Studio 5 Contributor Kiersten Blanchard show us how to give those plain white jet-puffs a make over.
• Non-stick cooking spray
• 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
• 3 cups granulated sugar
• 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
• 1 ½ cups cold water, divided
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Spray a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture (pouring the syrup in slowly). Gradually raise speed to high. Beat in vanilla. Beat until mixture is very stiff, about 10 minutes. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with a spatula. Spray some parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray; place on top of marshmallow in dish and smooth on top. Set aside, until firm, about 3 hours or overnight.
5. Sift confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface. Remove parchment from top of marshmallow, and unmold marshmallow onto confectioners’ sugar. Lightly spray a sharp knife (or pizza cutter) with non-stick cooking spray, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.
For Peppermint Marshmallows: Substitute 1-1½ teaspoons peppermint extract for vanilla in basic recipe. Use red gel food coloring to get a marbled effect throughout. Simply add a little coloring after the marshmallows have mixed for 10 minutes. Turn the mixer on for 3 seconds. Some parts will turn pink and other parts are a gorgeous pink and white marble. (You can also fold in crushed up candy canes.) Pour mixture into 9-by-13-inch dish and continue with directions for basic marshmallows.
For Cherry Marshmallows: Substitute 1-1½ teaspoons almond extract for vanilla in basic recipe. Use red gel food coloring to tint marshmallows pink. Pour mixture into 9-by-13-inch dish and continue with directions for basic marshmallows.
For Chocolate Marshmallows: Add 1/3 cup cocoa powder to the marshmallow mixture just after you have finished adding the syrup to the gelatin (before you have mixed for 10 minutes). Continue with directions for basic marshmallows.
For Chocolate-dipped Marshmallows: Complete recipe for basic marshmallows with the exception of coating in confectioners’ sugar. Melt a package of chocolate chips or dipping chocolate wafers according to directions. (If the chocolate chips are too thick, stir in a tablespoon of vegetable shortening until it is mixed in with the chocolate) One at a time, dip the marshmallows, gently shake off excess chocolate, and place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.
For Shaped Marshmallows: Follow steps for basic marshmallows, but pour marshmallow mixture onto a sprayed jelly roll pan (instead of a 9-by-13-inch dish). Let set according to directions. Coat a 1- or 2-inch shaped cookie cutter with cooking spray to prevent it from sticking. Cut out as many individual marshmallows as possible; coat cutter with more spray as needed.