There are so many things you can do with home-made marshmallows.
Pack some up as holiday gifts or as favors for a party. Dip apples as a change from the usual caramel dipped variety. Put them in gift sacks...I did up a sack to make S'Mores and one with sticks included for roasting. Include a cute seasonal mug and some Winter Warm Up mix along with fresh Mallows for your favorite teacher. Dip them in chocolate for your candy try. After they are cooled, involve your children in rolling them in colored sugars or cutting them into fun shapes with cookie cutters. You can even pipe this mixture into shapes like bunnies and chickens (think Peeps).
Try them and see just how easy and fun they are to make and eat.
Quick Release Spray (Pam)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ C. light corn syrup
4 envelopes (1/4 oz. each) unflavored gelatin
1½ C. water (divide into 2- ¾ C. portions)
¼ tsp. pure peppermint extract or vanillaPinch of salt
Chocolate for dipping (if desired)
Powdered sugar for coating pieces
Spray a half sheet pan (can use a 9 x 13 inch, but your candy will be larger) with quick – release spray. Line with parchment paper and spray it as well.
Stir the gelatin in ¾ C. of cold water. Set aside to bloom (soften) while cooking the sugar mixture.
In a heavy saucepan, place the sugar, corn syrup, remaining ¾ C. water, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reaches *240° F (or softball stage). Put gelatin in a mixing bowl. Pour the sugar mixture over the gelatin and beat on high for 15 minutes, until the volume has increased significantly. Add the flavoring during the last minute of beating.
Pour the candy into the prepared pan and let the candy set for at least 12 hours to dry. Turn onto a powdered sugar covered surface. Cut into squares with a clean hot knife, a pizza cutter, or dental floss. Roll in powdered sugar to keep from sticking. Marshmallows can be dipped into melted chocolate or rolled in sparkling colored sugar. Aggressively tap off excess powdered sugar before dipping.
*Adjust your temperature for altitudes above sea level ( I cook until the temperature reaches 230°F as water boils at 202°F instead of 212° F here ). Do a water boil test to tell what your boiling point is before you start.
- I like to cut my marshmallows with a pizza cutter sprayed with Pam.
- Package up your mallows with some clean sticks for roasting. I use pruned shoots from my apple tree (make sure they are not sprayed with any chemicals).
- Include a chocolate bar and some graham crackers with your mallows and sticks for S'mores.
- Add flavored oils and spices for holidays. Apple Pie or Pumpkin pie spices are good. Ground Cinnamon or any flavored oils, such as peppermint.
- Food coloring can be added with the vanilla for colored mallows.
- Spray cookie cutters with Pam and cut out shapes. Your children will have fun with this.
- Put some hot chocolate mix into a cute container. Include a scoop tied around the neck of the jar to measure out a single portion, as well as the recipe for the chocolate mix.
- Make up a gift basket that includes hot chocolate mix, marshmallows and mugs.