Known to web foodies as The Tipsy Baker, Jennifer Reese brings a fresh and funny perspective to cooking with Make the Bed, Buy the Butter, a chronicle of her food odyssey to figuring out which foods are worth the effort of making yourself, and which you should buy from the grocery.
Marshmallows are one of the foods we’d never consider making ourselves, but Reese told NPR’s All Things Considered they’re definitely on her “make it yourself” list.
“Oh, they just taste so much better. They’re just more delicious,” Reese says. “They don’t turn out to be cheaper … but they are better.”
Here’s the how-to:
First, the ingredients: granulated sugar, confectioner’s sugar, gelatin, vanilla, egg whites, cornstarch, corn syrup — and some store-bought marshmallows, for comparison.
To start out, dissolve gelatin in water in a small saucepan over low heat. (For the full, detailed recipe, scroll down to the bottom of the page)
Then, in a larger saucepan bring granulated sugar, corn syrup and water to a fast boil — it must reach 265 F on the candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, separate two eggs and drop the whites into the mixer. Whisk until they are firm and glossy.
As soon as the sugar syrup hits 265 F, start pouring it slowly and steadily into the egg whites — beating the whole time. Add the gelatin as well, keep beating, and, once the bowl is cool to the touch, whisk in the vanilla.
If it looks floppy, don’t panic, Reese advises — just keep beating: “It will eventually come together and become a beautiful cloud — puffy, white, billowing cloud.”
Then, pour the sticky, shiny goo onto a 9×13 cookie sheet that has been lightly greased and prepared with a bed of cornstarch and confectioner’s sugar. Spread the marshmallow out smoothly, and let it sit overnight.
In the morning, using kitchen shears, cut the marshmallows into 36 squares.
Photo via Nightbaking