Originally made using the extract derived from the roots of the marshmallow plant, today this sweet treat is made with corn syrup, gelatin and sugar.
2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting
- Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let stand 30 minutes.
- Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small heavy saucepan; place over low heat, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals.
- Raise heat to high and cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244°F / 115°C (firm-ball stage). Immediately remove pan from heat.
- With mixer on low speed, slowly and carefully pour syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to incorporate.
- Generously dust an 8 x 2-inch glass baking pan with powdered sugar. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan. Dust top with powdered sugar; wet your hands, and pat it to smooth. Dust with powdered sugar; let stand overnight, uncovered, to dry out.
- Turn out onto a board; cut marshmallows with a dry hot knife into 1 1/2-inch squares, and dust with more powdered sugar.
Makes about 40 (1 1/2-inch) squares.
Tip: Instead of vanilla extract, use other flavorings like cherry extract. Tint the marshmallow mixture with food coloring to reflect the flavor.