Tuesday, August 23, 2011


(Oddly enough, a few days after I originally wrote this, I saw this post on Dangerous Crayon on my Google Reader. I had no idea it was national s'mores day on the 10th, and I was surprised that we happened to use the same recipe and had such different opinions of the outcome.)
My sister Margs and I love s’mores.  I mean we don’t reserve them for special campfire moments, we will make them over the gas range, or in a pinch we’ll make them in the microwave.  We have been known to make them with fudge frosting when the chocolate bars run out, that’s how much we love s’mores.  So now that we can make our own graham crackers, the next logical step was to give marshmallows a try, right?
I did a fair amount of searching for a recipe.  There are a few ways to go on this one- your standard gelatin and corn syrup variety, corn free, gelatin free, and corn and gelatin free.  I thought for my first attempt, I’d go the conventional route with the gross gelatin and corn syrup.  I found a decent recipe from Alton Brown on the food network website. We made a half batch.
 1 ½ packets unflavored gelatin ($1.79 per 4 packets, 1.5 x $.45 per packet = $.67)
½ cup ice cold water, divided (free)
6 ounces granulated sugar, approximately ¾ cup ($2.99 per 5 lb, or $.598 per lb, $.598 x .375 lb = $.22)
½ cup light corn syrup ($2.99 per 16 oz, $2.99/4 = $.75)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt  ($2.75 per 48 oz, $2.75/ 2266 1/8 tsp servings = less than $.01)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract  ($3.77 per 2oz, $3.77/24 ½ tsp servings = $.16)
2 Tbsp confectioners' sugar  ($1.47 per 32oz, $1.47/ 60 2 Tbsp servings = $.02)
2 Tbsp cornstarch ($1.17 per 16 oz, rough estimate = $.04)
Marshmallow is a sticky mess!
Well, I had a few issues with these.  My biggest problem was the distinctly barnyard smell to the mixing mallow.  I know what gelatin is, but I didn’t expect my confection to smell like hooves (which I guess is silly of me).  I also added the recommended amount of vanilla, and they were way too vanillay.   Lastly, I thought they were too soft tasting them alone. 

In the end, we ended up toasting the marshmallows over a candle flame in the middle of a power outage.  I expected them to fall apart and taste terrible, but toasted, the vanilla flavor was tempered a bit, and the soft texture actually worked well in a s’more, especially one that was toasted on a fork over a candle! We also used our homemade graham crackers for this, which was very tasty, though it was very messy, just as I had speculated in the graham cracker post.  So messy, in fact, that we had to eat them over the sink!
Finished, ready for cutting
Honestly, I thought they were a pain in the bottom, and weren’t that great.  I’ll try out a gelatin free recipe and see if I feel the same.
Gross shot of the gelatin awaiting the sugar mixture.  Gross!
Try It:
$1.86 for a half batch, 12 oz, or $.16/oz
Buy It:
$.97 per 10 oz, or $.09/oz
Eew.  Just Buy It.  The homemade are twice the price and not good. 

Anyone have a recipe for marshmallows they love?  Please let me know, I'm still looking!


  1. Well, I liked them. I still don't think it's worth making though, since marshmallows are the type of thing you buy on a whim, but I think they were tasty. Also, I put them in hot chocolate and it was great, except it never dissolved, so it was still sitting at the bottom of my mug at the end, which is just strange.

  2. Although I liked the final outcome of my marshmallows, I was also skeptical of the smell while they were being made. I thought they smelled weird, and not at all like I thought a marshmallow should smell. I even thought the taste was a little odd (the whipped stuff prior to letting it set up) but that could also be because it turned out I caught I stomach bug my niece brought over to my house...

    Anyway - Once they were done, and I was recovered, I liked the taste well enough. They are time consuming to make, which might explain why I haven't made more. Totally not worth making if you don't have an interest in avoiding certain ingredients found in store bought marshmallows.