Gingerbread Men Marshmallows: A Treat for Your Hot Cocoa or a Last Minute Gift Item for Someone
I know what you're thinking homemade marshmallows, why when I can go buy a bag??! One, this makes an insane amount of marshmallows, two they are delicious and you know every item going into them which means you can eat more, and three you have the option when you make your own to cut them out in a array of shapes and you can use them as an ornament for your hot chocolate during the holidays, bag them up for gifts for people with a bow or even make them on other festive days of the year. I also like that it's something different than a cookie for when you want to give something away to people... it's vegetarian, minimal ingredients for those with allergies, can be modified to be vegan (use agar powder as a substitute), and can be additionally flavored with a variety of extracts to up the ante even more (i.e. peppermint, maple, strawberry). You can also use a few drops of gel food coloring in your blending phase to change the colors. Infinite possibilities, cost conscience and people will think you spent more time on it than you did. Win win if you ask me. Try this delicious fluff and let me know your thoughts!
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by. In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat. Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary.