Making homemade marshmallows is easier than you might think. These tender, moist homemade marshmallows can be flavored any way you like and are egg free. People seem to fall into two categories when it comes to marshmallows, those that love them and those that hate them. I’m convinced that those who hate them have never had a fresh homemade marshmallow, only the stale puff varieties that are found in the supermarkets. Commercial marshmallows have their place around the campfire, but homemade marshmallows are a completely different product. Homemade marshmallows are tender, moist and flavorful and can be used as a blank canvas for different colors, flavors and add-ins to your liking.
I used peppermint extract and little pink coloring for this batch, but the marshmallows can be flavored with any extract you like. You can also add fruit purees to the sugar syrup for a more natural flavoring and coloring or add-ins such as chocolate chips, nuts or chopped candies. I originally started making marshmallows to put in my hot chocolate, but most of them end up being eaten plain and never make it into hot chocolate! The flavors can be customized to any time of year and make a nice gift at the holidays along with some homemade cocoa mix.
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (about 2 tbsp)
- ½ cup cold water
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- cornstarch (about 1 cup)
- Sprinkle gelatin in ½ cup cold water and set aside to soften. Generously butter a pyrex dish (If you like large, tall marshmallows, use a 9x9 pan. Otherwise use a 7x11 or 9x13 pan) and dust it with cornstarch.
- In a 2 qt saucepan, combine the corn syrup, sugar, and hot water. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves (watch out as it may try to boil over if you're using a high setting and don't lower it once the boil begins). It's a good idea to keep some cool water handy in case you get splashed with any of the hot sugar mixture. Boil without stirring until the syrup reaches 240° on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage).
- Pour into the bowl of your electric mixer (if the bowl is glass, pour syrup gradually). Beat on high speed, adding 1 tbsp of gelatin at a time, until all the gelatin is added and the mixture turns white. Add vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form, 10 minutes or more depending on the power of your mixer.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan. Let dry overnight. Dump marshmallow mixture out onto a cookie sheet covered with cornstarch. With a hot knife, slice the marshmallow slab into cubes. Toss with cornstarch if needed to prevent sticking.
Mint chocolate marshmallows: Omit vanilla and add ¼ tsp peppermint extract and a few drops of green or red food coloring; stir in ⅓ cup chocolate chips into the finished marshmallow mixture (don't stir too much or the heat will completely melt the chips and disappear into the mixture).
Chocolate-Chip marshmallows: Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top of the marshmallow mixture in your pan. Press gently to stick them well into the marshmallow. Sprinkle more onto the other side of the marshmallows once they've been dumped out of the pan.
Coconut marshmallows: Toss the sliced marshmallows in toasted coconut.
Experiment with other flavors and add-ins!