So if you’re a baker then you know there are certain things you just love to make and others that are just so so. It has nothing to do with the enjoyment of the final dessert but lies solely in the process of creating. That’s marshmallows for me. I absolutely love making them! I love seeing them transform from a simple liquid sugar into a bright white or pastel fluffy mixture right before my eyes. Their cloud like texture when whipping up just gets me every single time!
While I love making them, I actually don’t eat marshmallows often. I have a horror story about marshmallows dating all the way back to middle school, and it’s scared me from sometimes fully enjoying these fluffy pillows, even if I do make them myself. So, obviously I will share it with you. It was the last week of school and instead of having classes the teachers set up some outdoor games and relays. I always loathed this last week of school shit, I mean class was done and we were just going through the motions, why? Why couldn’t they just let us go home instead? It made absolutely no sense to me. I’ve just never been much for organized group activities, I’m a loner what can I say. And sometimes my mom let me skip out and go to our country club instead and lay by the pool. But, on this specific day, I was at school unfortunately.
We were outside in the field behind the middle school, and all kinds of relays were happening – potato sack races, three legged races, the egg spoon thing – bla, bla, bla. I was just counting down the minutes until it was all over. Then I got roped into a relay by a teacher, and it was some sort of madness where you had to basically do some suicide sprints, and then when you got to the end, eat – yes EAT the entire contents of what was in a Ziploc bag at your station. Now, this was before I was a runner – but even then, I was like really, we need to eat super fast after running and then run again back? This seems like a terrible idea, someone is going to barf, I thought.
But, no one else seemed worried about that, and this was happening whether I wanted to do it or not. It was my turn, and I got up to the line, ran, did my sprints, made it to the end and got my bag – marshmallows… my bag was full of large Jet Puffed Marshmallows! Now, even as a child I was never a huge marshmallow fan. Yes, sometimes I’d put them in my hot chocolate, but I was mostly a whipped cream girl. And yes, sometimes I would enjoy a S’More if we were at the beach. But, even as a child deprived of sweets and eating them any chance I could get, I never touched the marshmallows if they were alone. Never. They just didn’t interest me all that much. And now, here I was standing at the end of that sprint, starring at a bag full of the giant Jet Puffed Marshmallows. People were yelling and screaming and I could hear them saying, Hurry up! Eat them!!!
And, in sixth grade I was still just a quiet, shy girl. Yeah, I had friends and was friends with the popular girls I guess you could say. But, I also wasn’t the ring leader. And I also was not super confident, or outgoing, or even a rebel yet. I was a straight A student, and I kinda always did what I was told. That was killing me in this moment because this was school, and I was supposed to do what I was told. Why couldn’t I have gotten the pretzels that Joe got who was scarfing them down next to me? Instead, I stood there frozen feeling like I was going to pee my pants. God dammit, I thought, I am going to have to eat these stupid marshmallows! Now, if I had been the confident kind of person I am now, I would have dropped that bag of mallows right there, walked off that field straight into the school and out the front door to sit on the curb and wait for my mother. But, sadly, that confidence hadn’t brewed inside me yet. And my conscience told me to please the people, even if it made me miserable. So I did, I ate that entire bag of marshmallows – it was probably like 7 giant marshmallows. And I felt sick to my stomach, not just right then, but all damn day. I was the one who was on verge of barfing!
I don’t even know if we won that stupid relay or lost, or even if there was any kind of prize or consolation prize. It didn’t matter as I had just done something I did not want to do and I felt sick to my stomach, literally. I haven’t eaten a Jet Puffed Marshmallow since that wretched day in the sixth grade. I have always just told people that I do not like marshmallows. And it even took me a long time to want to make my own marshmallows and even try them. But, slowly, I have gotten there! And, you know, that if I am making marshmallows they are going to be the best damn mallows out there, haha. And today I have a summery marshmallow for you, Cherry Rose Marshmallows.
Tips for Making the Best Cherry Rose Marshmallows
• Marshmallows are full of sugar, yes sugar! Make sure you’re using organic cane sugar and corn syrup as it’s so much better for you! I use Wholesome Sweet Organic Light Corn Syrup, you can find it here.
• Flavors and extracts are very important, and they can make or break desserts.There are so many different tasting flavors for the same flavor! Just like everyone has a little different opinion, the companies making these flavors feel the same way as well. Which is why one cherry extract may be amazing, and another may be terrible. So, make sure you are buying flavors and extracts you actually like the flavor or, and if you don’t, then don’t be afraid to try another brand! The cherry flavor I use can be found here.
• It is very important to whisk the marshmallows until they are fairly stiff. If they are runny and fall off the whisk immediately, then they need more whisking! They should feel fluffy like a spreadable fluff consistency.
• Coloring them is totally optional. I love making them pastel, and I use ColorKitchen to do that, as their dyes are made with vegetables. You can find the pink here.
• I like to make marshmallows miniature because I still don’t eat very many of them, haha. You can also leave these larger and stop cutting when you have 24 squares, and not cut them into the 4 minis from there.
Cherry Rose Marshmallows
Makes 96 mini marshmallows
1/2 cup cold water
22 grams (2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon) gelatin
454 grams (2 cups) organic cane sugar
(312 grams (1 cup) organic light corn syrup
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ColorKitchen Pink Dye
1 teaspoon organic cherry extract
1/4 teaspoon organic rose extract
Organic canola oil spray
Organic powdered sugar for dusting
Place a piece of parchment paper in a 9 x13-inch pan. Let the parchment fold over the dish on two sides, but make sure the other sides are cut to fit the dish exactly, otherwise the corners of the marshmallows will not be perfectly square.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add 1/2 cup of the cold water and gelatin. Immediately stir together with a spoon so it doesn’t clump. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add the cane sugar, corn syrup, the 1/2 cup warm water, sea salt, and pink dye. Put over high heat and stir with a high heat spatula until all the sugar has dissolved and you have a liquid. Periodically stir the sugar mixture until it starts to bubble and rise up. Remove from the heat and pour directly over the gelatin in the mixing bowl.
Start mixing on low and gradually increase the speed as the mixture starts to thicken. It will start out as an opaque color and slowly it will start to lighten in color as it thickens. Keep increasing the speed until you are at full speed.
Continue mixing on high until the mixture is a thick consistency and resembles marshmallow fluff. It should be sticky and hold its shape for a short period of time. The entire mixing time should be about 10 to 15 minutes. Last, add in the cherry and rose extracts and whisk to combine completely.
Grease the prepared parchment paper and two additional sides of the baking dish with canola oil spray. Immediately pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan. Let the marshmallow set overnight.
On a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a work surface, sift a generous amount of powdered sugar. Slowly pull at the ends of the marshmallow that are not against the parchment paper so it’s not stuck to the pan. Lift the entire marshmallow out of the pan and turn it upside down onto the powdered sugar. Sift more powdered sugar on top.
Using a pizza cutter (this is a great trick, but a sharp knife will do as well), cut into 24 squares (six by four). You can leave as large marshmallows or cut each square into four pieces for mini marshmallows.
Roll each side in the powdered sugar to keep from sticking together. Allow them to sit out overnight before storing so the powdered sugar can form to the sides and they won’t stick together.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
High Altitude — Follow the recipe as noted.