My last post reminded me of the one candy I can make reasonably well these days, Marshmallows. I started making these a number of years ago when one of the spuds came across a recipe for them and challenged me to make them. I read a lot of different recipes and techniques and this is the one that makes the most sense.
For a number of years, I made these for a friend who's birthday is in early December. Perhaps I'll get out the candy thermometer and send her a batch.
Sift together 1/2-cup powdered sugar and 1/3-cup cornstarch. Set aside.
Line a 9×13 inch glass pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray. Dust with some of the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture. Set aside.
In the heat resistant bowl of your mixer sprinkle two packets of unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water. Set aside.
In a deep heavy saucepan stir together:
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
Cook together over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. Use a pastry brush (one of those sporty new silicone ones is great) and some cold water to brush down all the crystals from the sides of the pan. Set aside the brush and your stirring spoon and insert your candy thermometer. Boil syrup until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
With your mixer running on it’s lowest setting slowly pour the hot sugar over the dissolved gelatin. Once it in incorporated increase the speed and beat until it is very thick, fluffy and white. This takes a long time. We beat at high speed for 15 minutes. (There is some controversy over whether to use a whisk or a paddle beater. We used the whisk and it worked fine, but I am going to try the paddle next time as it seemed to get almost too stiff for the whisk to continue to do much good.) Add 1 Tablespoon vanilla and mix in well.
Spread mixture into prepared pan. Let stand uncovered over night. Turn out onto a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar/cornstarch. Cut with a pizza wheel into squares. Lots of recipes call for using a knife dipped in warm water. I found that just made the marshmallows stickier and it too more powdered sugar to coat them. The pizza wheel gets sticky but I kept shaking some sugar right over the sticky residue and kept going. It worked great. Dust all the cut edges with powdered sugar/cornstarch and let stand for a few more hours to make sure the outsides are dry. Store at room temperature in a sealed container. (Or zipper bag… ours are doing fine on the counter.)
***This is a partial re-post of a recipe pasted here as part of my ongoing attempt to collect all my recipes from the far reaches of the internet and store them in one handy, search-able location.