I always wanted a KitchenAid stand mixer. Watching food show after food show and talk shows with countless demonstrations, there was one thing that was a constant in each kitchen: a shiny new stand mixer. Martha Stewart made it seem effortless to put in all the ingredients and whip up a batch of cookies. Bread suddenly becomes easy to make when the kneading is done by a machine instead of by hand. Alton Brown, with his jazzed up, flame painted mixer showed it was far from a unitasker, making many things, including these marshmallows. And then there are all the attachments. Ice cream, pasta, ground meat. My kitchen was incomplete without this piece of equipment.
So, we bought one when it was a Today’s Special on QVC. I don’t remember how much we paid, but it was a good deal for the Pro 500 machine that is proudly displayed on the countertop at all times, and it was paid in only six easy payments! (Sorry, I’m a shopping television junkie!) It came, the brushed stainless steel gleaming, all of the attachments perfect. I hate to admit this, but it sat unused for awhile. A pretty long while. I wasn’t into baking as much as I am now and it never seemed necessary to use the heavy mixer to do a simple task.
But then I was bored of making cookies and muffins and plain old buttercream. I wanted to make recipes that couldn’t be made without this stand mixer. I wanted to break it in, to bake like all the famous chefs on all those famous shows. So bake I did. Italian meringue and Italian meringue buttercream are my two favorite things to make period. And I can’t imagine doing it with a hand mixer or – gasp – by hand. Then there are sticky buns and loaves of glorious homemade bread, unlike anything from even the best bakeries. Not to mention all of my favorite Momofuku cookies require the stand mixer. So now, my KitchenAid stand mixer and I are inseparable, together we’ll be whipping up many more recipes, including what I foresee to be countless batches of homemade marshmallows.
I’m pretty marshmallow obsessed. From plain mini ones to Peeps, I can’t get enough of the sweet, fluffy goodness, which is only improved by being melted. I’ve never made my own marshmallows, though, and knowing how good my favorite marshmallow frosting is, I knew I’d just fall in love with these. And I was right.
Easy to make, they do require a candy thermometer, but you can handle that. The KitchenAid stand mixer does almost all of the work, whipping a syrupy liquid into thick, sticky marshmallow-y goodness. A bunch of vanilla gives them amazing flavor. It’s a messy job getting them from the bowl to the pan, but the sticky residue on your fingers can be used for a quality check ;) Then you have to have a lot of patience as the marshmallows must sit for at least 4 hours to firm up. If you try to cut them before then, you will have a huge mess on your hands. Huge. Even after sitting overnight, cutting them is a messy job, but so worth it. The marshmallows have a mild vanilla flavor without being cloyingly sweet or artificial tasting. Then there is the pillowy texture, firm enough to be able to take a nice bite, but soft enough to melt in your mouth. Move over store bought marshmallows, there’s a new love in my life.
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the gelatin and ½ cup of water.
- In a small sauce pan, place remaining ½ cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place over medium-high heat, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and clip a candy thermometer on to the pan. The mixture will look almost like it did before being placed on the heat, this is okay. Continue cooking until the candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F, about 7-8 minutes. When the mixture reaches 240, remove it from the heat and remove the candy thermometer.
- Turn the mixer on low and slowly power the sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture. After all the syrup has been added, turn the mixer to high and beat for 12-15 minutes, until the mixture is voluminous, thick, sticky, and glossy. Add vanilla and beat for one minute to combine.
- While the mixture is whipping, combine cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Oil a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Coat completely, bottom and sides, with some of the cornstarch and sugar mixture. Tap any excess back into the bowl. When the marshmallow is ready, quickly pour it into the pan. The faster you do this the better, as the mixture will get stickier. Use an oiled spatula to smooth the marshmallow before coating the top lightly with the cornstarch and sugar.
- The marshmallows must sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight before being cut or they will be too sticky. After the marshmallows have rested, cut them into roughly 1 inch bite size pieces. Roll the sides in excess cornstarch and sugar. I just used what was left in the pan. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. I lined zipper bags with wax paper and placed them in there. But they won’t last 3 weeks.