Last week, I told you about my love for homemade fudge. Making candy from scratch the old fashioned way definitely takes a little extra know-how, but the flavor of the final product makes it more than worth the extra time. I was on a candy thermometer high last week after my pretzel fudge success, so I channeled that energy into another favorite: homemade marshmallows. Bourbon marshmallows, to be exact, and I dipped them in chocolate because adding chocolate is never a bad idea.
Quite a few people have looked at me like I was crazy when I told them I’ve made marshmallows from scratch: some didn’t even know it was possible (where they thought marshmallows came from is beyond me)! Homemade marshmallows are one of those things that don’t seem worth it until you actually try one. They’re lighter and fluffier than store-bought marshmallows could ever dream of being, and the flavor possibilities are absolutely endless.
These marshmallows are like boozy pillows with a smooth chocolate shell. I chose bourbon (in this case, Four Roses Bourbon) for my marshmallows because I love the flavor, but you can use whatever liquor you like. The alcohol is subtle in the finished product–it’s not going to knock you over with an abundance of booze, but it’s definitely there, so pick something you enjoy the flavor of on its own. A little vanilla gets added to the marshmallows, but the liquor is the star flavor.
The marshmallow-making process is startlingly simple. You definitely need a stand mixer because a hand mixer couldn’t handle the beating process, and make sure you have that candy thermometer handy, too. As you bloom the gelatin in cold water, boil the ingredients for the sugar syrup until it reaches 240 degrees. Then stream the syrup into the gelatin until it dissolves and beat the whole mess on high speed until the mixture has transformed from a liquid to light and fluffy marshmallow goodness. The final step is to beat in some egg whites and vanilla, and you’re set to go. The whole process takes less than 30 minutes–the hardest part is waiting for the bourbon marshmallows to set up before you can cut them.
If you claim to love marshmallows but have never made them at home, you’re seriously missing out. The homemade version absolutely blows store-bought away in both flavor and texture, and you won’t be sorry you gave them a shot. Another reason to make these guys before Thursday? A bag of these beauties tied with some festive ribbon makes the perfect last-minute gift. Anyone on your list would love to find a bag of homemade bourbon marshmallows in their stocking!
Want more? Subscribe to Golden Brown and Delicious to get our weekly newsletter with new posts, recipes from the archives, and links from around the web delivered straight to your inbox every Monday.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3-4 cups chocolate chips
- Spray a 9x13 inch pan with no-stick spray and dust with 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Shake off the excess and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the cold water and unflavored gelatin. Stir the mixture and let it sit while you prepare the sugar syrup.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the bourbon, sugar, corn syrup, and salt over medium heat. When the sugar is melted and the mixture is at a boil, raise the heat to medium-high and insert a candy thermometer. Boil for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture reaches 240 degrees.
- Turn the mixer on low and slowly stream in the sugar mixture. When all the syrup is added, turn the speed to high and beat for 6-7 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- While the marshmallows are beating, add the egg whites to a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Add the beaten egg whites and vanilla to the stand mixer and beat for another minute to combine. Pour the marshmallows into the prepared pan (it will be very sticky and you won't get it all out). Smooth the top as well as you can and dust with an additional 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Let stand for 3-4 hours or until firm.
- Dust a work surface with powdered sugar and run a knife around the edges of the pan.Turn the marshmallows out onto the prepared surface and cut into desired shapes with an oiled knife or pizza cutter. Sift the remaining powdered sugar into the now empty pan and coat the cut marshmallows on all sides to prevent sticking.
- Using a double boiler or the microwave, melt the chocolate chips. Dip 1/2 of each marshmallow into the chocolate. Place on wax paper until the chocolate has cooled completely.