Real, Old Fashioned Marshmallows

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Real, Old Fashioned Marshmallows
Yields 75
Here is my recipe for Marshmallows. Of course, since you'll be making them in the privacy of your own home, there is no one around to tell you what size to cut them, what flavor to make them... heck, you can even brag about how you always KNEW how they were made as you sit around the campfire. You're graham crackers won't rat you out.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 envelopes Unflavored, Granulated Gelatin
  2. 1/2 cup Cold Water
  3. 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  4. 4 Egg Whites (1 cup's worth)
  5. A Pinch of Salt
  6. 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract, Pure
  7. For Coating & Dusting (approximate amounts needed)
  8. 1 cup Cornstarch
  9. 1 cup Powdered Sugar
Instructions
  1. In a small glass or microwave safe bowl or cup, sprinkle the gelatin over the 1/2 cup of cold water to dissolve and soften.
  2. In the top half of a double boiler or in a mixing bowl over a simmering pot of water, mix together the egg whites and granulated sugar.
  3. Gently stir the mixture while not directly touching the simmering water until the sugar completely dissolves into the egg whites. Be careful NOT to let the sides of the bowl get so hot that the egg whites cook. When the mixture is ready, it will feel very warm, almost hot, and syrupy with no feel of the sandy, granulated sugar. What you're making is the base for a Swiss Meringue.
  4. When the sugar has completely dissolved, remove it from the heat and, while still warm, whip on high speed in an electric mixture until VERY stiff. (It's almost impossible to over whip it actually.)
  5. While the meringue is whipping, heat the gelatin and water mixture in a microwave oven on the defrost setting until the mixture is fully dissolved and clear. Avoid allowing it to come to a simmer or it could foam up. Once fully dissolved, remove it from the microwave oven and set aside a moment.
  6. Once the meringue is very stiff, fold in both the gelatin/water solution and the vanilla extract.
  7. Mix together the cornstarch and powdered sugar and dust a baking sheet evenly and completely with a generous layer of that mixture. (Using a sifter really helps.) Make sure there are absolutely NO bare spots.
  8. Turn the mixture out onto the dusted sheet and spread with a spatula into a rectangle shape about 1" thick.
  9. Allow to dry for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, uncovered, but in a protected area.
  10. Dust the top of the marshmallows with some of the marshmallow mixture. Cut out with a round cookie cutter or alternately, use a pizza cutter or scissors (dusted as well with the cornstarch mixture) to cut the marshmallows into any size or shape pieces that you'd like then toss the marshmallows in more of the cornstarch/powdered sugar mixture.
  11. Shake the marshmallows vigorously in a wire strainer to remove any excess.
  12. Store your marshmallows in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. As a side note, you can flavor and color your marshmallows with cocoa powder, instant espresso powder and other extracts besides vanilla, even add shredded, toasted coconut!
Nino Salvaggio http://www.ninosalvaggio.com/