In one of Ebby's recent posts, she talked about cute food being so much fun. I wholeheartedly agree! When I finished making this treat, I said, "Aawwww, how CUTE!" Then I may or may not have hugged the squishy ziploc bag filled with teeny, pink marshmallows. In addition to being cute, they were also deliciously tasty. I loved them as a snack, but I LOVED them in hot chocolate. YUM YUM YUM.
They don't take a ton of effort (at least not as much as I anticipated), but they do require some significant sitting time. It's worth it, trust me.
I had to force myself to stop taking pictures! Cute cute cute!
In a small saucepan, soften 4 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin in 3/4 cup of water. If you run out of unflavored gelatin like I did, substitute 1 tablespoon with flavored gelatin. In my case, strawberry. This ended up being a happy accident because it provided a hint of added flavor and color that I loved in the end.
Heat the gelatin slowly so it fully dissolves in the water. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and set aside.
Can you see an upside-down Pip taking a picture?
And now (below), can you see a four-eyed smiley face?
Sorry, I need sleep.
In a medium saucepan, combine:
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
Set the saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Set a candy thermometer in the pan and, without stirring (I was so happy about this non-stirring part), allow the mixture to boil until it reaches 250-260 degrees F. This went a lot more quickly than I anticipated. I was a bit overwhelmed at this point because I was trying to do seventeen things at once, but it took somewhere around 15 minutes to reach the desired temperature.
While the sugar mixture is boiling, beat 2 egg whites in a large mixing bowl on high speed with an electric hand mixer until medium-stiff peaks form.
When the sugar syrup reaches 250-260 degrees, slowly add it to the whisked egg whites and beat with mixer until combined. Immediately add the dissolved gelatin to the mixing bowl and beat on high speed. It will turn to a liquid at first, but will eventually thicken. Continue beating until the marshmallow mixture thickens enough to hold its shape, about 5-8 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Lightly grease two 8x8 inch baking dishes and dust them with part of the cornstarch-confectioners' mixture. Divide the marshmallow mixture between the two pans and smooth as flat as possible with a rubber spatula (do this quickly!). Allow the pans to sit uncovered until springy and firm, 4-6 hours. I let mine sit for a full 6 hours.
Using a sharp knife, loosen the marshmallows from the sides of the pans. Dust a long sheet of waxed paper with more of the cornstarch-confectioners' mixture and flip the marshmallows onto the paper. Dust all visible surfaces of the marshmallows with more of the cornstarch-confectioners' mixture. Allow them to sit for another 2 hours.
With a sharp knife, cut the marshmallows into even strips 1-1 1/2 inches wide.
Dip your knife into cold water after each cut to clean the blade and to make cutting a whole lot easier.
Cut the marshmallows into squares and coat all sides with confectioners' sugar. These cute little treats are worth the wait!