Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vanilla Marshmallows

For Christmas, I sent my Dad, Sister and Mom Cranberry Orange Biscottis.  I sent extra to Mom so she would share them with Hedder; however, Mom didn't share very well.  Hedder requested these Coconut-Pecan Cereal Bars.  I couldn't find any marshmallows in the store that were not organic and/or hard (and I'll be the first to admit that I did not look very hard), but I could find all the ingredients to make marshmallows at home!

Start with a baking sheet that is oiled and heavily powder sugared.  Then set aside.

I used a fresh vanilla bean; however, you could also use vanilla extract.  If using a fresh bean, cut down the middle and use a knife to scrap out the delicious, smell-oh-so-heavenly vanilla bean guts.

Pour a 1/2 cup of cold water and approx. 3 1/2 packets of unflavored gelitan into a bowl - if you are going to be using a mixer, pour into that bowl.  Let stand so the gelitan can suck up all the water and start to gelitan-ize.  (NOTE:  I didn't actually use the whisk attachment.  I switched to the paddle attachment moments after this picture was taken.)

In a medium sauce pan, combine 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup warm water and a pinch of salt (a little more than a pinch actually).

Stir until the sugar has disolved and then let come to a boil for about 10 minutes.  (I used a variety of recipes to put together the one I wanted to use.  Some said boil one minute, others said 12 or until a thermometer reaches a certain temperature.  I did about 10 minutes and had no issues.)

Add boiling mixture to gelitan and mix. 

Let it mix until it gets light and fluffy (about six minutes).

In the meantime, beat two egg whites until stiff peaks form.  (I knew keeping old hand held mixer would be handy at some point - haha! Hand - handy!)

Stiff peaks remind me of Dr. Suess.

Add in the egg whites and vanilla bean guts (or extract) until just combined.  Pour mixture in previously oiled and powdered pan.

Dust more powdered sugar on top.  Cover with oiled saran wrap (to avoid cat hair in the marshmallows) and let sit overnight.  Dump out onto a powdered sugared surface and cut into 1 inch squares with a sharp, well oiled and powdered sugared knife.  Dredge marshmallow squares in more powdered sugar.


They are super soft and the vanilla is divine.  I kind of just want to eat these and buy store bought ones for the cereal bars... or make another batch.



1 comment:

  1. Leslie,
    This is great. I really appreciate the step by step photos. My husband got me some veggie-friendly marshmallows for Christmas I loved them, and want some more, but they are so darn expensive, so I am looking to make some home-made vegetarian marshmallows this weekend, esp as I used the last few to make some marshmallow muffins, come by tomorrow evening to check them out. I think you will enjoy them.