3 packets of unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup of light corn syrup
1 cup of water divided
1/4 tsp of salt
1 Tabelspoon of pure vanilla
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Combine the gelatin and one half cup of water in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. (I recommend you use a large standing mixer for this project if you have one. The mixer will have to run a relatively long time. I'd hate to see someone overheat a small mixer). Let this combination sit while you make your sugar syrup.
In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and one half cup of water. Heat on medium high and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the sugar begins to dissolve (it will become clearer). This takes just a minute or so. Attach your candy thermometer if you are using one. Then raise the heat to high and let this mixture bubble (boil but not boil over) until it reaches a temperature of 240 degrees or six minutes (whichever comes sooner). Make sure the thermometer is NOT touching the bottom of the pan or you'll get a false reading. I have taken the mixture off at six minutes and it was only 220 degrees. That's just fine. The time is more important than the temp.
With the mixer on low speed, carefully pour the hot syrup into the mixer on top of the gelatin mixture. Turn the mixer up to high and whip the mixture for 10 minutes; until it is very thick (it will almost fill the bowl so don't try two batches at once). It will be light and fluffy. If you see it starting to get gooey (look for spider web-looking stretched bits at the sides) turn off the mixer immediately. If you time it for 10 minutes you should be right on target. In the last two minutes of mixing momentarily turn the mixer down to low and drizzle in your vanilla. Then turn it back up to high for the rest of the 10 minute duration.
While the mixer is running, generously dust the bottom of a clean, dry 9 X 13 glass baking pan with powdered sugar.
When the mixer is finished, immediately pour the fluffy batter into the baking pan, on top of the powdered sugar. Spread with a spatula to flatten it and get it into the corners. (If this process is difficult it means your marshmallows spent too much time in the mixer and you are going to have chewy results. If it's smooth as a cloud and spreads easily you are doing an excellent job).
Now generously dust the top of the mixture with more powdered sugar until completely covered and let the pan sit on your counter for 7 hours or over night.
With a large spatula work the edges of the marshmallow away from the pan sides. Then carefully slide the spatula under the cooled marshmallow mixture to lift it from the pan. You will likely need to work it a bit from all four sides. The marshmallow will turn out in one large sheet onto your cutting board. Dust the top with powdered sugar to soak up any sticky bits.
Now you can cut your marshmallows. Use a large chef knife and just press down across the marshmallow. If you are making small marshmallows your band of marshmallow will be about one half inch wide and the width of the pan. It will look like a long cigar of marshmallow when you cut it.
Dust the cut edges with powdered sugar to make them easy to handle. You can just smooth your finger across the edges. Then cut crosswise to make your square marshmallows. On a large plate roll the marshmallows around (gently) in more powdered sugar to coat the edges that you just cut. Store the marshmallows in a dry place (plastic zip bags will do fine).
I recommend you eat the marshmallows within 5 days. They will stay beautifully soft during this time. These are homemade marshmallows so don't think they will last indefinitely like the puffs you buy in the store.
Eat them plain (they get rave reviews) or float them in your hot cocoa. I also hear they are great in coffee!
Pairs Well With
Believe me when I tell you that making your own marshmallows is worth it. They are the dreamiest, creamiest confection you can ask for. Swirl one on your tongue and it will melt into your mouth like no marshmallow you've ever had. Beats those puffs hands down!
Makes approximately 90 half inch marshmallows or 40 big ones