Homemade Marshmallows | Recipe | Bunny Marshmallows

Oh, the projects I get myself into...

As part of the bunny s'mores favors for our Easter Dinner, homemade marshmallows is a key ingredient.  (Click here for bunny s'mores recipe.)  Making marshmallows is actually pretty fun and taste SO much better than store bought!  Marshmallows are incredibly easy to make if you just follow directions and don't overthink anything.

I really found it amazing that thick, auburn syrup could transform into white, fluffy marshmallows.  Here a few tips:
  • It feels like the syrup takes forever to make.  Be patient.  It will eventually reach the needed temperature.
  • Do not attempt this if you don't have a candy thermometer.   The syrup needs to be exactly 240 degrees F.  If you don't have a thermometer, go buy one first.
  • For me, transfering the syrup from the pot to the mixer was the hardest part.  I found it easier to first transfer the syrup to a container with a spout, such as a liquid measuring cup.  That way you can easily pour the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl and not run the risk of burning yourself.
  • Try not to get the syrup on the metal whisk.  It will only form a long, sticky piece of candy at the top of the whisk and slap around the top of the bowl going, "Dong, dong, dong, dong, dong..." as the whisk turns.  Instead, try to pour the syrup slowly down the side of the bowl.
  • Don't touch the syrup!  a) It's hot.  b) You'll create a tangled web of little candy strings all over the place.  You think, "Oh, I'll help this along but using my finger to wipe off the side."  But then your finger forms a thread, then your other finger, before you know it you have a web of candy in your kitchen.  Just dump everything in the sink, run hot water and soap into pot and the sugar will disolve.  Clean up is rather easy.
  • I used two well-oiled spatulas to transfer the marshmallow mixture to the baking sheet.  First I used a silicone spatula to transfer the mixture from the mixing bowl to the baking sheet.  Then I used an angled cake spatula to smooth out the mixture evenly throughout the baking sheet.  Be sure to spray both with cooking spray before using of it will stick.  If you find that it's starting to become sticky while spreading, just respray the spatula with cooking spray and continue.
  • Make sure to dip your cookie cutter or pizza wheel into the cornstarch mixture before each cut.  It will help with the stickiness.
Here's what it should look like before you cut your marshmallows:

You can really use any shaped cookie cutter you want or cut these into cubes.  And just add a little food coloring if you want something other than white marshmallows I have no doubt that kids and adults with love these!  With the marshmallow scraps, I plan to make rice krispie treats.  Yum!

Homemade Marshmallows Recipe
Yields: 21 3-inch bunnies or 9 dozen 1-inch squares

3 packets unflavored gelatin
1 c water, divided
12 oz granulated sugar, about a little more than 1-1/2 c
1 c light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c confectioner's sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
cooking spray

1. Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment.  Place gelatin and 1/2 c water in the bowl of the stand mixer.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 c water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Cover with a lid and cook 3-4 minutes over Medium heat.  Uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the pot.  Cook until temperature reaches 240 degrees F, approx 8 minutes.  As soon as mixture reaches the temperature remove from heat.  Transfer to a container with a spout, such as a liquid measuring cup.
3. Turn mixer on slow speed and slowly pour sugar syrup into mixer bowl with the gelatin.  Once all syrup has been added, increase the speed to high, and mix 12-15 minutes, until mixture is thick.  Add vanilla extract the last minute of mixing.
4. While marshmallow mixture is mixing, combine confectioner's sugar and cornstarch.  Lightly coat a 13 x 9 baking sheet with cooking spray.  Dust the entire bottom and sides with cornstarch mixture until well coated.  Reserve excess cornstarch mixture.
5. When ready, pour marshmallow mixture into baking sheet.  Use a lightly oiled spatula to spread mixture evenly in the pan.  Dust the marshmallow mixture lightly with cornstarch mixture.  Reserve excess.  Allow marshmallows to sit for 4 hours or up to overnight.
6. Turn marshmallows over onto a cutting board.  Using a cookie cutter dipped in cornstarch mixture, cut out individual marshmallows.  Or, if not using a cookie cutter, use a pizza wheel dusted with confectioner's sugar/cornstarch mixture, slice 1" squares.
7. Roll marshmallows in cornstarch mixture and store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.