The Art of Darkness

Homemade Halloween Marshmallows

October 20th, 2011 by Cobwebs

MarshmallowMarshmallows are one of those candies that seem like they’d be much harder to make than they really are. Chocolate-dipping anything increases its Fanciness Quotient exponentially. Therefore, chocolate-dipped homemade marshmallows belong to that splendid pantheon of projects that look like they took much more time and effort than they actually did. My favorite!

Even better, all you have to do is drop in a little food coloring and they’re suddenly all gussied up for Halloween.

Ingredients

2 T plus 2-1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin (about 3-1/2 envelopes)
1 C cold water, divided
2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg whites*
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract or about 2 tsp flavored extract such as mint, orange, etc. (choose something that pairs well with chocolate)
Paste (preferable) or gel food coloring. (Using liquid coloring for anything but the lightest tint will add too much liquid to the mixture and the marshmallows won’t be as poofy.) I used orange, but green, red, or black are other possibilities.

8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

Edible decorations: Candy corn, chopped nuts, crushed butterscotch candies, shredded coconut (shake with a little food coloring to tint), cake sprinkles, etc.

*The original recipe at Gourmet suggests using reconstituted powdered whites if you’re really concerned about food safety, but I think the whites are heated enough by the sugar syrup that this probably isn’t necessary.

Instructions

Line a 13x9x2 baking pan with parchment paper. (The original recipe suggests just oiling the pan and dusting it with powdered sugar, but let me assure you that removing a big sticky slab of marshmallow from the pan is a whooooole lot easier if you line it with parchment paper.)

Pour 1/2 C cold water into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer and sprinkle the gelatin over. Let stand to soften whilst making the syrup.

Stir granulated sugar, corn syrup, 1/2 C cold water and salt in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. (I like to wash down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with pastry brush dipped in a little cold water, but this is optional.) Increase the heat to medium and boil without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 240F, 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin dissolves.

Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until white, thick, and tripled in volume: Around six minutes with a standing mixer or 10 minutes (or longer) with a handheld. Add vanilla or other flavoring and food coloring as desired and beat to combine.

Clean beaters, and in a separate medium bowl beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour into lined baking pan; don’t worry if you can’t get every bit out of the bowl, and remember that the stuff will leave long sticky strings everywhere if you aren’t careful. Smooth top with a greased spatula and chill, uncovered, for 3 hours or until firm.

If you didn’t line the pan sides with parchment, run a thin oiled knife around the edges to loosen the marshmallow and turn out onto a piece of parchment paper or a cutting board liberally dusted with powdered sugar. Use a large oiled knife or oiled pizza cutter to trim the edges and cut into pieces; the original recipe calls for 1″ cubes; I cut mine into 2″ squares.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Dip the top of each marshmallow in the chocolate (be careful to keep a firm grip on the marshmallow, since the thick chocolate doesn’t release it very easily), place it upright on the baking sheet, and press a piece of candy corn firmly into the warm chocolate, or sprinkle crushed candy/coconut/nuts over top. Repeat with each marshmallow, reheating chocolate as it cools and thickens, being careful not to let the marshmallows touch each other on the baking sheet. Once all marshmallows have been dipped, refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened.

These will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to one week. Package a few in a cellophane bag tied with orange-and-black ribbon or raffia for an easy and attractive gift.

The leftover trimmed edges can be snipped into small pieces with oiled kitchen shears and added to hot chocolate. And if you happen to have any melted chocolate left after all of the marshmallows are dipped, mix in some nuts or raisins and spread on parchment paper. Chill and break into pieces for easy “bark” candy.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 2 Comments »

2 Responses

  1. xJane Says:

    My ├╝ber-domestic cousin/sister (which sounds much more redneck than I intended) makes marshmallows all the time. Because she is anti-HFCS. So I feel compelled to say that you can substitute agave nectar for the corn syrup in the recipe above (but look up conversions online because it’s sweeter).

  2. pdq Says:

    O noms! Toasted coconut is also a major fancifier and all-around nomifier. Toasted coconut AND chocky… mmmmmmm.

Leave a Reply