Homemade marshmallows are a super delicious, wonderful alternative to the store bought ones – and you’ll impress everyone!
Sometimes, things just happen. You can’t control them, try as you might. Life just takes control and you just need to let it run it’s course, leaving behind the lessons that it may. Happy things, sad things, falling in and out of love and lust, births, and deaths. It’s all part of the course, and we need to let things happen. I’ve been trying to just let things happen lately.
This past semester…well, you could say that I was a little stressed, but that’s an understatement. I kept it to myself, not really wanting to burden anyone with the mounds of stress I felt. What to do now, what to do this summer, what to do next year, what to do after college…you get it. We’ve all felt it. Those moments when it feels like every deadline is tomorrow and you need to have your life figured out in the next five minutes.
This past winter break I was a mess, freaking out, trying to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I was baking like crazy, trying to put myself into a zone where I would maybe be able to solve my problems…but no. Nothing. Still a ball of stress. The few people I did vent to had one of two reactions: 1) Chill out, you’ll figure it all out eventually, or 2) OMG me too. What are we gonna do with our lives?! The first answer came from the older and wiser, the second answer came from my young friends, also struggling to bear the stress of life.
Since I’ve been back at school, the workload has been so massive I’ve barely had time to stress about the future – I’ve had enough to worry about in the present, but it was always there, nagging the back of my mind. But two weekends ago, one of my best friend’s life changed, and with that, so did mine.
Max, one of my best friends since the first day of college, received a phone call in the middle of the night. His dad, a world-renowned underwater cinematographer, had passed away in a helicopter crash in Australia. Our whole friend group was in utter disbelief. We all mourned for the man we had heard so much about but had never met. I flew down to Santa Barbara to be there for Max at the funeral on February 11th, and if there was ever an awe-inspiring, life changing funeral, this was it.
Mike deGruy, a Southern-born man, was absolutely incredible. He was so passionate about everything he did in life – his work, his friends, and of course, his family. In his brother’s speech, he recalled him as a nine-year-old child, vowing to forget his fears on the diving board and going for the dives he was most afraid of. Mike wouldn’t let fear dictate his life. Instead, he pushed his fears aside and did everything that he wanted to do. His brother described him as a human exclamation point, someone there to mark the happy, exciting times on everyone who knew him. A mere half hour later, at the beach ceremony, someone pointed to the sky. There, in the clouds, was a perfectly formed exclamation point. Mike got in the last, final impression. He really was an exclamation point.
I’m still in awe, and every time I glance down at my wrist and see the W.W.M.D. bracelet fit snugly around my wrist, I think to myself, “What Would Mike Do?”. And I always know the answer – he would live life to the fullest. He would live in the moment, not let the fear of the future guide his life. I try to live by his philosophy each and every day, and even though I’ll never get to meet him, his legacy lives on through his wife, his daughter, and his son.
You can read more about Mike and his incredible life here, here, and here. R.I.P. Mike deGruy.
In honor of Mike, I’m sharing with you one of the treats I made over winter break, in an attempt to get out of my own head. Marshmallows are also something I failed miserably at the first time I tried them…really, it was a complete disaster. Burning syrup ended up all over me and my kitchen, and threads of sticky marshmallow fluff were laced all over everything they touched. I tried again though, determined, and now marshmallows are one of my absolute favorite things to make. They’re not hard once you’ve done it once or twice, and everyone is wildly impressed by them. And boy, do they make the best s’mores you’ve ever had. Toast em up, eat them plain, or make a Nutella, Peanut Butter, Marshmallow Sandwich on a panini press! (Not that I’ve ever done that…) It’s a bit time consuming, but once you get a hang of making marshmallows, you’ll be doing it all the time! Enjoy, and remember to live everyday in the moment.Print
- Yield: 4 -6 dozen 1x
- 12 sheets gelatin*
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- ⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (plus more for dusting)
- Grease an 9×13-inch pan with shortening, using a paper towel to rub it lightly and evenly onto the bottom, sides and edges of the pan. Set aside.
