And they were great! It's a good recipe, not difficult to put together, and just as springy and fluffy as promised. And they were delicious in hot chocolate. We did try s'mores with some of them, and I didn't think the marshmallows held up that well for s'mores. Maybe it was that we didn't have a good campfire to roast them over, but they never developed that nice crispy shell on the outside---they sort of just got dark brown, and too melty on the inside. So I don't think I'd make them just for s'mores. Maybe for s'mores bars? But I don't know.
I guess to be honest, I don't love marshmallows that much plain anyway. I like them in things (hot chocolate, and s'mores) but I don't think homemade are SO MUCH better as to make them one of those "you-MUST-make-the-homemade-kind" treats. However, as something fun to do with the kids in wintertime, and as something to make your hot chocolate seem extra-special, I guess I might make them again. Am I overselling them? :) Let's just say if you WANT to try homemade marshmallows, I think this recipe is a winner. (And they are so CUTE! Very photogenic; I couldn't stop taking pictures of them.) If you simply want to make some sort of homemade candy that's really much more amazing than the storebought kind, try homemade twix. :)
Still here? Let us proceed. My notes are in italics.
Recipe from Gourmet, via Smitten Kitchen
About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin--(I went ahead and used a full 4 envelopes)
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla
Oil bottom and sides of a 9x13 cake pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.
In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes (Took more like 6 minutes for me). Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.
With standing mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer.
In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan. Sift 1/4 cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.
Nice and spongy!