My husband Dale's grandmother fixed these fluffy marshmallows only for special occasions. Since she had no electric mixer, beating the ingredients by hand for 30 minutes was a labor of love. Now, Dale makes them. They're delicious!
- 2 cups cold water, divided
- 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Confectioners' sugar
- Toasted flaked coconut or ground pecans, optional
- In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup of water and gelatin; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, salt and remaining water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and continue cooking for 3 minutes to dissolve any sugar crystals. Uncover and cook on medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 270° (soft-crack stage). Remove from the heat and gradually add to gelatin. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Add vanilla; beat on medium for 10 minutes.
- Spread mixture into a 13-in. x 9-in. pan sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. Cover and cool at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight. Cut into 1-in. squares; roll in coconut or nuts if desired. Store in airtight containers in a cool dry place. Yield: about 8 dozen.
Originally published as Homemade Marshmallows in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1997, p38
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