Homemade Marshmallows

There's nothing better than hot chocolate and peppermint to keep warm when we get a rare snow storm in our area. It's been something like 8 years since the snow last stuck for more than a few hours. It's early in the year, too, so we might expect to see more of it.

We decided to make some homemade marshmallows to give to our friends and neighbors. You can create some awesome varieties using some alternate ingredients. We chose peppermint to pair with our hot cocoa, because 'tis the season, but vanilla makes the most incredible campfire s'more you can enjoy all summer long.

MARSHMALLOWS

Butter for greasing
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon pure extract (use vanilla, peppermint, strawberry, or other pure extract for flavoring)
Food coloring (if desired)

Line an 11x8-ish glass or metal baking dish with parchment paper and grease liberally with butter. You can make larger marshmallows by using a smaller square or rectangular dish. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Add the gelatin powder to 1/3 cup of cold water and let it sit while heating granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and water over low heat, stirring constantly. Increase the heat a bit to boil. Then, simmer without stirring about 25 minutes. Slowly pour syrup into softened gelatin while beating on low speed. Increase speed to med-high for about 10 minutes. Add extract of choice. Beat a few more minutes. Pour evenly into baking dish.

Optional:
Drop food color randomly onto top of marshmallow mixture. Pull a butter knife through to create a swirl pattern.

Let stand uncovered at least 8 hours.

Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar. Place remaining powdered sugar in small bowl. Loosen sides from dish and lift onto the cutting board. Using a sharp knife greased with butter, cut into small squares. Dust the sides of each marshmallow with powdered sugar.