A special homemade treat from Cindy Bearman of ABC Kitchen. Try experimenting with the marshmallow, dyeing it different colors, or adding different flavored extracts, or using fun cookie cutters when cutting. Best served atop a mug of piping hot cocoa, with a chocolate mint cookie on the side.
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 sheets gelatin
- 4 egg whites
- 1 vanilla bean
- Confectioner’s sugar, for finishing
- Cornstarch, for finishing
Place sugar into a saucepan with ¼ cup water and gently stir. Soak gelatin sheets in very cold water until soft.
Heat sugar and water mixture over high heat until it reaches 245 degrees on a candy thermometer. While the sugar heats, place the egg whites into a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, and start beating on medium-low speed. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin, taking care not to squeeze too hard, and add the gelatin to the sugar mixture as soon as it reaches 245 degrees.
Once the whites are frothy, turn the mixer speed down low and pour in the hot sugar-gelatin mixture. Turn the mixer on high and whip until the marshmallow has cooled and is firm, about 15-20 minutes.
While the marshmallow whips, line a sheet tray with waxed paper and sift a mixture of equal parts cornstarch and confectioner’s sugar over the waxed paper to coat it entirely so that the marshmallow does not stick.
Spread the marshmallow into the sheet tray with a metal offset spatula, and sift more of the cornstarch-confectioner’s sugar mixture over the top.
Let the marshmallow set in the refrigerator for at least four hours, then cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters or a knife, tossing the shapes in more confectioner’s sugar-cornstarch mixture so that the freshly cut sides won’t stick. Use immediately, or store in a bit of confectioner's sugar and cornstarch in a tightly sealed bag or quart container.