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How To: Make Marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows are a fun do-it-yourself treat. Learn how to create and customize these soft, fluffy delights.

I love homemade marshmallows. They have a really soft texture, and you can customize the flavor or color. They do take a little bit of extra time to make, but trust me it's worth it. We'll line a 13x9 baking pan with plastic wrap. Coat the pan with nonstick spray. Let's soften our gelatin by sprinkling it over cold water in a large metal or heatproof bowl. Now we'll combine some more water, sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan. When the sugar mixture starts to boil, clip a candy thermometer on the pan. If you don't have one of these, you can buy one at most large supermarkets. So at this point, don't stir your mixture anymore. When the mixture reaches 260 degrees, which candy-makers call the hard-ball stage, remove the pan from the heat. We'll pour the hot sugar over the gelatin in the bowl. Be really careful when you do this, since the sugar is very hot. The other key ingredient besides sugar and gelatin in marshmallows is egg white. So let's add our egg whites, vanilla, and salt to a mixing bowl. We're going to beat on high speed and then gradually add some sugar one spoonful at a time, just like you're making a meringue. When the egg whites reach stiff peaks you're going to gradually add the gelatin mixture with the beaters still running on high. Now add vanilla. If you want to flavor the marshmallows with another extract, now's the time. Today I'm going to use peppermint. After about 5 minutes, the mixture will look like thick pourable cake batter. Quickly pour the mixture it into a pan. We're going to spread the mixture gently to the edges. Since these are peppermint marshmallows, I'm going to drip a little red food coloring on top and gently swirl it with a knife. Spray another sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and lay it over the marshmallow, coated side down. Now pop it in the fridge for 5 hours to firm up. Combine some powered sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Sprinkle some all over a cutting board. Peel the plastic off the marshmallows. Invert the marshmallow on the board and peel off the other sheet of plastic. Now we'll sprinkle more sugar all over the top. I'm going to cut this giant marshmallow into squares using a sharp knife. To give the marshmallows a final dusting, we'll put them in a bag with the rest of the powdered sugar and give them a good shake. And that's it! We made marshmallows!