Monday, December 20, 2010

Handmade Holidays. . .Honey Vanilla Marshmallows

Have you noticed that everyone is talking about and making homemade marshmallows this year?  Darby made them.  Joy the Baker made them.  Smitten Kitchen has made them.  They seem to be quite the trend and it is one trend I wasn't about to miss out on.
{ The recipe I followed was mostly from Joy the Baker, with a little of Smitten Kitchen mixed in; click on the links above to see their original recipes }
- 1/2 cup cornstarch

- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup cold water

- (3) 1/4-ounce packages unflavored gelatin
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- half of a vanilla bean; seeds scraped out
.In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and powdered sugar. Coat a 9×13 baking pan (metal or glass) with non-stick cooking spray.  Dust pan with small amount of powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture. Set both aside.
Pour 1/2 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Pour the gelatin packs over the water and let sit for about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, honey, corn syrup, salt, and remaining cold water to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Attach a candy thermometer the the side of the pan and bring mixture up to 240 degrees F (labeled as "soft-ball" on thermometer). Don't stir - just watch the pan carefully to make sure mixture doesn't boil over!

When the sugar is heated to 240 degrees, turn on the mixer with the gelatin and water on to low speed. Carefully pour the hot sugar mixture in to the mixer bowl. Be careful not to pour the mixture onto the whisk - you don't want the hot mixture to splatter. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer until you have added all of the hot sugar mixture. Beat on high for several minutes until a thick, fluffy, white marshmallow batter has formed (about 8 to 9 minutes).  I'm sure you could also use a hand mixer for this - you just will be holding the mixer for a while!

Pour in the vanilla extract and vanilla bean and beat for another 2 minutes.
Spread the marshmallow mixture into prepared pan. I tried using a spatula to smooth out the mixture but found that it was too sticky and made more of a mess.  I ended up just shaking the pan around a bit to level out the mixture. Top marshmallow with small amount (about 1/4 c.) corn starch and powdered sugar mixture and let set and rest, uncovered, for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
After marshmallow has set, run a knife all along the edge of the pan to loosen marshmallow, and turn out on to a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar.

Use a pizza cutter to cut the marshmallows.  Spray the pizza cutter with non-stick cooking spray so that it doesn't stick.
As you cut, toss the marshmallows with remaining corn starch and powdered sugar mixture.  This helps the marshmallows not to stick.  Trust me, they will be sticky!
I ended up with 90 or so 1" marshmallow cubes.  Marshmallows will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
I made this gift tag on my computer:
I divided the marshmallows up among treat bags that I found at Michael's.
Add ribbon and a tag and you're all set for gift giving!  Who wouldn't enjoy a few homemade marshmallows to top hot chocolate?
For me, making things is definitely the best way to find the Joy in Christmas.  Don't forget to visit Bungalow '56 and read about how others are finding their joy!  Maybe you will even want to join in on the party.
The DIY Show Off

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special


Cathy said...

These look yummy! I like the way you packaged them too. Merry Christmas!

Pam said...

Those look amazing! I've always wanted to try but I get super nervous about using a candy therm.

Alicia @ eco friendly homemaking said...

These look great. I got a recipe last year from The Barefoot Contessa show on the Food Network and it was awesome.You put toasted coconut in the bottom of the pan then pour the marshmallow mixture on top of that and then sprinkle more toasted coconut on top.When you cut them they look so pretty and taste oh so good.

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I always wondered how a marshmallow was made. The packaging is super beautiful... those gift tags are amazing!

quite contrary said...

what a great idea! so cute!

Susanne said...

Yummy! The tags look lovely on the packages too.

barbara@hodge:podge said...

Whaaat? You made marshmallows? Oh my - you are good :) I would love to but would need a candy thermometer, I tried to make candy once without one-lets just say burnt sugar is hard to clean up!

Love the tags too, looks divine!

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

Yay Alissa,
You came to the party...aaand you brought homemade marshmallows! Eldest in her sickly state got all twinkly eyed looking at the recipe. She's my Martha. You would have been proud of her foray into fondant this past November. Thanks for linking up. Your posts always brighten my day. You do know green is my absolute favourite colour also, and I always love the little green touches your projects and recipes always have. I felt an inkling of Christmas Joy reading your post. No more Frumpaloos for me.
Thank you,

Sue said...

What a wonderful gift! With all the love that goes into making those marshmallows and tags, you have surely given of yourself this year.


Carmie of the Single Nester said...

These look delicious and I love your choice of tag designs!

Nicolle said...

Those are just gorgeous to give as gifts. You did a great job! They look delicious too. I thought about making homemade marshmallows a while back, but was totally intimidated!

westcoastsoul said...

Mmm these look so good! I've been wanting to try my hand at making marshmallows for a while : )

April a.k.a. "A. Liz" said...

Wow - you have outdone yourself - these look amazing! I can just picture them now in a cup of homemade white chocolate cocoa.

Shannon said...

Oh Alissa. I would give you my 2nd born for a bag of those right now. They look delicious and the addition of the honey and vanilla is over the top. I want to stuff about 14 in my mouth. So um, please send 14. And the packaging is adorbs too...of course.

Emily {Frilly Details} said...

What a fun gift idea!!! I've never made homemade marshmallows, but now I want to try. The packaging is too cute!

Shorely Chic said...

the marshies look great, but more than anything I love those tags! so chic!

Shannon said...

Oh, heavens! What an amazing gift. Gorgeous packaging, too.

Jenny said...

I'm visiting quite late from Dana's blog.

But I'm certainly glad I'm taking the time to catch up here.

There are some wonderful 'Joy' posts linked. And yours looks particularly delicious. I've been discussing making home-made marshmallows with some friends and this tutorial is perfect.

I may have to package some New Years cocoa with these...they look superb!

Hope your enjoying the after Christmas joy as well.

panamamama said...

Yum! Visiting from Alicia's to see the new hostess for Tasty Tuesdays! I want to make marshmallows but haven't braved it yet. Now I want to try! Thanks.

Kristen said...

I love making marshmallows! Thanks for the honey tip. Would you share how you created the tags? Great post!


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