Homemade Marshmallows

July 10th, 2008

Here’s the deal with these.  Yes, this is a really good recipe for marshmallows.  Yes, I’ve made it twice and I consider it pretty much foolproof (although the first time, I managed to melt a portion of my cheapo candy thermometer).  But this isn’t just a marshmallow recipe.  These marshmallows, in addition to being delightful on their own, are part of *another* upcoming recipe.  So, if you’re not into eating plain marshmallows, check back on Monday morning for another marshmallow-tastic suggestion.

Before making these, I had only eaten homemade marshmallows to cap off an amazing lunch at Jean Georges.  In fact, soon after that when I announced to a colleague that I was a great cook (modesty? me? they don’t mix), he immediately shot back with, “well, can you make marshmallows?”

I have no good guess as to why that was his challenge, except for the hunch that perhaps he too had eaten at Jean Georges recently.

So marshmallows went onto my list.  And, in a twist of fate, in Molly from Orangette‘s column in Bon Appetit a month or two ago, she focused on marshmallows.  I love her column, and it often convinces me to try recipes I would otherwise leave on my “to cook” list, so I went for it.  I looked at a bunch of recipes, including this, this, and this, and eventually went for my own compilation.

And they were great, and not super difficult, once I got over my candy-thermometer fear.  The second time I made them, I let the sugar get a little too hot, but they still turned out ok.  That being said, the syrup heats up fast once you hit 180 degrees or so, so keep an eye on it!  But definitely give these a try — especially if you have a camping trip coming up!

Homemade Marshmallows

1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp corn syrup (light or dark works fine)
2/3 cup of water
2 packets of unflavored gelatin (about 2 tbsp)
1 egg white
Powdered sugar, if desired

In a small saute pan, heat sugar, vanilla, corn syrup and 1/3 cup of water on high heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved, then stop stirring.  Heat the mixture until it reaches 240 degrees using a candy thermometer, about 8 minutes.

While the mixture is heating, dissolve the gelatin into the remaining 1/3 cup of water.  Also, in a large mixing bowl, whip the egg white to soft peaks.

Once the mixture has reached 240 degrees, pour it into the gelatin and water (you can do this in a medium-sized, heatproof bowl) and stir to combine.  Allow to cool for about 3-4 minutes, and then pour the gelatin/sugar mixture in a slow stream into the whipped egg white, whipping constantly to incorporate. (This is pretty much impossible to do by hand, you need a hand mixer or a stand mixer, because the gelatin will start to set and get really stiff and difficult to whip).

Whip the mixture until stiff peaks form.  Pour into a prepared tray lined with parchment paper or powdered sugar, and refrigerate for about 2 hours.  Remove from the fridge and cut the marshmallows into squares (or other shapes).  Roll them in powdered sugar, if desired, and serve!

Makes about 20 marshmallows.

Tags: desserts · food

37 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ann // Jul 10, 2008 at 7:44 am

    As always you’ve made me want to rush into my kitchen and make your latest post! But I’ll wait and see what you’re planning on doing with those gorgeous babies!

  • 2 clumbsycookie // Jul 10, 2008 at 8:00 am

    It’s amazing what can be done with just 1 egg white! They look very good and I’ll sure check back to see what you’re up to!

  • 3 heather // Jul 10, 2008 at 8:21 am

    these look delicious!  i have been wanting to try homemade marshmallows for a long time… i’m inspired to move it to the top of my list now 🙂

  • 4 Erin // Jul 10, 2008 at 8:32 am

    These look fluffy & fabulous!  I actually just bought ingrediants to make marshmallows too after reading that column.  Great minds think alike perhaps?  You beat me to it though 🙂

  • 5 NuJoi // Jul 10, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Katy, I haven’t had marshmallows in years.  I saw some handmade ones at Williams-Sonoma and vowed tigure out how to make them.  The issue is the gelatin.  I did find, I think, vegitarian gelatin at Whole Foods.  I’m gonna give these a shot.  Thanks!

  • 6 Amy // Jul 10, 2008 at 9:19 am

    These look so good!  I tried to make some like these to go with some homemade hot cocoa mix, but they just wouldn’t turn out.  I chock it up to the moist air in San Francisco that they never really set.  But who knows…

    I’m glad yours worked out better!  I’ll have to give them another shot.

  • 7 Kitt // Jul 10, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Ooh, I love marshmallows. I’ve been known to toast them over my stove (back when I had a gas stove, *sigh*).  Have you tried toasting these?

