Dec 7, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Bean Agave Marshmallows



What can be better than warming up to a hot cup of cocoa on a chilly night topped with homemade marshmallows cut out in the shape of a snowflake!


Making homemade marshmallows from scratch with agave has been on my list of things to try for a very long time. I modified the Barefoot Contessa's recipe and replaced the corn syrup with agave and added some fresh vanilla bean and I just loved how these turned out! What a fun project, not very difficult to make as long as you have the right tools; a candy thermometer and a stand mixer are a must.


These are perfect to add to your hot cocoa, to make awesome homemade smores, and even turn into a really pretty hand-made gifts for the holidays!


I really loved this project! So did my older daughter who is a chocoholic and had an excellent excuse to make herself hot chocolate.

Tomorrow I plan on posting a cute idea we came up with using these marshmallows to create adorable holiday gifts, if you are crafty the possibilities are endless!


But these are just as pretty cut into squares and stored in an airtight container.


Have fun!!! You and kids will love them, they are very sweet so a little goes a long way!





Homemade Vanilla Bean Agave Marshmallows
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 44 • Size: 2 marshmallows* • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 1 pts
Calories: 52 • Fat: 0 g • Carb: 13 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 0.4 g • Sugar: 13 g
Sodium: 13 g 
Adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:

  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup COLD water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light agave syrup
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 2 tbsp confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions:


Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in a small bowl; let it sit while you make the syrup.


Meanwhile, combine the sugar, agave, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a medium sized saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and, using caution not to boil over, cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (careful it doesn't boil over, this will be hot). Remove from the heat.


Add the gelatin mixture and scraped vanilla bean into the bowl of your stand mixer.


With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Please be careful not to burn yourself with the HOT syrup, do not let the kids do this, you can get third degree burns if the hot syrup touches your skin.


Set the mixer to high speed and whip until the mixture expands and is very thick, about 17 minutes. This can be messy so if you have the protective lid attachment that came with your Kitchenaid, you might want to use that. Add the vanilla extract towards the end of the mixing.


With a sieve, generously dust the bottom of a 12 x 17 jelly roll pan or large glass baking dish with confectioners' sugar. This is probably the most important step, skipping this step, the marshmallows will stick to the pan and never come off.


Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth and dust with more confectioners' sugar.


Let the marshmallows sit uncovered overnight until they dry out.


Use a cookie cutter to make pretty marshmallow shapes or turn the marshmallows onto a board sprinkled with confectioners' sugar and cut them into squares. Dust with more confectioners' sugar to prevent sticking.

*Depending on the size of your cutouts, the nutritional info will change. I made these twice, first in a large glass casserole but they were too thick. The jellyroll pan was perfect and gave me perfect sized marshmallows for the cookie cutter. Based on that, I got 88 square marshmallows.

68 comments :

  1. Wow! I'm going to make these to go with my solid hot chocolate balls! Thanks!

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  2. So pretty and festive!

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  3. How do you make solid hot chocolate balls? Sounds yummy!

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  4. Thanks so much for this recipe! I'd much rather use agave than corn syrup.

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  5. I love those snowflake cookie cutters! Where did you find them?

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  6. These are so cute! I'm as curious as Gina, how do you make solid hot chocolate balls?

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  7. Sounds amazing! I'm definitely going to try these out for our holiday party!

    If I could add a word of caution from personal experience, please be VERY careful when pouring hot molten sugar into a running mixer. I was doing this making Italian meringue buttercream and ended up with third degree burns on my face and arm when the mixer whisk hit my measuring cup!! Embarassing and painful! Thankfully I'm okay and I just have a couple small scars on my arm, it could have been far worse. So be careful and pay attention to what you're doing please!

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  8. These will be a great Christmas Gift for my family and friends this year! Do you have any idea how long these will keep if stored in an airtight container? I am trying to figure out how far in advance I can make them.

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  9. I love that you used a cookie cutter to cut them out! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. The stand mixer is a must! I tried making marshmellows before and used a hand mixer.... 10 minutes later... I had marshmallow creme! Very great idea.
    Homemade marshmallows are soooo good!

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  11. Veronica, scary! Yes, please use caution, maybe I will highlight that in the instructions.

    These will last quite a while stored in an airtight container. I made these before Thanksgiving and I have the rest (the squares) in a cookie tin and they are still good. I also kept the snowflakes in ziplock bags and they lasted for weeks until they were eaten.

    I think I got the cut-outs at Michaels, but let me double check and get back to you. I also made them with stars, they were really pretty shaped both ways.

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  12. Thanks for this Gina!! I saw Ina make these and really thought about trying them- now that I have a weight watchers adapted recipe, i will be making them for sure!

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  13. Here's the recipe I used for the hot chocolate balls - I made them last weekend to give as gifts and they turned out amazing.

    http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2010/12/truffle-hot-chocolate-balls-sugar-rush-2.html

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  14. Ouhhhhhhh!! I need to send this to my mom so I can have her put it on our list of must do's when I go home for Christmas! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Hey Gina, they are sooo pretty :)
    I wanted to do some anyway and I guess now I'm going to use your recipe. I was just wondering, are they lower in calories than usual marshmallows?

