One of my favorite things to make during the holidays are marshmallows. This year, I was busy taking care of a newborn and didn’t have time to indulge my candy-making yen.
I thought it would be fun to do a Valentine’s day version. These fluffy candy hearts are a great alternative to those store-bought message candies we’ve all grown so accustomed to.
2 1/2 tablespoons powdered gelatiin
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting.
You do need a candy thermometer for this. And a stand mixer. Without these two kitchen implements, this would be a very daunting task. With them, it becomes a 20-30 minute operation.
Begin by putting 2 1/2 tablespoons of powdered gelatin in the bowl of your stand mixer and pouring 1/2 cup cold water over it.
Let this sit for 20 minutes while you work on your sugar mixture.
Put 1.5 cups of sugar, 1 cup of corn syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 cup water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.
Insert your candy thermometer and let cook without stirring, until it reaches the firm ball stage (244 degrees Fahrenheit).
Once it reaches firm ball, remove it from the heat immediately and pour it into the mixer while it is on low speed. Increase the speed to high and let run for 15 minutes.
Turn mixer off, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and mix until incorporated.
Prepare a baking pan – I used a half-sheet pan lined with foil – by generously coating it with powdered sugar.
Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan. Right now it looks like a big mess – don’t worry. Wet your hands generously and spread it out flat. Dust the top with more powdered sugar and let sit for an hour or overnight to dry.
When you’re ready, use fun cookie cutter shapes to cut out your marshmallows, or just slice them in squares with a knife. I dipped the edges of the fresh-cut hearts in Valentine’s-themed sprinkles for a festive twist.
Send these to school with your kids for an alternative to the typical Valentine’s candy, or give them to your sweetheart with their morning cup of cocoa.