It's really too bad that you can't give out homemade candy to trick-or-treaters without parents being wary of your sanitation practices or fearing you might have mistaken arsenic for the vanilla extract. I love to make candy, especially marshmallows. They take very few ingredients, not a ton of time, and can be flavored hundreds of different ways just by switching out the extract or adding spices or crushed candy to the final dredge. This Halloween version has a sweet vanilla-bean middle with a crunchy chocolate topping, better than any bag of long-ago packaged candy. Mmm.
3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 of a vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Orange food coloring
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup cornstarch mixed with 1 cup of powdered sugar.
Grease a 9x13 in. pan and cover it with a layer of the cornstarch/powdered sugar mixture. (Reserve the rest for dredging the marshmallows later.)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water. Let bloom for 10 minutes while preparing the sugar syrup.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, salt, and vanilla. Stir gently to dissolve the sugar and then let the mixture come to a boil. Boil for 1 minute and then remove from the stove. Allow the bubbles to dissipate.
Turn the mixer onto its lowest setting and slowly add the sugar syrup to the gelatin. When all of the syrup has been added, turn the mixer to the highest setting and whip for 12 minutes. When there are about 2 minutes left, begin adding food coloring until the desired shade of orange is reached.
After whipping for 12 minutes, you should have a fluffy, shiny, creamy marshmallow mixture. Using a greased spatula to get as much as you can (you will not get it all, trust me) pour the mixture into the 9x13 in. pan. Then, quickly grease your hands and use them to spread the marshmallow into an even layer. Sprinkle another layer of the cornstarch/powdered sugar mixture on top. Let set for about an hour in the pan. When you can press a finger on top of the marshmallows and they spring back, they are ready to remove from the pan.
Flip the rectangle of marshmallow onto a cutting board and cut into squares using a pizza wheel. Toss the squares in the remaining cornstarch and powdered sugar to keep them from sticking together. Store in an airtight container.
Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips over very low heat and mix the melted chocolate until it is smooth and shiny. Dip one side of the marshmallow into the chocolate, swirling gently to coat evenly and then place on a cooling rack to dry. Makes about 90 marshmallows.
Ciao for now,