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Cooking with Teens: The Marshmallow Bake Off!

I’m fascinated by the diversity of recipes.

My good friend recently gave me her recipe for marshmallows. Let’s just say, a certain western cooking and lifestyle magazine published a very different recipe claiming they would be easy and good. So I invited my teenagers into the kitchen and the bake off began!

The tiniest of difference in recipe ingredients, I suspected, would make all the difference, but I kept it neutral, wanting my kids to discover the miracle of chemistry in the process. Thing is, the magazine recipe calls for egg whites and the other is egg white free.

Ultimately the egg whites created a “Son of Flubber” bouncy marshmallow. My friend’s recipe had a thick heavier bite that would do well at the end of a roasting stick and would hold up well in a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

If you want to have some fun making your own yummy mallows for "Give Me S’Mores" here is the recipe for you to try.

Kari’s  Marshmallow Recipe

Step 1 ingredients:
– ¾ cups water
– 4 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
– ¼ cup cornstarch
– ¼ cup sifted powdered sugar (don’t skip sifting or you’ll be sorry)
– 2 teaspoons vanilla (or another extract of your choice, think peppermint at Christmas)

Step 2 ingredients:
– 3 cups of granulated sugar
– 1¼ cups of light corn syrup
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– ¾ cup water

Step 1:
Line a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with heavy duty foil and brush it with vegetable oil. Mix the powered sugar with the cornstarch in a bowl, then coat the foil dish with it, (you don’t have to use it all). In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle in the water and gelatin and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Step 2:
In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, light corn syrup, salt and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees, and then remove from the heat.

Next, with the mixer on low speed, using the whisk attachment, very carefully pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture. When the syrup is incorporated, increase the speed to high and continue beating until stiff peaks form and mixture is cool about 20 to 30 minutes. Then beat in 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Poor the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth with an offset spatula( oiled well), and let stand overnight, uncovered, until firm.

Dust the top with a combination of cocoa powder and powdered sugar, then cut into squares using a sharp knife lightly brushed with oil. Coat the sides of each marshmallow with more of the sugar/cocoa mixture, trying not to eat too many. Enjoy!

– Sara