Monday, April 2, 2012

Whiskey Marshmallows

With Easter this upcoming weekend, it seemed like as good of a time as any to break out the candy thermometer and make homemade marshmallows!
A candy thermometer is very important.  I never considered myself a candy maker, but it can be used to make meringue buttercream frostings, caramels, and lots of other sweets.  It's an inexpensive kitchen tool that you'll find yourself using over and over again...well worth the investment.  If the proper temperature isn't reached (or is exceeded) in your sugar syrups, then you end up with crystallization, candies that won't set, and other problems.  

With a set of cookie cutters and some colored sugar, you can make your own Peeps.  You can also save these marshmallows for hot chocolate (it's still plenty cold here in Seattle), take them camping for s'mores, or just eat them plain.

I followed the recipe from Use Real Butter (one of my favorite food blogs), and added a special kick:

The best part of homemade marshmallows is the flexibility in flavors.  You can add vanilla, chocolate, almond, peppermint, lavender, coffee, whiskey, or any liqueur. 

Recipe from Use Real Butter


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 envelopes of powdered gelatin
  • 1-2 shots whiskey (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 egg whites (room temperature)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup corn starch or potato starch
  • vegetable oil (for greasing pan)
Pour 1/2 cup of liquid into a bowl.  If you have no liqueur flavors, this will be all water.  If you are adding whiskey or another liqueur, first pour the liqueur in the measuring cup and then top off the 1/2 cup with water.  I used one shot, but the flavor is hardly noticeable.  I would try two next time.  Sprinkle gelatin powder over the liquid and let it sit.

Meanwhile, mix 1/3 cup cold water, sugar, and corn syrup in a small saucepan and warm over medium-high heat.  Keep a candy thermometer on the mixture.  

Meanwhile, beat egg whites on low speed until frothy.  Add a pinch of salt.  When the syrup reaches 210°F (Jen of Use Real Butter makes a good point that you have to reduce this temperature by 2 degrees every 1000 feet of elevation above sea level--yay, science!), turn the mixer on high and beat the egg whites until thick and fluffy.

When syrup gets to 245°F, slowly pour it in a thin stream into the side of the mixing bowl while the whisk is running (but avoid getting the syrup on the whisk and bowl sides). 

Leave the mixer beating, and return the saucepan to the stove.  Pour the gelatin mixture into the saucepan, and let the residual heat melt and dissolve the gelatin.  Pour this mixture into the mixing bowl (while still beating), in a similar slow stream to the syrup.  At this point, add any flavoring extracts (vanilla, peppermint, almond...).  Continue whipping until the bowl is cool to the touch.

Meanwhile, mix the powdered sugar and corn/potato starch in a large bowl.

Grease a 9x13 pan with vegetable oil, including the sides.  Dump a small amount of the powdered sugar mix into the pan to dust.

Gently tap the sides of the pan while tilting and rotating.  This will ensure an even coat.

If you have any excess, return it to the bowl.  Your coated pan should now look like this:

Your marshmallow fluff should be about done!  

Pour into the pan, and spread around evenly.

Let it dry overnight, uncovered.

Dust the top layer with the powdered sugar mix and coat evenly.

Run a knife along the edges to loosen, and gently invert the pan onto a clean surface.  You may need to use your hands (I used a spatula) to loosen the marshmallow.

From here, you can use a knife, pizza cutter, or scissors to cut the marshmallow into small blocks.  I decided to use some small cookie cutters instead.  Be sure to dip the cutters in the powdered sugar mix in between cuts!

Toss the marshmallow pieces in the powdered sugar mix to coat evenly.  If you're making homemade Peeps, you'll toss in colored sugar instead.

Shake off the marshmallows to get rid of any extra powder.

Space-themed marshmallows!

There will be plenty of marshmallow bits leftover after you're done cutting all of your shapes.  You can slice these up with scissors or a knife, toss in the remaining marshmallow powder, and save them for hot chocolate and other scrap-friendly uses.
You can store these in an air-tight container for up to a week.


  1. Love it! Remember when we made peeps a couple years ago? Yours look much nicer :)

  2. Yes! I can't remember what we did, or why they didn't hold their shape...but I do remember how tasty they were and the sugar coma that followed. :)