    Love your blog and recipe and thanks for sharing all those great ideas with us!
    Katharina

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  16. Can't wait to try these! Maybe we'll see a hot chocolate recipe soon...??

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  17. I've been thinking of making marshmallows for awhile now but have seen a lot of recipes using egg whites which I didn't want to do. I love how you use those cute snowflake cookie cutters...so pretty! Definitely going to give these a try! Thx for sharing!

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  18. I've been making homemade marshmallows for the last couple of years with homemade hot cocoa powder . . . I am excited to try this for this year!

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  19. i love this! to make these without a vanilla bean, would you add a bit more vanilla extract?

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  20. Can you use a hand mixer I dont have a stand mixer and dont have money for one

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  21. See another reason why I need a mixer!!! LOVE THIS..

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  22. fabulous gift idea - I never even thought of making homemade marshmallows before

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  23. These are showing as vegetarian, but gelatin is an animal product.

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  24. It is vegetarian then... just not "vegan"

    These look like so much fun! Thx again Gina!!!

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  25. Gingerbread!

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  26. I don't think the calories are any lower than using corn syrup.

    If you skip the vanilla bean you can keep the vanilla extract as is.

    You really must use a stand mixer for these.

    And yes, these are vegetarian, not vegan.

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  27. Love these marshmallows! SO pretty and festive :)

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  28. I made marshmallows once about 10 years ago and I loved them. My Step-daughter remembers that and she always asks for me to make marshmallows, but I don't because I thought it would be a pain in the butt! But this seems easy enough and I love vanilla flavor. I will give these a shot this weekend. Thanks!!

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  29. Really pretty marshmallows! Where can I get snowflake cookie cutters?

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  30. What a great idea! Thanks, Gina!

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  31. Actaully, many vegetarians will not eat gelatin as it is made by boiling hides, bones and connective tissue of slaughtered animals.

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  32. So glad to get this post. My kids and I saw this on the Barefoot Contessa and were going to make them this weekend for the teacher gifts. I am on WW and thought this would be a very difficult temptation. So glad to have this one. myperfectversionofme, thank you for the hot chocolate balls recipe. I was just going to add packets of hot chocolate to the gift, but now I'm going to make these. Gina, you're awesome!

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  33. Wonderful, delightful, sweet & sassy! What a great reason to break out the snowflake cookie cutters once again during the holiday season & beyond!

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  34. So excited for these! And thank you for the solid hot chocolate balls recipe too! What a great combo!

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  35. What is in the mug that you posted a picture of?

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  36. Hi Gina! LOVE ur recipes!! Wondering how to make marshmallows without gelatin? Thanx for ur help and keep on sharing ur delicious creations! :)

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  37. Sorry, no, gelatin (derived from bone marrow) is not a vegetarian product. It is meat-based. Not a by-product like honey or eggs, animals are killed to make it.

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  38. Thanks for letting me know they are not vegetarian, I will un-label it. Not sure if it's possible to make without gelatin.?

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  39. Hi Gina, could you tell me how much gelatin that is and if it was powdered. I want to be sure that the quantity of gelatin in packets they sell in Ireland are the same as you used! We can buy both powdered and leaf. Glad to see that you used agave as we can get that here but not corn syrup. Making WW friendly treats over here is a little tricky!
    Cathriona x

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  40. There are gelatin alternatives: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/gelatin-alternatives.aspx

    Also, what is in the mug in your picture? Thanks! It is so cute.

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  41. Funny you can find agave but not corn syrup, here in the states it's the opposite! A 1 oz package contains 4 envelopes, so I guess each envelope is .25 oz each.

    In the mug it's just crinkled paper to hold the paper silver ring on top, then I topped it with the marshmallows and taped the hot chocolate to the mug. Pretty easy!

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  42. Are those square cupcake liners that you used for the marshmallow squares? They are very pretty. Where did you find them?

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  43. Hi Gina! I have a question about the agave... you list light agave. Is this opposed to dark or is there such a thing as low cal? Don't work much with it and I plan to pick up the ingredients this weekend to make the pops for the ladies in my Monday night pilates class. Thanks!

    Monica P.

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  44. The liners are the small ones for candy, they are round. Micheals sells them.

    Light agave refers to the color, the taste is mild.

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  45. Gina - You only make that mistake once... I was using a new bigger mixer, so the whip wasn't as deep down inside the bowl as my older Artisan. I'm possibly the world's only person to end up in hospital from making icing! LOL!

    I'm definitely excited to make these marshmallows this week, we have our big holiday party next weekend and I'm going to have a hot chocolate bar with homemade marshmallows! Do you think subbing out the vanilla extract for raspberry or another flavour would work okay? Also any idea how to make mocha flavour? Dust with cocoa rather than confectioners sugar, but I'd like to make them chocolate flavoured too!