  • 8 Kristen // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    These look lovely – very fluffy.  When I made them for easter last year, I broke my el-cheapho hand mixer midway through making them and didn’t quite achieve the same level of fluffiness.

    I don’t know what you’ll do with these – but I covered mine with dark chocolate. YUM!

  • 9 Jen (Modern Beet) // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    oh my!  I would have *never* thought to make homemade marshmallows…  I don’t really like the packaged kind, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I would like these…

  • 10 Kaitlin // Jul 10, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    These look amazing! I’ve been meaning to make marshmallows forever, but keep forgetting to buy some gelatin. Maybe this will be my motivation 🙂

  • 11 katy // Jul 10, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks everyone!

    Kristen — I realized later they would have been even better if they were chocolate coated.

    Kitt — I haven’t!  Guess what I’m doing with the next batch?

    Jen — I bet you would!  These are a totally different taste.

  • 12 VeggieGirl // Jul 10, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Oooh, I can’t wait to see what you’re making with the marshmallows!! Now I’m all anxious :0D

  • 13 My Sweet & Saucy // Jul 10, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    I LOVE homemade marshmallows!  They are sooo much better than regular ones!

  • 14 Donald // Jul 11, 2008 at 3:58 am

    Never done homemade marshmallows. I just read an article about them though and piqued my interest. Yours look tasty. I shoulda thought about them before my wife used store bought in a cake she just made.

    Bookmarking this!

  • 15 Paula // Jul 11, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try marshmallow too. Yours look great. Thanks for the insipration!

  • 16 Jaime // Jul 11, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    i’m intimidated by marshmallows…but yours look so fluffy and delicious!

  • 17 katy // Jul 12, 2008 at 1:55 am

    beyond impressed!!  i’m inspired!! although i might just eat the ones that you make…perks of being your sister are manifold.

  • 18 Marc @ No Recipes // Jul 12, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Mmmmm I love home made marshmallows. They’re great with a bit of peppermint oil in hot chocolate. And I love pouring the freshly whipped marshmallow cream onto ice cream.

  • 19 holler // Jul 13, 2008 at 2:50 am

    Your marshmallows look rather beautiful in all their white fluffiness! Well done Katy, I think I would be scared to try 🙂

  • 20 heather // Jul 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    okay i already said one that these look delicious, but i’ll say it again!  delicious!
    i wanted to invite you to my first little blogging event, which is a cocktail mixing challenge.  i’d love to see what fun stuff you come up with!


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  • 22 Peter // Jul 14, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    When I saw your marshmallows, I thought they were cubes of Feta cheese.

    One could play with dinner guests senses here…great recipe!

  • 23 Mark // Jul 25, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Have you ever tried vegetarian marshmallows?

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  • 27 PatW // Nov 3, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    I’d be interested in trying them if I decide to make a Kentucky sweet known as Modjeskas for Christmas.  It was created by the Bauer Candy Company in Louisville, and it consists of marshmallows, which they make themselves, enrobed in soft caramel.  The original owner of the company was a fan of the great Polish actress Elena Modjeska, and named the sweet for her.

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  • 30 Dani K. // Jun 16, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Funny that you made marshmallows on a challenge, because that is how I started making them at home, too. I was getting really into making yogurt and yogurt cheese at home and a friend was rolling her eyes at me at how crazy I can be about cooking. I said that it’s true that I can be a bit over the top. She said I’m alright, but if I ever did something as crazy and unnecessary as making homemade marshmallows, she would disown me.
    So, of course, I had to do it.
    I wanted to surprise her, so I coated them with coconut, so they looked like little cake squares. As soon as she picked one up, though, she knew, and started laughing. Once she tasted it, she had to have more and admitted that homemade marshmallows are divine and she was entirely wrong about the uselessness of the skill.

  • 31 Karen // Jun 16, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I have been looking for a nice recipe for my desserts, and this looks wonderful!
    They look sooooo fluffy, I can’t wait to try them in my smores fudge!

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    ice skating in Yosemite, homemade marshmallows on top of homemade cocoa with some Kahlua…

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  • 37 Mrs. Robinson // Nov 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I am SO glad I found this recipe!  I have a recipe for marshmallows at home and planned on making it tonight and having a campfire!  But…then I saw it takes almost 5 hours?  That recipe said that marshmallows had to sit for 4 hours.  I started looking for a new recipe!  The next one I found said they had to sit for 12 hours.  CRAZY!  I’m glad to find yours!  Thanks!  🙂

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