handmade gift: homemade marshmallows

chocolate warmth 1, originally uploaded by getthebubbles.

who doesn't love marshmallows? uh...don't answer that. marshmallows can be a bit tricky to make. you have to have everything ready, and work quickly and neatly if you want them to turn out well. it may take a couple of tries to get it all to come together, but it's worth it. you pretty much have to have a stand mixer to make this recipe--i did make s'mores from scratch once when i was housesitting in canyon (anyone remember that?), but it was painful and took for-ev-er. i don't recommend it to anyone.

recipe from richard olney's candy book from the good cook series (my goal is to collect all of these one day).

2 cups (1/2 liter) granulated sugar
1 T (15 ml) corn syrup
1 1/2 (375 ml) cups water
4 T (60 ml) powdered gelatin
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
confectioner's sugar, sifted

candy thermometer
offset spatula
cellophane bags (for wrapping)
ribbon (for wrapping)

over medium heat, combine the granulated sugar and the corn syrup with about 3/4 cup (175 ml) of the water. stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. bring the syrup to a boil without stirring. increase the heat and boil until the syrup reaches a temperature of 260F (127 C)--the hard ball stage.

in another pan, soften the gelatin in the remaining 3/4 cup of the water for 5-10 minutes. set the pan over simmering water and, whisking constantly, dissolve the gelatin. add flavoring if using.

whish the dissolved gelatin mixture into the syrup. whisking continuously, gradually pour this mixture onto the stiffly beaten egg whites. continue whisking until the marshmallow mixture is a white opaque mass that is thick enough to hold its shape.

lightly oil a pan that is 12 by 8 by 1 1/4 inches (30 by 20 by 3 cm.) and dust the pan with a combination of equal quantities of confectioners' sugar and cornstarch. pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth it flat with a narrow-bladed spatula, and let it set for several hours. with a knife, loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan. dust a work surface with confectioners' sugar and turn the marshmallow onto it. dust the marshmallow thickly with confectioners' sugar, and leave it for one hour to let it dry and allow the sugar to form a crust.

then cut the marshmallow into squares or rounds.

--for chocolate marshmallows, add 3/4 cup of dutch process cocoa powder (i always use valrhona)
--for minty marshmallows, add a few drops of peppermint extract


juniper tree has cellophane bags
spun sugar
cellophane bags online
paper source has some lovely ribbon


  1. Samin, I am long overdue for a visit to your blog. Thank you for your kind words on mine WEEKS ago, now! You found mine 2 days in a row via the NaBloPoMo Randomizer, and left a comment. I responded on my own comment space immediately after, but I'm sure you missed it. (I'm a relatively new blogger, I've seen others do that... prob'ly not the best, when you were admittedly a 'drive-by'.) Anyway, thanks again!

    I've seen 'you' in other forae (forums?) I've frequented in NaBloPomo, too. And I notice in your sidebar there are a few blogs you list that I look at too! So here's a link to another marshmallow recipe that you may like. Just in case there are some non-chocolate (*shudder*) people on your gift distribution list this year. ;-) http://www.browniepointsblog.com/2006/01/02/strawberry-marshmallows/

    I've also made rosewater marshmallows, cardamom-honey marshmallows, and (this is the BEST floating in really good dark hot chocolate) cinnamon marshmallows. They all are extra lovely when toasted, whether over an open fire or just in a toaster oven. The rosewater ones are nice in s'mores made with shortbread instead of graham crackers, though the graham crackers are nice too.

    I wish you a deliriously Merry Christmas, and very prosperous New Year!