Today I found myself pursuing the cold. I didn’t bundle up on our walk to the park after dinner. I did not turn up the heat when I got home. I removed my layers down to a t-shirt and procrastinated putting on my slippers just so that my chill could be cured from the warmth of a cup of hot cocoa topped with homemade marshmallows. I remained in a continuous slightly chilled state until I tucked my sweet boys in bed, so that my enjoyment of my warm treat would be uninterrupted.Β  From there I placed a saucepan on the stove, filled it with milk, brought it to a boil, turned off the heat and added several pieces of dark chocolate. I poured this luxurious concoction into a large mug then topped with two pillowy puffs of whipped vanilla bean studded heaven.

For moments like these I not only welcome the cold, I invite it in like a long lost friend because nothing is more satisfying to remove a chill then with a steaming mug of rich hot cocoa and sweet vanilla scented homemade marshmallows. Now if only I had a fireplace to curl up to.
If you have never met the deliciousness that is a homemade marshmallow I not only encourage you I URGE you to stop what you are doing and whip up a batch. The process is simple. Don’t let the cooking of sugar scare you off – just don’t burn yourself because that would definitely hinder your enjoyment of this intoxicating treat.




adapted fromΒ Alton Brown

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cups cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup (or glucose)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, seeds removed
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray


Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Add the vanilla seeds. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes.Β  While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.


Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with aluminum then spray with pan spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel or sharp knife dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. (I suggest doubling the recipe – yes, they are that good.)


94 Responses to “pieces of heaven”

  1. elizabeth

    beautiful! and delicious, I’m sure! It’s not quite cold enough here for hot chocolate, but when it is, I’ll be making these little gems to go along…thanks for sharing it! Lovely photos, too!

  2. carojen

    love love love these! I’m thinking these will pair nicely with some Christmas gifts. I love the mugs. Especially the one with the little, what are they, dancing musician bugs? πŸ™‚

  3. artisansweets

    cheryl – if I remember correctly I hear/saw that you make a mean marshmallow?! I will have to ask Brandi about them!

    carojen – yes. I borrowed my sons mug for the photo shoot. Speaking of photo shoot… my husband gave me a lesson and let me take/edit the photos on this one! Fun stuff.

  4. Eileen

    Aren’t homemade marshmallows just the best? I made my first batch of the season last week and they disappeared in no time. I’m looking forward to winter and cups of hot chocolate topped with these… no whipped cream for me!

  5. laurelplumonline

    My First Kitchen sent me over. Hot chocolate is my ultimate, absolute, most perfect comfort food. I’ll even take it in the summer. But what would it be without the marshmallow? I can not wait to try this recipe!

  6. Brooke

    Oh! Joy!
    I just yesterday told my son I was certain we could make our own marshmallows. Aren’t these just DELIGHTFUL! We’ll be sure to try them, and will try to post them on my blog. Please stop by for a visit anytime! We’d love to have you!

  7. Gemma

    This is my first visit to your beautiful blog and you have reminded me of yet another reason why I need a stand mixer, how many do I need before I can justify the over Β£300 that they cost in the UK?!

  8. bbjeanevents

    I stumbled upon your blog and I love it (anyone who feels the need to share topics on good food is welcome with me!) Ironically, a girl friend and I were talking about homemade marshmallows yesterday and I discovered your recipe. Perhaps it’s fate telling me to whip up a batch πŸ™‚

  9. Patricia Shea

    Thanks so much for this posting. I have been thinking about making marshmallows for YEARS and I have it on my list to do for this upcoming winter. We are lucky enough to have a wood burning stove in the kitchen and this along with three sleeping dogs, a newly acquired kitten (found in a pile of leaves in the woods round our home) and homemade hot chocolate will probably have me ascending to some form of sugar heaven when it actually comes to fruition. Thanks for the encouragement! Patricia

  10. cait and the bean

    We just finished making these marshmallows. They were awesome and not hard to make….although it did involve a trip out to buy a candy thermometer. We didn’t have cornstarch so we just used powdered sugar in all the steps and it worked fine. We cleaned the pizza wheel a couple of times to get better edges. They just melt in your mouth! We are going to make hot cocoa mix to go along with these for gifts……if there are any left! It made about 65. Thanks for the recipe we never even thought of making these before but now that we have we will be making them again and again!

  11. Frog's Mom

    Just what I was looking for! Thanks for the recipe – we’ll be making a lot of them next week for gifts and for us :0) Happy Holidays!

  12. catie

    sounds really yummy! one question, what adjustments do I make for altitude cooking??? I struggle with baking at altitude since I have only lived “up here” for 2 years.

  13. Ashley Rodriguez

    Catie – I don’t know a lot about high altitude baking but from what I do know I don’t think this recipe needs to be altered to adjust to the altitude. Your sugar syrup may come up to the correct temperature more quickly but that is why you will have a thermometer handy to check for that. There are a lot of great resources online written by people who know plenty on the subject. Check out
    Let me know how it goes!

