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Marshmallow Magic



Preparation Time: 60 minutes

Makes: 40-50

Is winter getting you down?  How about trying your hand at marshmallows?  Kids love this project:  there's something almost magical about turning few simple ingredients into wonderful fluff. Marshmallows take less than an hour. And-- bonus-- if you're like most people who've tried them, you'll probably decide that homemade marshmallows are much better than store bought.  You can even make them in different colors if you want.

INGREDIENTS

3 packets (about 3 tablespoons) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 -1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:
Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in a medium sized heat-proof bowl. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/3 cup of water in a small heavy saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Turn stove to high and heat until mixture comes to a very brisk boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil for about 2 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer, the temperature should reach about 240 degrees.

Take pan off heat and very carefully pour contents into the bowl containing gelatin. Add vanilla extract. Set timer for 10 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat mixture on high speed for at least 10 minutes. When the mixture becomes very thick and white and has at least doubled in size, it is done.

Using a rubber spatula, scoop mixture into a 9×12 casserole dish that has been generously dusted with powdered sugar. Let marshmallows sit at room temperature, uncovered, for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Don’t panic if they look incredibly sticky at first. They will thicken up as they cool. Cut into squares. They’ll still feel quite sticky as you cut them, but cut them as cleanly as possible with a wet knife. Then dust cut edges with additional powdered sugar, and they will feel like ‘real’ marshmallows.

Note: For marshmallows with different colors and flavors, add a small amount of unsweetened kool-aid powder to the mixture on the stove as you are heating it.

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