Homemade Salted Caramel & Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

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In my addiction to surfing Pinterest, I have come across some tasty recipes and unique ideas for homemade gifts. One such find was homemade marshmallows for DIY s’mores kits to give out for Christmas. Of course, I had to try them out before I gave them as gifts! So, I enlisted my friend Ari and we got to it. We followed this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen because one: it sounded delicious and two: she had step by step pictures to follow! I halved her recipe and used two 8×8 pans so that I could try out different flavors without having to eat 96 marshmallows. Yikes!

Springy, Fluffy Marshmallows 
Adapted from Gourmet, December 1998

Makes about 48 1-inch cubed marshmallows

About 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 3/4 envelopes (1 T plus 1 1/4 t) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water, divided
1 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/8 t salt
1 large egg whites (or reconstituted powdered egg whites)
1 T Van Gogh Dutch Caramel vodka
Freshly cracked kosher salt
(For vanilla bean: scrape half of one vanilla bean and add to mixture with 1 t vanilla extract)

Note: You can also add food coloring to jazz them up! Just use a small amount.

Oil bottom and sides of a 8 x 8 in rectangular metal (I used pyrex) baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/4 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. (It should look like marshmallow creme at this point.)

In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and caramel vodka (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out. Sift 1/8 cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. {For salted caramel marshmallows: Lightly crack kosher salt over marshmallows.) Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day. (Okay, so I cheated here. I put them in the freezer to chill for about 30 minutes and found them ready to cut.)

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (I used an oiled pizza cutter.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.

Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week, though I doubt they will last that long.

Next time I am going to try strawberry and peppermint marshmallows!

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One thought on “Homemade Salted Caramel & Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

  1. Peppermint were my first batch, today I did chocolate, tomorrow I plan on doing some cinnamon, then I need to figure out a couple more. I’ve run out of white corn syrup, so I’m going to try the dark version on my caramel marshmallows.

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