- Put the gelatin sheets into a medium microwave-safe bowl and fill it with very cold water to cover by several inches, adding a few ice cubes to keep it cold. While they soak for about 10 minutes, move on to the rest of the recipe.
- Place the sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan and stir gently. Clip a candy thermometer onto the pan, and place it over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil, checking it occasionally–you are looking for it to eventually hit a temperature of 235-240 degrees (soft ball stage).
- Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1/2 cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. By this point, the gelatin sheets should be very soft–drain them well and give them a quick wringing out, and place them back in the microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until the gelatin is completely melted, about 30 seconds. Turn the mixer on low, and very slowly pour the melted gelatin into the corn syrup. Keep the mixer running while you check the sugar syrup.
- Once the syrup reaches 235-240 degrees, pull it from the heat. Carefully transfer the syrup to a large, heatproof measuring cup or a similar vessel with a spout for easy pouring. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture. When all the syrup has been added, crank the speed up to medium-high and let it go for about 6 to 7 minutes–the mixture should turn white and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt and increase the speed to its highest setting for 1 more minute.
- Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula spritzed with a bit of cooking spray to nudge it into the corners and smooth the top. Usually, they settle themselves pretty well and I don’t have to spread them much. Tap the pan on the counter a few time to get rid of air bubbles. Sift confectioners’ sugar evenly and generously over the top. Let sit for about 6 hours or until firm.
- Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan and invert it onto a confectioners’ sugar-dusted work surface. Dust the marshmallow slab with more confectioner’s sugar and cut into whatever size pieces you wish (a pizza cutter works great here). Dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in more confectioners’ sugar, patting off the excess. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
*This recipe calls for gelatin sheets, and I strongly recommend them for best results, but you can use unflavored powdered gelatin instead. I’ve definitely used it quite a few times in this recipe! Great resources for converting the gelatin amounts from sheets to powder in recipes can be found here and here.
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Keywords: marshmallows, homemade, dessert
Want more marshmallows?!
Great post! Don’t stress out too much though, things will always fall into place. The future is already unpredictable, so why worry about something that might not happen?
Best of luck this semester!
Usually the ratio is a package of Knox for four sheets which means you use three packages of gelatin for 12 sheets is that not quite a lot
What a beautiful and solemn post to honor Mike.
I think we worry too much because of the state of our economy. I know it might sound silly, but I am proud of you thinking about your future.
But like what the older and wise said, it will pan out eventually :)
Love marshmallows :)
What cute fluffy squares ! Too adorable to eat
Who would have thought marshmallows are tricky to make when they looked all plain and simple? You’ve done a good job with the marshmallows. It sounds like the key to make a successful batch of marshmallow is never give up. :)
Love the post – and it most inspiring and he sounds like someone I would have liked to have known as well. Always good to hear these stories – to help us put perspective on our own lives Will certainly try the recipe. And not that I know one thing about you, but things do have a way of working themselves out and/or serving a purpose. One of the mysteries of life!
I need u to know how much I appreciated reading this tonight. I found you on pinterest n just expected to chk out your recipe. Instead, I found an inspiring story which beautifully reminded me of something I’ve known but forgotten and desperately need to apply in my life now… “Live in the Moment!” Thank you.
Hi Rachael…. I’m sure God led me to your page because I don’t really care for marshmellows… but I was really taken in with your story and with the tribute about your friend’s dad. Thanks so much for sharing that…. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I know your friend was most likely following his heart and following God’s words in the Bible where we’re told to let go and let God… and yes, fear does stop us from reaching our potential so we need to pray daily for God’s guidance let Him direct our steps. I hope you feel settled in whatever state your life is in right now. I can see that you had posted this a while ago… but even so, I’m sure you have direction and I hope you don’t look back. The future holds all kinds of promises and Phil 4:13 tells us that “I can do ALL things through Christ (that’s the key) who strengthens me”……
Nice chatting with you :)
I clicked for the marshmallow story, but what a great, inspiring story to lead off with…working on facing some of my fears….I don’t think making marshmallows is on the list, but I do have some doozies! Hey, my little guy has a corn allergy, so I clicked on the recipe hoping for a corn free alternative to the store bought marshmallows…do you have any wisdom as to what I could sub in for the corn syrup? All these substitutions are new to me :)
Hi there! Thank you so much for stopping by! About the corn syrup allergy, no worries, it’s easily substituted with a bit more sugar and water. Here’s a guide to replace it:
Corn syrup does act as a stabilizer though, and helps the sugar to not burn, so just be a bit more aware and careful as you make the marshmallows because they don’t have the corn syrup to help stop the crystallization. Good luck, hope you enjoy them!!
