Marshmallows and the Fourth of July go together like B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling, but it's about time that the signature Independence Day treat got an adult makeover — in other words, it's time to learn how to make alcoholic marshmallows. We already know that toasted marshmallows make fantastic shot glasses, but can you infuse these fluffy, summertime snacks with booze? Yes, yes you can, and the sticky, spiked sweet is a must for your holiday weekend.
Homemade marshmallows, even alcoholic ones, are easier to make than you think, and only require a few ingredients and basic kitchen tools. If you're a newbie to candy making, then be warned that the process, although simple, is a sensitive one. It is important to pay close attention to temperatures and times while cooking, otherwise your marshmallows can easily turn into hard candy, or worse, a burnt mess. Make sure all of your ingredients and tools are pre-measured, laid out, and within reach of the stove. If you're prepared and organized, than whipping up this boozy homemade confection will be a cinch. Speaking of alcohol, you can add in any basic liquor to your marshmallow mix, but flavored vodkas work best. They blend in smoothly and offer endless flavor options (I recommend Fluffed Marshmallow). It's as if it were meant to be, and who are you to stand in the way of destiny?
- 2 tbsp. gelatin
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- Powdered sugar (for coating)
- 1/3 cup flavored vodka (marshmallow or whipped cream flavors are recommended)
- Toppings (optional)
1. Line a pan with parchment paper, and coat the paper and the sides of a pan with cooking spray. A jellyroll pan works well for standard sized marshmallows, but you can use two loaf pans for thicker ones.
2. Combine 1/2 cup cold water with gelatin. Stir briefly, just enough to get rid of any lumps. Let it sit for 10 minutes, until firm.
3. In the meantime, combine 1/2 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup. Stir until sugar is wet. Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly until boiling. Once the liquid has reached a boil, stop stirring. Keep on high heat until the temperature has reached 242 degrees. Immediately remove from heat. Let cool to 210 degrees.
4. While cooling, heat gelatin in a heat-safe bowl over simmering water. Stir constantly until gelatin becomes a clear liquid. Add liquor.
5. Combine the gelatin mixture with the sugar mixture in a mixing bowl. Immediately beat with an electric beater on high for about 10 minutes, until liquid has turned white and medium peaks form.
6. Quickly transfer to a pan. Cover with parchment paper. Freeze for at least eight hours.
7. When you are ready, take the marshmallows out of the freezer and gently remove from the pan. Cover all sides with powdered sugar. Cut into cubes, and continue to coat with powdered sugar.
8. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator.
Move over, jello shots, because I think I've just found my new favorite drunken dessert. The only thing better than devouring these amazing, sugary morsels is deciding just how to eat them. You can go the traditional route with your marshmallows and toast them over a fire, or get a little fancier and dress them up with different toppings. Try Kahlua, mini chocolate chips, and crumbled graham crackers for a grown-up twist on a s'more. Crunchy and gooey, it's a delicious and elegant way to serve your homemade alcoholic marshmallows. Just make sure you bring extra hand wipes, because things will get sticky.
Images: Sadie Trombetta