After all that hoopla surrounding what kind of cutesy Halloween treat I could come up with [see my previous post HERE], I started thinking about marshmallows. I had this bag of Jet-Puffed marshmallows sitting on my counter leftover from my Hooty Marshmallow Chocolate Cupcakes and I wondered why I have never attempted to make my own. I was amazed at my revelation and decided I needed to make them NOW.
I did a little ton of internet research and discovered that marshmallows are actually incredibly easy to make. This could be very dangerous considering my recent affinity for them for which I blame entirely on a monthly hormonal issue…
Most recipes I found called for corn syrup. Now, I’ve been known to use this ingredient in the past but I’m not really a fan of it and would prefer to avoid most chemically processed sweeteners altogether if possible. I mean, if I’m already consuming sugar, shouldn’t I at least make sure it comes from a natural source? So, with a little online guidance and a lot of patience I developed the most marvelous tasting marshmallows I’ve ever put to my lips. Now I really am in serious danger!
What makes these marshmallows so delectable? One word – HONEY. I used a natural organic evaporated cane juice sugar in place of granulated white and replaced that dreaded corn syrup with the lip-smacking rich sweetness of honey. I also splurged on a natural powdered sugar but you could simply blend some of the grainier variety to make your own (see recipe below). These marshmallows melt on your tongue and soak into your soul. No sweetener is as delicious as honey and don’t even try to argue with me. I used to be a lawyer, folks. I WILL win this argument.
I added vanilla bean and a touch of almond extract because, well, I wanted to! You could also flavor these with a liqueur or another extract you have on hand (I see peppermint Santas in my future!) And, because it’s Halloween, what better than ghostly shapes? Put them on a lollipop stick and wrap them up for fun treats to give away or just lay them out on a platter for dunking into hot chocolate at your ghoulish party.
The one important thing to remember when making marshmallows at home is that the mixture is very sticky. Avoid touching it at all costs or you might end up in a web of gooiness and will have to lick your way out which, now that I think about it, may not be too bad. The other difficult thing is the wait. They take 4 hours to set up so plan accordingly. That didn’t stop me from using a little of the marshmallow cream right out of the mixing bowl to top off my hot chocolate last night, though. My silly husband said he didn’t want any (WTF?) and looked at me with a crazy eye as I told him over and over how GOOD it was.
I would ask if you would like to come enjoy these with me too but hey, you have the recipe. Go make your own!
All-Natural Marshmallow Ghosts
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe for Homemade Marshmallows
Servings: 24* • Size: 1 marshmallow • Weight Watcher Points+: 2
Calories: 63 • Fat: 0g • Carbs: 16g • Fiber: 0g • Protein: 1g
Sugars: 14g • Sodium: 16mg • Cholesterol: 0mg
*Makes 24 large ghosts with Wilton’s ghost cookie cutter plus a bowl full of bits and pieces equal to 8 additional servings
- ½ cup all-natural organic powdered sugar*
- ½ cup arrowroot powder
- 3 Tablespoons (4 packets) unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1 cup water, divided
- 1 cup all-natural organic sugar*
- 2/3 cup honey
- 4 egg whites
- 2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
*I used Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Sugar and powdered sugar because it is not chemically processed. If you want to make your own powdered sugar, you can pulverize the organic sugar (or any sugar) in a blender for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you are going to store it for later, you should add some tapioca starch, arrowroot powder or cornstarch to keep it from clumping.
In a medium bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and arrowroot powder. Wipe a sheet pan with oil and generously dust with 1/3 of the mixture. Set the remainder aside.
Stir together gelatin with ½ cup water in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, honey and remaining ½ cup water. Attach a candy thermometer and heat until temperature reaches 245 degrees.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with a stand mixer and whip attachment on medium speed until soft peaks form. Once the sugar has reached 245 degrees, slowly pour it into the egg whites while continuing to beat, being careful not to pour onto the beater to avoid splattering.
Transfer the gelatin to the hot saucepan used for the sugar mixture and stir to dissolve. Slowly add this to the egg white/sugar mixture while still continuing to beat. Add in the seeds from the vanilla beans and almond extract and continue beating until the outside of the bowl has cooled.
Scrape the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan with a rubber spatula (Do not use your fingers!) and smooth out the top. Let sit, uncovered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Dust the top of the marshmallow mixture with some of the sugar/arrowroot mixture. Using a ghost-shaped cookie cutter wiped with oil, cut out shapes in the marshmallow and dip into the remaining sugar/arrowroot mixture.
Stir together the cocoa powder with 1 teaspoon water and use a toothpick to dip in and draw on the eyes and mouth.