Let’s talk about my sweet tooth. She will not be denied. She demands vanilla syrup in my morning lattes, she requires I keep my fridge stocked with a variety of sweets, from grapes and apples to pints of ice cream, and about once a year she compels me to whip up (and I do mean whip) a batch of soft, fluffy homemade marshmallows. Since the last time I made marshmallows was these red, white and blue marbled ones for the Fourth of July last summer, I was just about due.
For this batch, I wanted to make something colorful and playful—something that felt worthy of these warm spring days. So I spread my marshmallow fluff nice and thin, topped it with a generous dusting of sprinkles and cut it into donut-shaped pieces. Of course, you can chow down on these as-is (goodness knows my sweet tooth made me sample one or two as soon as they were turned out of the pan), or you can really treat yourself by plopping one of these pretty marshmallows atop a mug of iced cocoa. All you have to do is take your favorite mix or recipe and add ice (or blend it in the blender) for a cool, refreshing take on a cold-weather classic.
recipe adapted from Alton Brown
• 3 packs of unflavored gelatin
• 1 cup cold water
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 cup light corn syrup
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
• 1/4 powdered sugar
• 1/4 corn starch
• butter or nonstick spray
• rainbow sprinkles
*You’ll also need a candy thermometer and two sizes of round cookie cutters.
1. Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup of water in a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer if you’re using one.
2. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water, sugar, corn syrup and salt to a small sauce pan and mix well. Place over medium high heat, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Then, remove the lid and cook for another 7 to 8 minutes (no need to stir it), until the mixture is heated to 240 degrees. Once you’ve reached the desired temperature, remove from heat.
3. Turn your stand mixer or hand mixer on low and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture down side of the bowl until it’s all incorporated. Then, turn the mixer up to high and whip for 12 to 15 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you can drizzle some of the mixture into the bowl and the ribbons remain raised for at least five seconds. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
4. Spray or butter a sheet pan (make sure it has a least a 1/2 inch lip on it).
5. Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl, then use it to coat the greased pan. Tap the excess back into the bowl and save it for later.
5. Spread the marshmallow mixture evenly into your greased pan. Spray your spatula or fingers with a bit of oil if you need to tame the stickiness.
6. Shake the rainbow sprinkles on top and let the marshmallow sit uncovered for at least four hours.
7. Dip the large circle cookie cutter in the powdered sugar/corn starch mixture, then use it to cut out the marshmallow donuts. Repeat with the smaller cookie cutter to create the donut hole. Roll the cut-out marshmallow in the corn starch mixture to keep it from sticking to the other marshmallows. Repeat until your whole sheet pan is cut out. Store in a sealed container for up to three weeks.
8. Serve with your favorite iced cocoa recipe (I really like this one), eat plain or make some pretty stovetop s’mores!