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  46. Veronica, I'm sure!! I think using a different extract would work out fine. I would guess adding cocoa powder to the sugar would turn them into cocoa, but without making them I'm not sure how much cocoa you would need to add. I bet they will be great!

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  47. Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at foodepix.com.

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  48. Somethings are just too much of a drag to make from scratch. But I honestly believe that homemade marshmallows are completely worth it! They're so much lighter and more heavenly than the store bought jet-puffed. I love the snowflake design and gift idea! Spreading the joy of homemade marshmallows is definitely in the Christmas spirit!

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  49. I wanted to point out something. You have this recipe in your list of vegetarian recipes but using Gelatin it is not vegetarian as Gelatin is made from animals. Can pectin be used in place of the gelatin? If not, you need to take this out of the vegetarian list, as it's misleading.

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  50. Hello, I'm from Lithuania and we don't use the thermometer while cooking, so I don;t have it but I really want to make these marshmallows. What can I do instead, how do I know if it's good enough temperature?

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  51. It was brought to my attention they are not vegetarian, I just haven't had the chance to remove it from the index.

    Without a thermometer you will have to take a guess and hope it works... It should be bubbling and hot.

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  52. These marshmallows are so freaking good! I made these the other night. I purchased homemade marshmallows a few years ago that were just like these - so super soft and light that you could die. I haven't been able to find that particular brand again and have tried several other homemade products (always at the holiday time) and have been so disappointed in them. These are totally worth making. It was even worth getting over my fear of hot candy and mixers. They are actually not hard to do at all. And I purchased a very cheap funnel from my hardware store to use to pour the candy into the mixer to be sure to avoid hitting the beater. It worked great!

    P.S. I have the same snowflake cookie cutters!!!!

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  53. Gina, these are AMAZING! My marshmallows are still drying, but the creme was delicious! I have to thank you--I have the exact same vanilla that you have in your picture (I brought it back from the Dominican Republic awhile back)---I haven't really cared for it in most recipes that call for vanilla. In these marshmallows, though, it's DIVINE! :)

    I'm really debating making another batch of marshmallow creme to make rice krispie treats....:)

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  54. Hi Gina,

    I made these for my staff (and stuffed the mugs with puppy chow, too). They were super cute and I think they showed my peeps that I care. :) Thanks for the idea!!!

    PS... I took the leftovers to a campfire- they definitely do not hold up to toasting on a stick!

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  55. The Nutra Drink Company makes a vegan "jel dessert" that they sell under the brand name "Natural Desserts". It's sets just like gelatin, so it should probably work. It is a quick setting "jel", so the mixing time might be shorter. I found it in a local food co-op that specializes in alternative foods. You might need to order it through a local grocery. The website for the company that makes the jel dessert is www.nutradrinkco.com and they're located in Ridgewood, New York.

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  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  57. Also vegetarian gelatin is available. It's usually advertised as Kosher. Lieber's and Diet Kojel are two brands that sell it. I bought mine at a local Kosher Butcher.

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  58. Gina - I just thought I'd follow up with my experiences now that I've made this a couple times :) I add in the agave/sugar syrup without the mixer running and it still turns out great. I also have made it in different flavours substituting the vanilla extract for raspberry and I've also done mint (although the mint is really strong, so if I made it again, I'd reduce the amount I put in). I add a bit of gel food colouring to tint them as well. My cookie cutters were sticking, so I dip them in confectioners sugar as I'm cutting. Everyone LOVES them, and I love how simple they are to make. This is a great recipe, thank you again so much for your amazing website and for sharing your phenomenal recipes with us!

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  59. I found a recipe for healthier rice krispy treats. Can these marshmallows be used in place of store bought ones in recipes?

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  60. i am vegetarian and am fairly strict about not using gelatin. wondering if you think pectin could work?

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  61. How long do these marshmallows last?

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  62. Is it possible to substitute pectin for the gelatin? If so, how much would I need?

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  63. I made these last year and they were great. I'm making them again right now, but I made an error. I forgot to half the water and so I dissolved my gelatin in a full cup. Oops!! So, I made some adjustments. I put in an extra packet of gelatin and I only used 1/4 cups of water to make the syrup. I'll let you know how they came out. I always think it's good to find fixes for blunders when using recipes b/c we ALL blunder.

    Also, I'm using corn syrup. I found an article that describes how agave is NOT all natural and unprocessed. They like to make it out that it is just squeezed from the plant, but it's processed pretty much the same way corn syrup is and is therefore no healthier. So, I just used what I had.

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    1. First update: well, so far so good. They thickened and were making hard peaks. They're setting up now.

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  64. I made these this afternoon - my kitchen is a big sugary mess and I have two Ball jars of a nice syrup from boiling the pot over on the first try but from the taste testing, holy cats these are going to be some awesome marshamallows! Now if they would just hurry up and dry so I can cut them out and put the s'more pops together!!

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  65. How much does one packet weigh?
    Thank you

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