Decidedly mature flavors, including coffee and lavender, give these melt-in-your-mouth delicacies a bit of sophistication. Use this base recipe to make marshmallows for parties or homemade holiday gifts. Different flavors can be added to make a variety. Show them to their best advantage in a simple glassine bag, tied with a festive ribbon.
Total Time: 55 min
Prep: 40 min
Yield: 12 marshmallows per flavor (4 batches yield 16 bags of 3 marshmallows, 4 bags of each variation)
¼ c. confectioners’ sugar
¼ c. cornstarch
2 envelope unflavored gelatin
1½ c. granulated sugar
⅔ c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. mint extract
6 tbsp. cocoa
¼ c. cocoa
3 tbsp. hot water
1 c. water
2 tbsp. lavender
6 tbsp. instant espresso
1 c. boiling water
1. In a small bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch; set aside. Brush the bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking pan with vegetable oil. Cut an 8- by 12-inch sheet of parchment and fit into pan so that it covers bottom and 2 sides. Brush parchment with oil, and coat parchment and pan with half of the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Set aside.
2. Fill a large bowl with 1/2 cup cool water and sprinkle with gelatin; set aside. In a medium pot fitted with a candy thermometer, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until mixture reaches 240 degrees F, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat reserved gelatin mixture on low for about 30 seconds, then pour in reserved sugar–corn syrup mixture in a slow, steady stream down side of bowl. Increase mixer speed to high and beat until very thick, ribbony, and doubled in volume, 12 to 15 minutes.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Using dampened fingers, smooth top. Sprinkle remaining confectioners’ sugar mixture over top. Let rest, uncovered, in a cool, dry place, about 4 hours or up to overnight.
5. Invert marshmallow onto a dry surface and discard parchment. Using a clean, dry pastry brush, dust excess confectioners’ sugar from the top of the marshmallow onto work surface. Dust a knife in confectioners’ sugar from the work surface, then cut the marshmallow into twelve 1 3/4-inch squares (you’ll have a bit extra). Dip the cut edges in the excess confectioners’ sugar mixture on the work surface. To package, divide 1 batch among 4 bags, placing 3 marshmallows in each bag. Repeat with batches of the other variations.
6. Peppermint Marshmallows: Follow directions above, but after completing Step 3, add mint extract and beat for 30 seconds.
7. Chocolate Marshmallows: Before beginning steps above: In a small bowl, mix together 6 tablespoons cocoa and hot water until a smooth paste forms; set aside. In Step 1, sift 1/4 cup cocoa with confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch. In Step 3, beat reserved cocoa paste into reserved gelatin mixture before adding sugar mixture.
8. Lavender Marshmallows: Before beginning steps above: In a small saucepan over high heat, bring water and lavender to a boil. Set aside and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid; discard lavender. In Step 2, substitute reserved lavender water in both instances where water is called for.
9. Coffee Marshmallows: Before beginning steps above: In a small bowl, dissolve instant espresso in boiling water. Set aside to cool to room temperature. In Step 2, substitute reserved espresso in both instances where water is called for.
photo credit and recipe from: Country Living, Cheryl Slocum