  14. Phil E. Drifter

    Play ‘Chubby Bunny:’

    Place a single marshmallow in your mouth and say, “Chubby bunny.”
    Don’t chew or swallow or salivate on the marshmallow any more than you have to in order to keep it comfortably in your mouth.
    Place another marshmallow in your mouth. Repeat “chubby bunny.” Don’t chew/etc. Place another marshmallow in your mouth, say ‘chubby bunny’ without chewing/swallowing, etc. Continue to put single marshmallows into your mouth and keep trying to say “chubby bunny,” and you will be laughing hysterically, right before you choke to death. But no it’s a really fun game.

  15. Aimee

    Alas, these mallows look so pretty, but they have corn syrup in them. For those looking for the same thrill of hot cocoa with delicious WAY beter than store bought mallows without the corn syrup, check this page.

    same process, sans corn syrup. also, with the corn starch/powdered sugar mixture, keep covered when not using it. corn starch soaks up moisture like no one’s business.

  16. Kimberly Dunfee

    We are stationed in Alaska and I plan to make this recipe in a few weeks when winter arrives. I think it’ll make my cocoa under the northern lights even better!

  17. starr

    to the person without a stand mixer: i don’t have one either and i had no trouble making these, i just used the kind of mixer you have to hold yourself. i just prepared the pans ahead of time, everything else was no problem, and they turned out perfectly fine.

  18. Lauren

    These look and sound delicious! Makes me rethink my non-marshmallow stance when it comes to sweet potato holiday dishes, lol.

  19. Kasey

    What gorgeous photos! I have been meaning to make marshmallows for some time now, but I had a hell of a time getting that mixture to pour! I felt like I ended up being covered, head to toe, in marshmallow fluff.

  20. Megan D

    I’m also in need of a different measurement for the gelatin. Is that volume ounces or weight ounces? I buy my gelatin in bulk for bread baking.


  21. Robinson

    Oh my God!!! I got myself satisfied only for seeing these pictures. Seems to be wonderful, I’m gonna try it. Thanks for exist.

  22. rani

    Hi, I as well live making marshmallows, the favorite around the house is peppermint marshmallows, have you ever made them with honey instead of corn syrup? I have a great and easy recipe. Let me know if you want it.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Sue – They can be but they are a lot more fragile than store bought. It is better to broil them or just very lightly toast them and be prepared to catch them with something before they fall off the stick! πŸ™‚

  23. Rachael

    I know that a Vanilla Bean is the BEST way to get the flavor, but it is unaccessable to me. would using Pure Vanilla Extract change the consistancy of the marshmellows or make me have to change a little bit of measurements?

  24. Bev K

    My DIL sent me your blog. I agree homemade marshmallows can’t be beat. My Norwegian friend always makes several varieties at Christmas – I think the toasted coconut ones are my favourite. Thanks for the detailed instructions.

  25. AmyDishes

    Just made these a couple of nights ago after watching you demonstrate them in the holiday treats class. What fun! I’ll admit that my sugar took much longer to reach softball stage (maybe 20 minutes) – but think that has to do with my electric stovetop range vs the recipe. I added a couple of drops of peppermint oil + dipped them in tempered chocolate like you showed us. What a delight! Can’t wait to spread the holiday cheer. Thanks again for the lovely recipes!

  26. Ellen

    Hi Ashley, I’ll be making marshmallows (these!) for the first time and want to make two or three different kinds, including candy cane. Would I put the flavoring in at the very end before spreading in a pan? And would you recommend peppermint extract or oil? Thanks in advance for your help. I’m excited to make these! Ellen

  27. ashley L

    Hi Ashley! I know someone asked this before, but can you use vanilla extract in the recipe? we live in a very small town and vanilla beans are impossible to come by or afford. Thanks!

  28. Sharon

    These look wonderful! I didn’t have time to read all the comments so if you’ve already answered this, bear with me. Could I use vanilla extract or would the alcohol make the fluff fall? Thanks!

  29. Ellen

    Just want to let you know that I’ve now made three batches (vanilla bean, peppermint, and Mexican spice) in the past three weeks and they each turned out great. Plus, they’re really fun to make. Thanks so much, Ashley!


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  34. Lauren

    I made these the other day and they continued to have that “gummy” texture even a day after letting them set. Is this normal. I was under the impression that they would harden up. Thanks!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      They definitely don’t harden but ideally they are soft, fluffy and light. The texture comes from the temperature of the sugar and how long you whip the sugar with the gelatin. Whip the mixture until the bowl is just warm and the mixture is very pillowing and airy.

  35. Marla

    epic marshmallow failure… Thought I could use vanilla extract since I had no beans… Now I know.


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