We use a brown rice syrup in recipes that call for corn syrup!
Sounds good accept for the ground up animal powder it requires (gelatin) Mmmm, animal tendons. An alternative to this would make for a truly amazing recipe!
I’m not really sure what your point in posting this is. Most of us are aware that all marshmallows contain gelatin. Those of us who do not eat gelatin would not click on a post called “homemade marshmallows.” This was a really lovely post which does not need to be punctuated by your remark. BTW, I really admire your socially conscious lifestyle, I do. But those of us who are vegetarian or considering veganism don’t respond well to the elitist attitude. I’m really glad your diet and morals are working well for you, someday I hope they can work well for me too. But today, I’m going to enjoy some freaking marshmallows MMMM animal tendons INDEED.
Just for the record—- “Sounds good accept for” …….should be “Sounds good except for.” Just sayin’…..
when returning the gelatin to the bowl the 2nd time, do you dump out the remaining liquid before? or do the sheets soak it all up? it isn’t very clear to me… why would wring them out only to put them back into water?
Hi Sam! After the ten minute period has passed, you want to take all of the water out of the bowl because you want to melt the gelatin without the water in the bowl. So yes, after the soaking the sheets (which is just to soften them up), you remove all the water from the bowl before returning them to the same bowl. I hope this helped! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Is there any problem replacing sheet gelatin with regular one as a substitude ? Thanks.
Nope! I’ve done it with powdered gelatin a number of times. Just add enough water to the powdered to make it so that the powder is all absorbed, and melt as directed!
Ditto for me! Repinned your marshmallows on Pinterest and found this beautiful surprise attached. For some reason Mike’s exclamation point in the sky reminded me of the balloons we set loose at my mother’s memorial service. One of my favorite pics from that day is everyone’s faces turned upward to watch them, and our attached messages, float off to find her. Mom’s short time here was marred by a lot of heartache and misfortune, but she loved life all the same and very much tried to live in the now. RIP, Mike (and Mom!) and thanks so much to you for a first-try marshmallow story that reminded me of my own (so sticky and messy!) but gave me the nudge to try them again soon anyway. Move through and past the sticky messes in life! :)
they look good. but no using Mallow? that is like the key ingredient to marshmallows! =/ I may try these… though i hateeee Jello. the thought of what Jello is made out of repels me >.>;; not a vegetarian but still, it repels me lol
You have what it takes to be a writer. I’m impressed. Thanks for the recipe, and whatever you wind up being in life, I believe you will be successful.
where do you buy gelatin sheets at? thanks!
Hi Jennifer. They’re a bit hard to come by – I’ve only managed to find them in stores once in a gourmet grocery store near my house. However, they’re available on Amazon for fairly cheap. If you can’t locate them though, just use the powdered gelatin that’s much easier to find.
Heartwarming story. And very well written. Plus, a great recipe for a great treat!
Is there a way we can make the marshmallow without gelatin? We miss eating them.
Is there a way to make the marshmallow without gelatin? We miss eating them!
Hi Senette, I currently don’t have a method without gelatin but I know there are some vegan recipes out there that use alternative methods such as agar agar. I can’t vouch for them though, because I’ve never tried!
Fantastic post and I absolutely agree: Homemade marshmallows make you never want to bite into a bought one again!
Talk about serendipity. I came here for a marshmallow recipe and found instead one of the most inspiring posts! Mike DeGruy is a real life hero.
What an incredible post – so inspiring. Thanks for sharing. Really lovely looking marshmallows too, can’t wait to attempt them.