One of the most delicious family traditions we have is making homemade marshmallows for the holidays! We eat them all season long and also bring them to our family gatherings, always inspiring a few “oohs” and “ahhs.”
While the temperature portion needs to be precise, and you need to be prepared to get a little sticky, they're actually simple to make and it’s sure to be a fun surprise addition to any party. Everybody brings cookies, right?
Below is my go-to, no-fail recipe straight from the Queen of Cooking, Ina Garten. To make it our own, we infuse natural peppermint flavoring and plant-based red food coloring swirls for a seasonal twist!
If you’re feeling extra creative, instead of square marshmallows, you can also use well oiled (we use coconut) cookie cutters to stamp your marshmallows into fun designs like hearts, snowflakes or gingerbread people.
My favorite way to enjoy them is to top a hot cocoa or peppermint mocha.
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin*
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Plant based food coloring + peppermint extract, if desired
*This recipe is not Vegan; carrageenan and aquafaba are great vegan gelatin substitutes, and this linked recipe from Simple Vegan Blog is one to try!
- Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.
- Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly. If you choose to add peppermint as we do, now is the time! We use an unofficial 2-3 drops at the same time as the vanilla.
- With a sieve, generously dust an 8 by 12-inch nonmetal baking dish with confectioners' sugar. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth the top, and dust with more confectioners' sugar. If you decide to add color swirls, now is the time! Dip a toothpick in the color of your choice and swirl it around freely into the mixture to marbelize, making sure to infuse the color deeper than just the top layer.
- Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out.
- Turn the marshmallows onto a board and cut them in squares. Dust them with more confectioners' sugar so the sides do not stick to one another.