Marshmallows

Marshmallows
Marshmallows

If I was going to a cookout B.F.A. (Before Food Allergies), one of the things I’d pick up is a bag of marshmallows to toast. With the corn allergy, that’s pretty much not an option these days. I’ve been pinning recipes on how to deal with this for about a year, but I hadn’t gotten around to it yet because there were other things that were much more high priority. Plus it was going to be a significant effort because I’d have to make the cane sugar syrup to replace corn syrup and the powdered sugar (stuff at the store generally has corn starch in it) from scratch and that seems like a lot of steps in advance for so little a thing. But I’m going to a cookout in a week, and it seems like it’s finally time. Normally I’d list out the ingredients in the order that you’re going to use them, but since you’re going to have to make some ingredients ahead of time, I’ve listed those first.

Our friend Fred M. makes beautiful, ethereal, fluffy, light marshmallows, but I wanted these to stand up to getting stuck on a stick for toasting at the cookout so I upped the gelatin amount a bit in the recipes I found and tweaked. These marshmallows are a bit sturdy, but if you want them to be lighter with a little less structure, knock back the amount of gelatin by a tablespoon.

Marshmallows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup of cane sugar syrup (You will need to make it ahead of time – there are two good recipes and I’ve used both before. The one from thekitchn.com makes about a quart, and the one from justapinch.com makes about two cups.) 
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (You will need to make it ahead of time – here’s a recipe from glutenfreegigi.com on how to do it. I used tapioca starch.) 
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or another extract might be fun, such as cinnamon (Here’s a bunch of recipes for vanilla extract, make sure to use safe alcohol if corn or wheat are an issue for you. I used Luksusowa Vodka because it’s made only from potatoes, where some vodkas may also use grain or corn. Also you can make cinnamon extract by using whole cinnamon sticks instead of vanilla beans. It’s totally killer in coffee.)
  • 4 Tablespoons of unflavored gelatin powder (Knox or Great Lakes are generally regarded as being okay if you’re not super sensitive to corn, again no affiliation with Amazon, just linking for reference)
  • 1 1/4 cups of cold water, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups of cane sugar (make sure you use a safe-for-you brand)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch (You could also use potato or arrowroot starch, whatever’s safe for you)
  • safe-for-you-oil for greasing the pan or you can use the oil in an oil mister as well

Kitchen Stuff you will need:

  • Stand mixer with the whisk beater attached
  • candy thermometer that will clip on the side a saucepan
  • 3 or 4 quart saucepan
  • 9 x 13 baking pan or another flat container to spread out your marshmallows
  • a pizza cutter or a sharp knife
  • the normal assortment of bowls, measuring cups, spatulas, forks or whisks and so on

Grease or spray your baking pan with the oil. Use a paper towel to wipe the pan and make sure that every surface is coated in a thin layer of oil. Put the baking pan and a spatula next to your stand mixer, which should already have the whisk beater on it and your splatter guard ready to go.

Mix a 1/2 cup of cold water in a measuring cup along with the vanilla. Put the gelatin into the bowl of the stand mixer, and pour the water and vanilla mixture over it while whisking it with a fork or a small whisk. Mix until there are no lumps. Put the bowl back into your stand mixer and attach it.

Gelatin, water, and vanilla extract well mixed
Gelatin, water, and vanilla extract well mixed

Place your saucepan on the burner and clip your candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Add the rest of the water (3/4 of a cup), and add the cane sugar, cane sugar syrup and salt. Don’t stir it up.

water, sugar, cane sugar, syrup and salt with candy thermometer
water, sugar, cane sugar, syrup and salt with candy thermometer

Place the saucepan over high head and bring it to a rapid boil. Boil until the sugar mixture measures some where between 245ºF and 250ºF. Don’t let it go any higher than 250ºF. Take the saucepan off the burner and remove the candy thermometer.

Sugar mixture at a boil
Sugar mixture at a boil

Turn on the stand mixer to medium and CAREFULLY pour the sugar mixture down the side of the stand mixer bowl. There will be some bubbling, so go slowly. Also it will freaking burn and hurt if you spill it on yourself, so please don’t.

When all the sugar mixture is in the mixing bowl and is mixed to together, make sure your splatter guard is down and increase the mixing speed to high.  Continue to mix on high for 10 minutes. Make sure you do the full 10 minutes.

Whipping marshmallow mixture
Whipping marshmallow mixture

Once the ten minutes is up, do not dally, get the marshmallow mixture into the baking pan as fast as you can as it will start to cool really fast, and you want to be able to spread it out in the pan. Use a spatula to scrap out the bowl, but it’s really think and sticky, so you won’t get every bit out. Once it’s in the pan, spray or coat your hands with your oil and spread out the marshmallow evenly.

Marshmallows spread evenly in baking pan
Marshmallows spread evenly in baking pan

Let the marshmallows sit uncovered and at room temperature for 6 or more hours. Don’t let it go any longer than 24 hours though. Once they have cooled, mix your powdered sugar and tapioca starch in a bowl.

Powder sugar and tapioca starch mixture
Powder sugar and tapioca starch mixture

Take a large cutting board or cookie sheet and sprinkle some of the powdered sugar mix on it.  Then sprinkle the top of the marshmallow in the pan with the mixture and smooth it out over the surface. Flip the pan over onto your cutting board. Once you’ve got them out of the pan, sprinkle more of the mixture over the top of the marshmallow layer that was previously on the bottom of the pan.

Marshmallows powered before cutting
Marshmallows powered before cutting

Cut your marshmallows using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter into small squares.

Marshmallow pieces cut by pizza cutter
Marshmallow pieces cut by pizza cutter

Put each square in the bowl with the powdered sugar and tapioca and toss it until coated thoroughly. (If you have extra marshmallow coating afterwards, put it in a jar and use it the next time.)

Marshmallow being tossed in marshmallow coating
Marshmallow being tossed in marshmallow coating

Store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll last for a couple weeks if you don’t eat them right away. Take them to your cookout and toast them. If you can’t wait you can use your stove burner and a bamboo skewer 🙂

Marshmallow toasted over stove burner
Marshmallow toasted over stove burner

Enjoy!

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