t need to brush the sides anymore. (If you don’t have a pastry brush, you can also cover the pan with a lid for two minutes just as the sugar comes to a boil. The steam trapped in the pan will wash any crystals from the sides.)
3. Boil the syrup until it just barely reaches a temperature of 240° Fahrenheit (in other words, its better to be a few degrees under than a few degrees over). Immediately turn off the heat, remove the candy thermometer, and carefully move the pan to a cool spot on the stove or a cooling rack. Allow the syrup to sit undisturbed until it has cooled completely, at least an hour.
4. Gently pour the cooled syrup into clean glass jars, seal with the lids, and store in the cupboard. Store them where they won’t be jostled too much, as this can cause the syrup to crystallize. It will keep for at least two months, but we’ve stored it for longer without any changes to the syrup.
5. To Use the Syrup - This syrup tends to be thicker than corn syrup and can be difficult to pour or measure. To make it a little more workable, remove the metal lid from the glass jar and microwave the jar of cane syrup on HIGH in 30 second bursts until it’s pourable. This usually seems to take a total of 1 - 1.5 minutes. Alternatively, you can put the jar in a saucepan of simmering water to warm the syrup.
One Last Note - Re-heating can sometimes cause the syrup to begin crystallizing. Because of this, we’ve found it best to store the syrup in half-pint (1 cup) jars, which is what most recipes call for. This way we can heat and use one portion at a time without leftovers.