It’s a Marshmallow World in the Winter

Click here for a little mood music with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra singing and twirling to “A Marshmallow World.” (You might even want to mix a martini — I’m sure they did!)

Now, when you’re ready, imagine homemade marshmallows. It’s a January thing for sure. The homemade ones are nothing like those spongy, chewy, solid cylinders you buy in the store. Homemade marshmallows are airy, powdering puffs of sweet confection that melt in your mouth. Melanie just delivered some to me fresh from her kitchen. I’m popping one in my mouth while listening to Dean and Frank.

There’s nothing like some hot chocolate and some homemade marshmallows to bring everyone together after the snow has been shoveled and the snow forts have been built!

Homemade Marshmallows
Melanie adapted this version from a Susan Branch recipe.
She says you can substitute other extracts such as almond, lemon, etc.,
for the vanilla if you wish. Peppermint might be fun if you are planning to use the marshmallows for hot chocolate!

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3 packets powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1-3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


Sift together the powdered sugar and cornstarch; set aside. Spray a 13” x 9” metal baking pan (nonstick is best, if you have it – still need to spray it though) with vegetable oil spray. Dust pan liberally with sugar/cornstarch mixture, reserving extra.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1/2 cup water with the gelatin; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup water. Cook over medium heat until sugar melts, stirring occasionally. Clip on a candy thermometer to side of the saucepan; turn heat up to high and cook until candy thermometer reads 240 degrees. 

Slowly pour hot mixture into gelatin, beating on low speed with whisk attachment. Turn on high speed; beat for 11 minutes.

Add vanilla and beat one minute more. Pour into prepared baking pan, smoothing with a knife or spatula. Sprinkle reserved sugar/cornstarch mixture over top.  Set aside for six hours or overnight. 

If you’ve used a nonstick pan, you can pull the whole sheet of marshmallows out of the pan and place it on a cutting board. Make sure you reserve the sugar/cornstarch mixture that is loose on top (I just let it fall back into the pan). If your pan isn’t of the nonstick variety, you’ll probably have to cut the marshmallows in the pan.

Cut into one-inch squares and roll each square in the reserved sugar/cornstarch mixture. Store in an airtight container.


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