The first time I *tried* to make my own marshmallows, it was a hot mess, and I mean that quite literally. For some reason, when the recipe said to mix it, I decided to use a hand mixer. Huge mistake. Then the recipe said to cook the sugar to the hard ball stage and I did that instead of using my brain. My gelatin was cold, so the hot sugar met the cold gelatin and I tried to mix it with a hand mixer while pouring and trying to hold a bowl, and it was awful. Hard, hot sugar pieces were flying onto me and my countertops and my husband was looking at me like I was crazy. Which I was. Then I had to clean hardened sugar off of several dishes, utensils, and countertops. Not fun at all. This recipe is not that recipe.
Sometimes I amaze myself. I can't believe I tried marshmallows again. But I did, and they were ok. The recipe called for a lot of vanilla, so they tasted like vanilla bits. Normally I'd be all over that, but I wanted them to taste like marshmallows. That recipe also gave me dense marshmallows. This recipe is not that recipe.
My third attempt was with Bailey's marshmallows. A sure hit, right? Wrong. It somehow turned into Bailey's taffy, which is not what I wanted. I threw them out. Again, this recipe is not that recipe.
So this recipe turned into marshmallows that taste like marshmallows. They're not dense, and I didn't have hardened sugar trying to blind or burn me. There are quite a few steps to this, but it's not hard. You must have a candy thermometer and a stand mixer. Don't try to do it without them because they make it easy and foolproof. During the last part when you add the gelatin to the whipped egg whites, I almost gave up and threw everything away because it was complete liquid and I didn't see it becoming marshmallows any time soon. However, I kept going and they finally turned into beautiful white puffy marshmallows. Finally! A success!
Homemade Marshmallows Recipe
Makes about 30-40 marshmallows
Print this recipe
Note: I've included directions for sanitizing your egg whites so that pregnant women or immunocompromised people can eat homemade marshmallows. Feel free to skip that step.
2 packets of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup cold water
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
4 large egg whites at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup corn starch
Mix together the powdered sugar and corn starch in a large bowl.
(Optional step to sanitize your egg whites.) Place the egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer and place the bowl on top of a small saucepan that's filled 1/3 of the way with water (be sure that the bottom of your bowl doesn't touch the water). Place a candy thermometer in the bowl. Place the saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil while stirring the egg whites in one direction. Once it boils, turn down the heat and keep stirring the egg whites until they reach 140 degrees. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and place on your stand mixer.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the 1/2 cup of cold water to dissolve and soften it.
In a medium sized saucepan, attach your candy thermometer and add the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/3 cup water. Place it over medium-high heat.
While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites on low speed using the whisk attachment until they are frothy. Add in the salt.
When the syrup reaches 210 degrees, beat the egg whites on high until they are thick and fluffy.
When the syrup reaches 245 degrees, slowly pour the syrup into the running mixer. Try to not pour the syrup onto the mixer or it will splatter onto the sides of the bowl and make a big mess.
Spoon the gelatin/water combo into the pan that you had the syrup in and swirl it to dissolve the gelatin. The residual heat from the pan will help this process.
Slowly pour the gelatin mixture into the egg whites while they are mixing. Add in the vanilla extract and beat on high for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and fluffy and the bowl is cool to the touch. If it's still liquid, keep beating on high.
Use a sifter to generously dust a baking sheet with the powdered sugar/corn starch combo. Make sure it is completely covered. Spray a spatula with cooking spray and use the spatula to spread the marshmallows on the pan. Allow the marshmallows to dry, uncovered, for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Store the remaining powdered sugar/corn starch mixture in a bag.
After the marshmallows have dried, dust the top of them with the powdered sugar/corn starch mixture. Use a greased pizza wheel or scissors to cut them into pieces (or you can use cookie cutters, too). Toss the marshmallows in the powdered sugar/corn starch mixture and shake them in a strainer to get rid of the excess powder.
The marshmallows are good for one week in an airtight container or for longer in the freezer.
Source: David Lebovitz