I will never be the same. I really don't know how else to say it.
I can't believe we have been eating store-bought marshmallows for so long when we could have been eating these. And I wasn't expecting to feel that way.
I really thought they wouldn't be much different taste-wise but I wanted to make marshmallow shapes. I was especially worried after working with the gelatin. The smell of that stuff just makes me want to throw up a little bit. So I was smelling that and thinking:
This is going to be disastrous.
These are going to taste like pure gelatin (gag)
I am going to end up just using store bought mini-marshmallows.
...and a few other things that I won't bore you with. I was wrong on all counts. I feel like I have never truly had a marshmallow until now. And it was easy, almost too easy. If you have a candy thermometer, a mixer and a brain, you can pull these off.
You don't have to cut these into stars. Candy cane shapes would be so cute with some peppermint flavoring and food coloring in the recipe (There's a recipe HERE for peppermint marshmallows that would be cute as candy canes). Christmas trees would be cute too. I just liked the idea of stars and I happen to have small enough cookie cutter that would work for what I needed. My cutter was just shy of 2 inches (from the top point to the bottom point) and I got 77 stars and a bunch of scraps that were turned into mini-marshmallows. You can also just cut these into squares and not worry about the shapes at all. They are so good, they don't need a shape. :)
Homemade Marshmallow Stars
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 1/2 T)
3/4 cup cold water
3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Line an 18x13 pan with tin foil and spray well with cooking spray or brush with canola or vegeatable oil.
In a medium saucepan, heat sugar, 3/4 cup water, corn syrup and salt to a boil over high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and continue cooking, without stirring until mixture is 238 degrees (or soft ball), about 9 minutes.
Meanwhile add 3/4 cup cold water to the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes. Attach whisk attachment to mixer
Once sugar mixture reaches 238, turn the mixer onto low speed and slowly add the sugar mixture to the gelatin mixture. Gradually raise the mixer speed to high. Beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. (It helps to set the timer for a reference.) Bowl should just be warm. Slowly beat in vanilla and combine.
Scrape into prepared pan and smooth the top with a grease spatula. I also greased a sheet of wax paper and placed it over the top and smoothed with that, then removed it. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup powdered sugar over the top of the marshmallows, and flip onto counter top. Remove foil and sprinkle another 1/3 cup powdered sugar over the marshmallows (so now both side have powdered sugar). Add remaining powdered sugar to a plastic bag. Cut marshmallows into desired shapes, add a few at a time to the bag with powdered sugar and toss to coat all sides of marshmallows. Roll remaining sheet of scraps into a roll and cut into desired pieces, coat in powdered sugar and store. Can be stored in airtight container for 4 days.
These are good just to eat, good in hot cocoa.....
And I checked to be sure they were good toasted and they were freaking amazing. Seriously.
These were part of my Christmas gifts this year (the stars anyway, the mini marshmallow scraps were saved for us to use), hopefully in a day or two I will share the rest. I am sure you are super prepared and already ready for Christmas, but if not, maybe this will give you an idea or inspire something similar. Oh and these are gluten and dairy free! These would make a great gift by themselves, maybe just cover them with chocolate and put them in a cute bag, or you could turn them into the these marshmallow pops. Any recipe that calls for marshmallows has to be 20 times better with homemade used instead.
Adapted from MarthaStewart.com