Easter is right around the corner and so is another excuse to get crafty in the kitchen. This year I have my sights set on gluten free hot cross buns, dying eggs using homemade food colouring and the experiment I’m most excited about…making Peeps using homemade marshmallows!
Before diving right into making the ‘Peeps’ I needed to make sure my recipe would work. I struggled with this recipe creation as one side of me wanted to stick with a traditional marshmallow recipe. However, my nagging dietitian’s brain was pushing for a way to make these homemade marshmallows ‘healthier’. An RD’s dilemma!
After much mental debate I settled for a traditional recipe with a twist on ingredient choices. Yes, marshmallows are filled with sugar. However, unless you’re planning on eating homemade marshmallow on a daily or even weekly basis…who cares! Enjoy…live a little….and if you’re really concerned you can chase that marshmallow with a floret of broccoli! ?
In the unlikely event that I decide these fluffy clouds of deliciousness should be part of my regular diet I’ll be sure to revisit the sugar dilemma. ?
Traditionally corn syrup is a main ingredient in homemade marshmallow. Now, I may be going full bore on the sugar content but that doesn’t mean I have to compromise on whole, unprocessed ingredients. So, as processed corn syrup hasn’t entered my house in probably 10 years, I chose to adjust things to a be little less ‘refined’.
The combo I set my sights on was honey and maple syrup. Now, I will admit my hand was a little forced on the quantities with this experiment. My lil’ honey pot only had a 1/4 cup left! So the honey became my limiting factor and the maple syrup made up the rest. Lucky for me this little experiment worked out perfectly, 100%!
Homemade Marshmallow Makings
I placed the cane sugar, honey and maple syrup in the saucepan and with my trusty candy thermometer I brought it to temperature. The old recipe called for raising the temperature to the ‘soft ball’ candy stage (around 238F) but I had trouble getting it past 230F. I’m not a candy maker but I’ve heard candy making is more of an art than a science. Sooo, I rolled with the punches and gave up trying to get the mixture to heat further.
The gelatin I used for the homemade marshmallows was Great Lakes Gelatin. I highly recommend this brand and I also use their hydrolyzed powder to support my skin and joint health. Anyway, before adding the syrup to the gelatin I made sure to dissolve the gelatin completely before adding the syrup. This avoids little gelatin lumps that require fishing out. I then took my 230F sugar syrup and slowly added it to the softened gelatin mixture. After the gelatin and the syrup were incorporated I beat the mixture on high for roughly 10 minutes. The mixture puffed up into a silky white cloud of yumminess!
Now, I can’t stress this point enough. Before you transfer the mixture to your baking tin of choice, make sure you grease the inside of the parchment paper, the sides of the tin and anything that is going to touch the marshmallow mixture. It is REALLY sticky and will be a pain in the arse to get out if you don’t. I forgot to do this for one pan and it took me FOREVER to gingerly remove the parchment.
Variations of Homemade Marshmallows
There are a lot of fun things you can do with homemade marshmallows. Colour them with some homemade food colouring, roll them in toasted coconut, dip them in a delicious dark chocolate, make smores or use them for some homemade rice crispy squares. They also make great edible gifts displayed in a clear gift bag and ribbon!
My next post will be turning this recipe into little chick and bunny peeps! Stay tuned!