Chewy, sweet, and melt-in-your mouth confectionary is a perfect way to describe marshmallows. So where did marshmallows originate? Well, the enjoyment of this confectionary dates as far back as 2000 BC, where it was relished by the Ancient Egyptians. It was derived from the mallow plant, which is also referred to as Athaea Officinalis. So how did the Egyptians derive this sweet treat? They basically took the mallow plant and squeezed its sap, before melding it with honey and nus. The French were next to start eating marshmallows. Their confectioners mixed the sap from the mallow root, forming a fluffy looking sweet. This was made in the 1800s by the entrepreneurs owing little candy shops. The marshmallows back then was all hand made by these store owners, who in time couldn’t keep up with the demand. It was then that they designed the start mogul system, which involved the use of molds using cornstarch. Confectioners also started to use gelatin, instead of mallow root.
Marshmallows are now primarily made of gelatin and sugar, and can be molded into a myriad of solid shapes in different hues. Marshmallows can be eaten just so, roasted, or used in baking or as a pretty confectionary adornment. You can buy marshmallows or make your own. So why make your own? Well, in terms of health, it’s better to make our own marshmallows. Reason being is that the store-bought ones have at least 4 grams of processed sugar per marshmallow. That’s a lot of sugar for just one marshmallow right? It’s also so addictive that before you know it, you’ll be consuming more than your daily recommended sugar intake. That’s not all regarding store-bought marshmallows though. It’s also heavily decked in corn starch, the type of starch which has the highest level of carbohydrates. This type of starch or carbohydrate is absorbed speedily, causing sharp elevations in blood glucose levels.
More Reasons Why You Should Opt for Homemade Marshmallows
- You can add probiotics if you like, which is great for your digestive or gut health.
- It’s great to add marshmallow root to your marshmallow recipe, as this serves as a great anti-inflammatory.
- Home marshmallows are ideal, as you get to decided what goes into your marshmallows. For instance, you can add raw honey, which is a healthier choice, as opposed to sugar. Some of the health benefits of raw honey is that it’s a great source of antioxidants, it has antifungal characteristics, it assists with the healing of wounds, and it has antibacterial properties.
- You may also skip using refined sugar, and opt for low-calorie sweeteners instead.
What are Marshmallows Used for?
There are several uses for marshmallows besides roasting them for s’mores over a campfire. You could use these as an adornment on your hot chocolate cookies. Just place a broiled marshmallow on top of each cookie for a look that resembles a cookie that looks like hot chocolate with marshmallows. That said, you can also always just make you a cup of hot chocolate, and add a ton of marshmallows to it!
You could also use these to make s’mores cookies. All you need here are your Graham crackers, melted chocolates, and your marshmallows. You may also use these to decorate your brownies. Or use these to make a chocolate pie with a marshmallow meringue filling.
Marshmallow popcorn is also a tasty treat used for kid’s parties. It’s a sweet and salty treat, and all you do is mix popcorn with these, and sprinkle some melted chocolate over the tops. Another great way to use marshmallows is to use them in peanut butter brownies. You’ll need a few cups of miniature marshmallows to make this. You may also decorate your Christmas cupcakes with these. Once creative way to do so is to make snowmen out of marshmallows and place them on each cupcake. Or simply create marshmallow snowmen as a stand-alone by using toothpicks or skewers to join the snowmen sections.
Steps on How to Make Homemade Marshmallows
If you’ve been thinking of making your own marshmallows but always thought it appeared too daunting to try, here’s how to make marshmallows. You’ll need the following ingredients for this best marshmallow recipe.
- Cooking spray for a non-stick marshmallow making experience
- Gelatin, preferably the kind that’s not flavored. Three packets should be enough
- 1 cup of corn syrup
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ cup of cornstarch
- 1.5 cups of sugar that’s been granulated
- ¼ cup of icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- Some salt, preferably just under ½ teaspoon or a ¼ teaspoon if you prefer less salt
Preparation of Your Homemade Marshmallows
Follow these steps on the method used for homemade marshmallows
- Get a stand mixer and remove the bowl.
- Use the bowl to place half of your water and gelatin in.
- Get a separate pan.
- Place the ½ cup of water that’s left over into your saucepan.
- Add your sugar, salt, and corn syrup to your saucepan.
- Be sure to put your saucepan over a stove with a medium heat setting.
- Enable your saucepan mixture to cook for about 5 minutes.
- It’s best to attach a candy thermometer to your saucepan while you cook this mixture for an additional 8-9 minutes. Be sure to let your mixture reach a heat of 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
- One you note that your candy thermometer has reached this heat, remove the mixture from your stove.
- Get out your mixer.
- Take your gelatin concoction, and add the sugar syrup into it. Mix at a low speed.
- Add the remaining sugar syrup, and place mixture on full speed.
- Keep mixing until the consistency of the mixture thickens considerably.
- Add your vanilla essence to the mixture.
- Use a separate bowl to mix your cornstarch and icing or frosting sugar.
- Get out your baking tray, and spray your cooking spray on there.
- Add your cornstarch and sugar to the sprayed baking tray.
- Place this mixture into a pan.
- Don’t forget to spread the mixture properly.
- Sprinkle your mixture with some cornstarch and sugar.
- Be sure to let the marshmallows lay there overnight. If you can’t let it stand, it should stand for no less than 4 hours.
- Take your cutting board and a cutter. You could use a pizza cutter if you prefer.
- You can cut of these into squares of at least 1 inch if you like.
- Be sure to dust of these with frosting sugar.
- Your delicious homemade marshmallows are now prepared and ready to eat!
- If you prefer, you could store of these for up to 3 weeks, but remember to do so in an airtight container though.
If you Prefer Making Tiny Marshmallows
Sometimes tiny marshmallows are ideal for popping into your hot chocolate or for using as embellishments on your confectionary. If you need to be using tinier marshmallows, follow these steps.
- Take a little bowl.
- Add your cornstarch and frosting sugar and meld well.
- Get out some grease proof paper or parchment paper.
- Get at least 4 half sheet baking trays and place your grease proof paper at the bottom of each tray.
- Get a piping bag, and place some of your mixture in there.
- Place the mixture on the baking trays or sheets.
- Don’t forget to leave some space between the marshmallows.
- You may cover these with your left over sugar and cornstarch.
- Let these set overnight if you prefer, although you can allow these miniature ones to set for no less than 4 hours too.
- Cut your miniature marshmallows into ½ inches.
- Don’t forget to sprinkle these with your sugary mix.
- You may store these for approximately 7 days, but always do so in an airtight dish.
Larger marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. The smaller can be stored for up to a week, although this also needs to be stored in an airtight holder.
Yes, you may store these in a refrigerator. These can be stored for up to a week in a refrigerator. If you prefer storing your marshmallows in a freezer, know that you can do so for up to 4 months.