Let everyone else go crazy at the mall, crazy with wrapping paper, crazy with Christmas dinner prep.
We have a chillaxing day with nothing to do but make these marshmallows (someone else is cooking this year).
Unlike supermarket marshmallows, homemade marshmallows are tender, melt in your mouth and have great flavor.
You can flavor them with different extracts, tint them with food colors and cut them into any shape (photo #2).
Don’t like peppermint? Use any of the extracts you have: almond, anise, banana, cinnamon, coconut, hazelnut, lemon, maple, pumpkin…McCormick makes more than 20 flavors.
We’ll be packaging the marshmallows in cellophane bags with holiday ribbon, as party favors for Christmas dinner.
And we’ll be making an extra pan for us: for snacking, dropping into hot chocolate, and to dip into chocolate fondue.
Prep time is 40 minutes. Thanks to McCormick for the recipe.
BONUS: The history of marshmallows, originally made from the sap of a marsh plant.
And here’s a recipe for Peppermint Crunch Marshmallows, with pieces of candy cane inside.
Ingredients For 24 Marshmallows
1. SPRAY a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; then coat with some of the confectioner’s sugar. Set aside.
2. MICROWAVE* 1/2 cup of the water, the granulated sugar and corn syrup in a 4-cup glass measuring cup or a medium microwavable bowl, on HIGH for 7 minutes†. Then stir to dissolve the sugar and microwave on HIGH 5 minutes longer (the mixture will have a slight yellow tint). Carefully remove hot bowl from microwave. Meanwhile…
3. PLACE the remaining 1/2 cup of water in the bowl of a mixer. Sprinkle with the gelatin and let stand for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the hot syrup mixture with the whisk attachment, on medium-low speed. Beat for 8 minutes, then increase the speed to medium-high. Beat 10 to 12 minutes longer or until the mixture is fluffy, shiny and at least tripled in volume. Beat in the extracts.
4. SPREAD the marshmallow mixture in the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Immediately drop the food color over top and swirl with toothpick.
TIP: We used both red and green food colors. We swirled the green (photo #1), and then dropped red dots in the “white space” for a modern art effect.
5. SIFT 2 tablespoons of the confectioner’s sugar over top and let stand at room temperature overnight; or refrigerate at least 3 hours.
6. PLACE the remaining confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl. Cut the marshmallows into 1-1/2-inch squares (or into shapes with cookie cutters). Add the marshmallows in batches to the bowl of sugar and toss to coat well. Shake off the excess.
STORE the marshmallows in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
*Stove Top Directions: Cook the syrup mixture in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, until the mixture just begins to color and reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Continue as directed.
†Microwave ovens vary; adjust cooking times as needed. Cooking times are based on a 1200 watt microwave oven.