Homemade Marshmallows: A Treat For the Road

“You are what you eat so eat something sweet.”  -Unknown

When we hit the road with our RV, especially in the cooler months, I look forward to a roaring fire so I can make s’mores, my favorite camping treat. There is nothing better than a fire-toasted marshmallow together with a piece of chocolate sandwiched between a cracker or cookie. (I’ve experimented with different versions of s’mores in a previous blog. Find your favorite at https://bit.ly/3TQQqOZ) I mean, come on! S’mores are not a treat that we have every day so I feel entitled to indulge. Besides, in my opinion, it wouldn’t be a proper camping trip without this easy-to-make treat.

As I prepared for a recent camping trip, I found that my local grocery store was out of marshmallows.  Determined, I started thinking about what my options could be short of running from store to store in search of what I needed.  My conclusion?  I’ll make my own and this is how I did it.

What you need

Non-stick spray

Parchment paper

Zip top bag

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 cup cold water, divided

2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored (about 3 .25 ounce packets)

2/3 cup light corn syrup

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper cut long enough that the paper hangs over the ends and the marshmallows can be lifted out easily. Spray the parchment liberally with non-stick spray.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and all of the cornstarch and set aside.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of the cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Spring the gelatin over the water and let it bloom until firm, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of cold water and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan.  Pour the granulated sugar into the center of the saucepan and add the salt.  Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil until the sugar has dissolved completely and the syrup reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit, about 8-10 minutes. 
  5. Turn the mixer on low speed and carefully pour the hot syrup directly into the bloomed gelatin, avoiding the side of the bowl as much as possible.  Gradually increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is very thick, white, and glossy, about 10-12 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Add the vanilla extract and mix until just incorporated, no more than a minute more. 
  6. The marshmallow will be very sticky and will start to set quickly, becoming difficult to work with so you’ll need to work quickly at this stage.  Spray a silicone spatula with non-stick spray and scrape the marshmallow mixture into your prepared pan.  Smooth it into an even layer as quickly as possible.  Sift half of the powdered sugar-cornstarch mixture over the top of the marshmallow.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow it to sit overnight at room temperature.
  7. The next day, cover a cutting board with parchment paper.  Lift the marshmallow out of the pan with the excess parchment paper and turn it out onto the parchment paper on the cutting board.  Peel the parchment that is covered with parchment paper over the board.  Peel off the original parchment and trash.  Sift the rest of the powdered sugar-cornstarch mixture over the marshmallow slab. 
  8. Using a pizza cutter, sharp knife, or cookie cutter that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, cut the marshmallow into sizes or shapes that meet your needs. 
  9. Place 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a large zip-top bag.  Working with 3 or 4 marshmallows at a time, toss the marshmallows in the bag and coat them with sugar.  Shake off excess sugar.  Marshmallows can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes: I know what you’re thinking! If I read a recipe with 9 steps, I would usually skip it, but this really pretty easy. Also, my husband is not a marshmallow fan and we don’t have kids so I cut this recipe in half and used a 9×9 pan which made a batch of marshmallows that was just right. I used a small biscuit cutter to cut my marshmallows to the size of my Ritz cracker.

Homemade marshmallows are light and not as chewy as the store-bought versions.  When I toasted them over the fire, the gelatin and sugar melted quickly.  Toasting them over the fire was quick and you should have your other s’more ingredients ready for your toasted marshmallow. 

I also tried my homemade marshmallows with hot chocolate and OH MY!  Add a homemade marshmallow to your favorite hot chocolate and watch it turn your drink into a creamy, sweet, luscious treat! 

These homemade marshmallows are sweet and delicious and they traveled very well.  If you have kids who love s’mores or hot chocolate, or you are a kid at heart with a love of marshmallows, try making your own.  You won’t be sorry. 

Enjoy!

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