Homemade S’mores: Marshmallows

Fall brings bonfires and you can’t have a bonfire without s’mores! Why not take your s’mores to the next level and make your own marshmallows? Homemade marshmallows are far superior to the store bought ones and when you make your own you can make whatever flavor you want. This makes the s’more possibilities literally endless! Mint marshmallow s’mores, anyone?

Please don’t think marshmallows are complicated to make, but you should at least be comfortable in the kitchen before I’d suggest attempting them. Marshmallows involve cooking sugar  nd that can be intimidating, but after you’ve done it once, that fear quickly fades. When it comes to making your own marshmallows, you just have to make sure you have the right equipment, self control to resist touching with the ooey gooey super sticky batter and enough confidence to work with gelatin and cook sugar.

I like this SmittenKitchen.com recipe because it gives you fluffy, lightweight marshmallows. It is a good base recipe – perfectly delicious as is, but easily adaptable to make whatever flavor you please. For today’s purpose I made Pumpkin Ale Marshmallows simply by replacing the one cup of water with one cup of Buffalo Bill’s Brewery Pumpkin Ale. Switch out the Pumpkin Ale for some Bourbon or switch out the vanilla extract for lemon, almond, mint, or whatever your taste buds are craving at the moment. Make this recipe once and I bet the next thing you know you’ll be experimenting with all the flavor possibilities in no time!

Lets get things started and make some marshmallows!

Pumpkin Ale Marshmallows

About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold pumpkin ale, divided
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla

First things first, lets gather what we need.   As far as equipment, you will need a stand or hand held mixer (both if possible) as well as a candy thermometer. Those are the two non-negotiables. You will also need a big pot, wooden spoon, 9×13 pan, and spatula. Go ahead and get all your ingredients gathered and measured out. Also, why you’re at it, go ahead and oil your 9×13 pan and coat it with powdered sugar. Just a word of advice, don’t be shy with the oil and powdered sugar.

Now that we have everything we need, attach the whisk attachment to your mixer and bloom the gelatin by putting it in the bowl of your mixer with cold pumpkin ale. Set that aside.

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Time to cook some sugar. Attach your candy thermometer to your pot and combine the sugar, corn syrup, pumpkin ale, and salt. Start out on low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat up to medium and just let it cook, do not stir. Make sure to keep and eye on it so it doesn’t boil over and keep an eye on the temperature to avoid burning. You want it to reach 240 degrees (your thermometer might have this labeled as “soft ball”).

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When your sugar reaches 240 degrees, remove it from the heat and pour it over the gelatin mixture. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
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Mix on high until white, thick, and it triples in volume.
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While it is mixing, use your handheld mixer and whip the egg whites until stiff peaks.
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Mix in the whipped whites and vanilla extract until combined.
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Pour the marshmallow batter into the prepared 9×13 pan.

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Spray a spatula with nonstick spray or oil to help spread the batter in the pan.
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Cover the top with powdered sugar and let it set up in the fridge for at minimum 3 hours or up to overnight.
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Once the marshmallows have set up, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan and turn it out onto a cutting board. You may need to use you fingers to help loosen the marshmallow from the pan.
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Put more powdered sugar in a bowl or the now empty pan. Cut the marshmallows into the desired shapes, roll it in the powdered sugar making sure all sides are covered, then enjoy!

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