Make your own marshmallows for a winter treat

By Bill Daley

Chicago Tribune

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 10 2012 6:59 p.m. MST

Toasting marshmallows sounds so Fourth of July, doesn't it? You can practically hear the bug zapper keeping time with the fireworks in air perfumed by Coppertone. Really, though, marshmallow toasting can be a year-round sport, with winter reserved for the truly serious.

Marshmallows are really easy to make — a mix of sugar, gelatin and flavorings. Prove it to yourself with this recipe from Celine Plano, executive pastry chef at The Peninsula Chicago. There are no egg whites in her recipe.

"The whipping of the proteins in the gelatin is the secret," she says. "It works. I promise."

MARSHMALLOWS

Prep: 35 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Rest: Overnight

Makes: About 40 marshmallows

Note: To flavor the marshmallow, replace the water used in cooking the sugar syrup with whatever flavor you like, such as orange juice or coffee or mint-infused water. Extracts may be used as well.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons gelatin

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup corn syrup

¼ cup water

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more for pan

1 cup cornstarch

1. Soak gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a saucepan until mixture reaches 250 degrees (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and softened gelatin.

2. Place mixture in bowl of a stand mixer. Whip until cooled, about 15 minutes.

3. Spread mixture onto a 9-by-13-inch sheet pan, lightly oiled and dusted with confectioners' sugar. Let set overnight, at room temperature, lightly covered with lightly oiled parchment paper.

4. Cut marshmallows into ¾-inch squares. Combine 2 cups confectioners' sugar and the cornstarch in a bowl. Lightly toss marshmallows to coat; store in airtight container.

Nutrition information: Per marshmallow: 94 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 23 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, 19 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.

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