Flannels & Pearls


I realize that the dessert/baked goods category of this blog has more posts than the rest. That’s no mistake. And it’s not because I have a huge sweet tooth, because I really don’t. (I’m all about chips, dips, and appetizers). It’s partly because it might be my best area, but desserts are also the foods that challenge me the most. It’s my version of art. And that’s what makes my brain light up. Homemade marshmallows are such a fun little confection. Light, fluffy, sweet, and soooo good in a cup of hot chocolate. And really, they are not that difficult to make. Two things you need to remember: 1. Because you’re working with a very hot syrup, you should keep your kids and pets out of the kitchen. 2. Get everything organized before you start. Things move quickly. Ready to never want store bought marshmallows again? And to have your kids ask for them like 100 times a year? Here’s how they’re made.

In a small or medium bowl, combine 1/4 c. powdered sugar and 1/4 c. cornstarch. Set aside. Remember, we’re getting organized first.

Line a 9×13 pan with foil, spray with non-stick spray, and sprinkle in most of powdered sugar mix. Move pan around to coat thoroughly and dump the remaining sugar back into the bowl. You’ll need it again. Set pan beside your stand mixer, along with your vanilla.

In your stand mixer, add 3 packets of gelatin and 1/2 c. cold water. Give it a little mix. Attach your whip attachment and set aside.

If you do have an aversion to sugar, you’ll want to click on that little back arrow in the upper left hand side of your screen now. In a medium sauce pan, add 1 1/2 c. sugar, 1 c. light corn syrup, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 c. cold water. Give this a little stir. Place over medium high heat, cover, and allow to cook for 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side and cook until the temperature reaches 240 degrees. Then, quickly remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low and begin slowly pouring the syrup down the inside of the bowl, adding to the gelatin mixture. Once you’ve added it all, increase the speed to high and add 2 tsp. of vanilla.

Continue to whip on high until the mixture becomes very thick and the bowl becomes lukewarm.

I opted not to lose my camera in this gooey concoction, so you’ll have to trust me when I say I successfully spooned the mixture into my prepared pan. Smooth it out with a slightly oiled spatula. You’ll have to work fast, this mess is sticky.

Sprinkle the remaining powdered sugar/cornstarch over the top. Set for at least 4 hours or overnight. In the winter, I pop mine out in my cold garage for a few hours and it sets great.

Once it’s set, grab a large cutting board and cover it with powdered sugar. Pour about 1/4 c. or so of powdered sugar into a small bowl.

Work the marshmallow slab out of the aluminum foil and place it on the cutting board – bottom still down. If you do invert it, then you’ll need to cover the new top with powdered sugar.

Cut marshmallows into about 1 inch wide strips.

Then cut the strips into about 1 inch cubes. Once cut, roll each cube in the bowl of powdered sugar so the sides won’t be sticky. Seal marshmallows in an air tight container. They last a good week, maybe longer. But I’ve never had mine that long! You will not believe how decadent hot chocolate can be. Divine.

*Adapted from Alton Brown

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Course Dessert
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 1 c. cold water divided
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • powdered sugar


  • In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and cornstarch. Set aside. Line a 9×13 pan with foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray, and coat the bottom and sides with some of the powdered sugar mixture. Pour excess powder back into the bowl. Set aside the pan.
  • In your stand mixer, add gelatin and 1/2 c. water. Stir to combine. Attach whisk attachment and have vanilla ready.
  • In a medium sauce pan, add sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 c. water. Stir in a bit until combined. Place on medium high heat, cover, and heat for 4 minutes. Remove cover and clip on a candy thermometer. Turn heat up a little more, cooking until thermometer reads 240 degrees. Quickly remove from heat.
  • Turn mixer on low and begin to pour syrup down the side of the inside of the bowl. Once all of the syrup is in the mixer, whisk on high. Add vanilla. Continue to whip until mixture becomes very thick and the bowl is lukewarm (roughly 10-14 minutes).
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan. Using a slightly oiled spatula, spread until fairly even. Sprinkle remaining powdered sugar mix on top. Allow at least 4 hours or overnight to set (uncovered).
  • Lift the marshmallow slab out of the foil and onto a cutting board that’s sprinkled with powdered sugar. Cut into 1 inch cubes and roll in powdered sugar.
  • Keeps 1-2 weeks in an air tight container. Makes wonderful homemade Christmas gifts.