I’ve been eyeing up recipes for homemade marshmallows for years but never got around to actually trying them. However, when I stumbled upon this one I knew I had to try it immediately.
First, I popped out to a local kitchen supply store to pick up a candy thermometer, which is a critical piece of equipment for making these fluffy little pieces of heaven.
These were surprisingly simple to make and taste so delicious! They are perfect to give as a little holiday gift for enjoying in some hot cocoa. Once you try them, as with many homemade alternatives, you will likely never be able to go back to the store bought version again.
3 packets unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light agave syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Icing sugar, for dusting
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in a small bowl; let it sit while you make the syrup.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, agave, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a medium sized saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and, using caution not to boil over, cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (careful it doesn’t boil over, this will be hot). Remove from the heat.
Add the gelatin mixture and scraped vanilla bean to the bowl of your stand mixer, outfitted with your whisk attachment.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Be very careful as the sugar is extremely hot and can result in third degree burns if it comes into contact with your skin (I put on my oven mitts to protect myself while pouring the sugar).
Set the mixer to high speed and whip until the mixture expands and is very thick and glossy – about 17 minutes. It will resemble whipped egg whites. This is very messy as the mixture will spit out of the bowl at this high speed. I recommend using the pouring shield or cover the bowl with a tea towel to avoid splatters. Add the vanilla extract towards the end of the mixing.
Lightly spray a 12 x 17 jelly roll pan or large glass baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. With a sifter or small sieve, generously dust the bottom of the pan with icing sugar. This is probably the most important step, skipping this step will result in the marshmallows sticking to the paper and never coming off.
Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth and dust generously with more icing sugar. Let the marshmallows sit uncovered overnight until they dry out.
Use a cookie cutter (dipped in icing sugar) to make pretty marshmallow shapes or turn the marshmallows onto a board sprinkled with icing sugar and cut them into squares. Dust with more icing sugar to prevent sticking.
**It is not easy to cut these out using cookie cutters – as you can see in the picture above, the edges are less than precise. But, I decided it didn’t matter because they still taste amazing!**