Let’s start at the end by saying it was difficult deciding which Marilyn Monroe movie to watch. I don’t know why but I like something classic for the holiday. Something as American as a heart disease. It came down to Some Like it Hot or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Tough draw. Having driven past a Buy Buy Baby store and subsequently had “Bye Bye Baby” stuck in my head for the last week Gentleman won out. Maybe if I hear the song all the way through it will get it out of my head?
Part of my not-so-new New Year’s resolutions is that I want to find better, more profitable outlets for my creativity. I won’t be selling paintings in a gallery ever or opening a stand at the farmers market anytime soon but I can find small ways to support my crafty habits on the side. I’ve done this off and on in the past by selling the occasional rumball or biscotti and decided the 4th of July was a good opportunity to try again.
One of my favorite things to make is marshmallows. They are unbelieveably easy and about 150,000 times better than store bought. Seriously, once you’ve had homemade you will never be able to eat store bought ones again. Let this be my official challenge to the marshmallow industry. That’s right, I’m coming for you Stay Puff Marshmallow Man!
Where was I? Ah yes…I issued my offer the best way I know how; on the Facebook. I asked if anyone was having a bbq for the 4th so I could make marshmallows. It wasn’t only a sales pitch. I have no plans for the 4th and was hoping for an invite somewhere that I would be happy to bring marshmallows to. Well no invites, but one friend is having a party that she wanted marshmallows for. Ignoring the fact that I’m cooking for a party I’m not even invited to, I’m thrilled to be making a few extra bucks making something I love.
Homemade marshmallows lend themselves to pretty much any flavor you can dream up. I thought s’mores made with bourbon sorghum marshmallows would be delicious and quite possibly the most ‘Murican thing ever made. Seriously, all this scenarios missing is a Budweiser and a pickup truck.
Take it easy on the bourbon, you don’t want to add so much that the marshmallows don’t set up. You can replace the 1/2 cup of water in with the gelatin and add an extra tablespoon at the end in place of the vanilla. If you want more bourbon I recommend adding another packet of gelatin to help them set up.
I did a 2 to 1 ratio of corn syrup to sorghum because I had it and felt like experimenting. By all means use just corn syrup or try replacing the sorghum with agave or molasses.
So now, without further delay, I give to you my recipe for marshmallows. They may not gurantee you an invite to the party but at least you’ll get paid for catering dessert.
Feel free to experiement with other flavor combinations! I can attest to lemon, and cinnamon spice both being good!
Basic Marshmallows with notes to make Bourbon Sorghum Marshmallows
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 cup cold water, divided (can replace 1/2 cup in the gelatin with bourbon)
- 3 1/4-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin (if concerned about being too loose add 4th envelope)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup (can replace up to 1/3 with sorghum or other liquidy sweetner)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (can replace with bourbon)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Spray 13 x 9″ baking pan with nonstick spray. Pour 1/2 cup cold water into bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until gelatin softens and absorbs water, at least 15 minutes.
Combine 2 cups sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup cold water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat and bring syrup to boil. Boil, without stirring, until syrup reaches 240°F, about 8 minutes.
With mixer running at low speed, slowly pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture in thin stream down side of bowl (avoid pouring syrup onto whisk, as it may splash). Gradually increase speed to high and beat until mixture is very thick and stiff, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to blend, about 30 seconds longer.
Scrape marshmallow mixture into prepared pan. Smooth top with wet spatula. Let stand uncovered at room temperature until firm, about 4 hours.
Lay a large sheet of parchement paper on work surface. Generously dust powdered sugar onto paper, forming rectangle slightly larger than 13×9 inches. Turn marshmallow slab out onto sugar. Sift more powdered sugar over marshmallow slab. Coat large sharp knife (or cookie cutters) with nonstick spray. Cut marshmallows into squares or other shapes. Toss each in remaining powdered sugar to coat. Transfer marshmallows to air tight container. Keeps at room temp for virtually ever.