I begged my friend, Andy, to throw a "Winter Warmer" just so I could have an excuse to make these marshmallows. They're perfect for dunking in hot chocolate, toasting over a flame, or even just eating by themselves.
Vanilla & Cinnamon Marshmallows (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes about 96 1-inch cubed marshmallows
About 1 cup confectioners sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal
baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.
In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften. (It's not written in the SK recipe, but see how the top layer of gelatin powder doesn't get wet? Don't leave it like that; stir it around a little so that it's all combined, which I failed to do with this batch, although if you forget, it's not the end of the world.)
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second
1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden
spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil
mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer
registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar
mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. (At this point it's going to smell really bad, and you're going to wonder if the marshmallows will even be edible. They will be, trust me.)
With standing mixer beat mixture on high
speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six
In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat
whites and vanilla into sugar mixture
until just combined.
Pour mixture into baking pan. Sift 1/4
cup confectioners sugar evenly over top.
Chill marshmallow, uncovered,
until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large
cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers
loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes.
(An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.)
confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the
marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess
and packing them away. (I found it was easiest to do this in batches rather than all at once.)
Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.
This is where the recipe from Smitten Kitchen stops. I tasted the marshmallows at this point, and they were perfect in texture--springy and fluffy just like she promised. The taste was just a little too...one dimensional for me, though. Vanilla in its other definition. It was too late to add any wet ingredients like another flavor extract, but then I thought, what if I just toss it with some cinnamon? Cinnamon and sugar are such a great flavor combination already (think cinnamon toast or snickerdoodles), it couldn't hurt to try. So I plopped a few marshmallows in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and sprinkled in a few dashes of ground cinnamon. A few shakes later, the cinnamon was pretty evenly distributed.
It came down to the taste test: would it be enough? Too strong? It turned out perfect! The cinnamon added just enough spicy heat to give the marshmallows some depth while still remaining light and airy. Unfortunately I didn't measure out how much cinnamon I tossed in there; it was literally just a couple of shakes. I'd say start off with a little, shake, and taste. If you want, you can always add more, but it's pretty hard to remove the cinnamon if you add too much.
Next time: Passion Fruit Marshmallows!
Four years ago: Toasted Coconut Ice Cream with Sesame Brittle and Crystallized Ginger