Surprise your sweetie this Valentine's Day
Let’s not forget that Valentine’s Day is coming soon. Why not surprise your sweetie with some homemade (and inexpensive) marshmallows? Leave them the traditional bright ivory, bathe them in glossy melted chocolate or tint them to match your favorite rose, cutting them into sweet heart shapes. Any which way, you’ll be rewarded…
Line a 9-by-13-by-2-inch metal baking pan with foil and coat lightly with nonstick spray. Pour ½ cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and sprinkle with 3 ¼-ounce packages unflavored gelatin. Let stand until gelatin softens and absorbs the water, about 15 minutes.
Combine 2 cups sugar, 2/3 cup light corn syrup, ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ cup cold water in a heavy saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, brushing down sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.
Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Let boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 240 degrees, about 8 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture in a slow stream.
Gradually increase speed to high and beat until mixture is very thick and stiff, about 15 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla, and a few drops of food coloring if desired, and blend well. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a wet spatula.
Let stand uncovered at room temperature until firm, about 4 hours. Sift about 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface. Unmold the marshmallows on top and remove any foil.
Coat a large knife (or cookie cutter) with cooking spray and cut marshmallows into squares or desired shapes. Sift another 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar into a bowl and toss each marshmallow in the sugar to coat.
Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.