Every morning as our little ones begin to wake up, they come out to sit with my husband and I as we quietly sip on our cups of coffee — they cuddle up next to us and enjoy hot cocoas. We have started our day like this as a family since they were babies (although they sipped on milk back in those days), but on this particular morning, their cocoas were a little more exciting than usual because the kids and I whipped up a batch of homemade marshmallows the night before.
We have been wanting to make homemade marshmallows for quite some time now, but as some of you may know all too well, trying to find specific ingredients here on the coast can be challenging at times. So once I finally got my hands on the main ingredient needed for these marshmallows, the unflavored gelatin, the kids couldn’t wait to get started.
This was not only a lesson in making homemade food with the kiddos, but also one in patience because these marshmallows had to set up overnight, so they had to wait for what I can only assume felt like an eternity in their opinions for the marshmallows to finally be ready to eat.
Thankfully the marshmallows were met with rave reviews, stating that their cocoas were the best cocoas they’ve ever had in their entire life! Disclaimer, the phrase “best (fill in the blank) I’ve ever had in my entire life” is a very overused phrase in our house, but I love their enthusiasm anyway. Truthfully, kids usually enjoy food a whole lot more when they are directly involved in making it, not that I would expect them to not be thrilled about giant homemade marshmallows first thing in the morning anyway.
These fluffy homemade marshmallows are delicious all on their own, but we decided to use the remainder of them for an adorably delicious Valentine’s Day treat, Heart-Shaped Rice Krispie Treats, which are always a hit with the whole family. So treat your special valentines to these extra special holiday goodies this Valentine’s Day.
3 envelopes of Knox gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (or your favorite extract)
Powdered sugar for dusting marshmallows
Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water, whisking only until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil. As soon as it is boiling, set the timer and allow to boil hard for 1 minute without stirring.
Carefully pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on hand mixer, starting on low and moving up to high speed. Add the salt and beat for between 10 and 12 minutes nonstop, or until fluffy and mostly cooled to almost room temperature. After it reaches that stage, add in the extract of your choosing and beat to incorporate.
Grease a rubber or silicone scraper with neutral oil and transfer marshmallow into the prepared pan. Cover your marshmallow with plastic wrap, making sure it doesn’t touch the surface of the marshmallow. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until firmly set.
Once your marshmallow has set up, sprinkle a cutting surface very generously with powdered sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and lay on top of the sugar. Dust the top generously with sugar as well. Use a large, sharp knife to cut into squares. Separate pieces and toss to coat all surfaces with the sugar.
Store in an airtight container.
Heart-Shaped Rice Krispie Treats
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Batch of homemade marshmallows (or 16oz bag of marshmallows)
Using butter or non-stick cooking spray, grease a 9-inch baking dish. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add marshmallows and vanilla extract. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until completely melted.
Remove from heat, add the cereal and gently fold until combined.
Pour into the prepared baking dish. Press with your fingertips just until completely spread out.
Allow to set, about 1 hour. Remove from baking dish onto a cutting surface and cut with heart shaped cookie cutter, then enjoy!