Vanilla Marshmallows

August 11, 2012

I am not, by any means, ready for fall.

I'm only divulging this because, if you're like me, marshmallows conjure up images of blustery days with red and saffron-colored leaves blowing through the air, Simon & Garfunkel, and gloved hands clutching mugs of hot cocoa after an afternoon of playing soccer...okay, I'm kind of ready. So fall, call me maybe?

Homemade marshmallows are beyond divine. They're so much softer and sexier than their premade, Stepford wife-like cousins. Once you bite into one, you'll understand. Promise.

Vanilla Marshmallows
yields about 1 pound, which = a lot of marshmallows!

1 cup potato starch [Note: If you can't find potato starch use cornstarch instead.]
3/4 cup cold water
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
2 1/4-ounce packets of unflavored gelatin
3 large, room temperature egg whites
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation: Line rimmed baking sheet (make sure the edges are at least 1-inch high) with parchment paper. Generously coat the paper with potato starch (or cornstarch, if using). Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put 1/3 cup of the water into a medium saucepan with the sugar and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook the syrup , without stirring, until it reaches 265 degrees F on the candy thermometer. (This should take about 10 minutes.)

While the syrup is cooking, prepare the gelatin. In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water (a scant 7 tablespoons). Let it sit for 5 minutes, until spongy, then heat the mixture in microwave for 20 to 30 seconds to liquefy it. (If you prefer, you can dissolve the gelatin in a saucepan over low heat.)

Prepare the egg whites: Working in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with the whisk attachment), beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until firm but still glossy. [Note: Do not over-beat the whites.]

Back to the syrup: As soon as the syrup reaches 265 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer on medium speed, add the syrup to the egg whites, pouring it between the spinning beater and the sides of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes, so that the syrup and the gelatin are fully incorporated. Finally, beat in the vanilla extract.

Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, laying it down close to a short end of the sheet. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out, taking care to keep the height of the batter at 1 inch; you won’t fill the pan. Lift the excess parchment paper up to meet the edge of the batter, then rest something against the paper so that it stays in place. (I used a few heavy coffee mugs.)

Dust the top of the marshmallows with potato starch or cornstarch and let the marshmallows set in a cool, dry place. They will need at least 3 hours to fully set.

Once they are cool and set, cut the marshmallows with a pair of scissors or a long thin knife. Whatever you use, you’ll have to rinse and dry it frequently. Have a big bowl with the remaining potato starch or cornstarch at hand and cut the marshmallows into squares. As each piece is cut, drop it into the bowl. Once you have a few marshmallows in the bowl of starch, toss them around until they're evenly coated. Transfer the coated marshmallows to a serving bowl or cup of cocoa. Repeat with the remaining batch.

Storing: If stored in a cool, dry place, the cut and coated marshmallows should last for about a week. (Don't worry if they develop a light crust on the surface...the insides will still be soft and wonderful.)

Recipe source: Baking: From My Home To Yours, by Dorie Greenspan


  1. Delicious looking! Those are perfect and so irresistible.



  2. What fluffy, pillowy marshmallows! They look absolutely perfect! :)

  3. these look divine one of these days I will try making some

  4. Marshmallows are a personal favourite. All that soft sweetness can't be beaten. As usual, your photos are crisp and clear and delightful.

  5. I love homemade marshmallows! These look beautiful.

  6. Homemade marshmallows really are wonderful. I've made them as part of a dessert, but never to eat on their own. I keep thinking this would make this ultimate s'more!

  7. I am almost embarrassed to say I have never even contemplated making homemade marshmallows, an I had no idea what went into them. I will be jotting down this recipe for experimentation sometime. Visions of S'Mores are dancing in my head! :)

  8. I love homemade marshmallows! Yours are lovely.

  9. hahaha - you always have me laughing! "Call me maybe" was actually going through my head when I read that.

    I completely agree that homemade marshmallows are nothing like store-bought. Yours look especially delish!

  10. so, i've been on this kick lately of having ghetto-style s'mores (using my creme brulee torch instead of actually having a bonfire...) and it has crossed my mind to not only make the graham crackers and chocolate from scratch, but also the marshmallows. methinks 1lb of the stuff is a bit much tho! :) i would like to attempt this, but will probably halve it instead. looking fwd to it!

  11. @Angry Asian, Yes! Using a creme brulee torch on the marshmallows is brill! (I sometimes "roast" hot dogs on my stove.) Ghetto-syle food prep. is fabulous. :D

  12. your marshmallows looks amazing - like little pillows of fluffy goodness. i'm all ready now to make some hot cocoa and these marshmallows, once this heat wave here breaks!

  13. Is there alternative to corn syrop?

  14. @Luda, Unfortunately I don't think this recipe would work without corn syrup, but I think there are a few marshmallow recipes floating around Pinterest that don't require syrup. :)


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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