This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine.
Homemade marshmallows are so simple and sweet! This easy homemade marshmallow recipe for Strawberry Vanilla Marshmallows is perfect for Valentine’s gift-giving, or whenever you’re craving a sweet treat!
“Can I squeeze it?” My daughter begged as we carried the marshmallows down the street to deliver on a friend’s front porch. I gave her a swift “no!” but deep down inside, I couldn’t blame her. The little marshmallow pillows were so irresistibly soft and squishy!
Even better than squishing the homemade marshmallows was eating them. Heavenly pillows of sweet fluff, one layer vanilla, the other a sweet strawberry, I often think that this must be what angels sleep on, whenever I pop one in my mouth.
If you’ve never made homemade marshmallows, you’re in for a treat. I promise you that they are the simplest sweet you can make, and as tempting as it may be to keep them all for yourself, it’s the perfect homemade gift to surprise your friends and family.
Easy Ways to Make Valentine’s Day Special
Do you know what else is a wonderful way to surprise friends? Thoughtful gifts that you can find at your local Safeway! Over the holidays, I shared how fun it was to make batches of granola and deliver them to friends packaged up with flowers and a candle. Now with Valentine’s Day around the corner, I love how there are so many thoughtful and convenient ways to celebrate the ones you love! The possibilities are endless for special celebrations, bringing Valentine cheer to neighbors, or Galentine’s Day!
The floral department has so many new, limited-edition Valentine’s offerings from the debi lilly design™ Valentines Collection, from beautiful floral arrangements to Valentine’s gifts! I picked up a beautiful bouquet of roses that I was able to arrange into smaller arrangements in beautiful cylinder vases. I also couldn’t resist the Debi Lilly Color Meaning Candle — they smell amazing!
And then, of course, everything I need to make the strawberry vanilla marshmallows is available at Safeway — all you need is granulated sugar, powdered sugar, agave syrup, and some gelatin. I love that the O Organics® line makes it super easy — they have all the basics I need!
Don’t forget to pick up some hot cocoa while you’re at it…there’s nothing cozier than hot chocolate with marshmallows!
Now you know how much I love Safeway’s Grocery Delivery and Drive Up & Go™ — I use this convenient service every week, and it’s such a timesaver to shop on my app or online and drive up and go! It makes life so much easier, and leaves me more time to make treats for friends! I shopped at Safeway in my local area, but you can also find O Organics® and Open Nature® plant-based products at the Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market, and Tom Thumb.
How to Make Homemade Marshmallows
Once you make homemade marshmallows, you may be tempted to never buy them again — they truly are, hand-down, so much better than storebought! The one important tool you will need is a candy- or instant-read thermometer, for making the sugar syrup, as well as an electric mixer.
Prepare your baking dish — glass or ceramic works best here — by lightly greasing with oil. If you want large marshmallows, perfect for gifting, opt for an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch dish. You can also make this in a 9×13-inch dish, which is best for making a larger batch of smaller marshmallows.
Make a dusting powder by combining powdered sugar and cornstarch together. Divide in two – one you will keep white, and the other half you will add some powdered freeze-dried strawberries to make it pink.
Dissolve the gelatin in cold water and give it a few minutes to bloom. In the meantime, make the sugar syrup by adding the sugar, agave or corn syrup, salt, and water in a small saucepan. Cook it over medium heat, without stirring, until the sugar starts to dissolve, then increase to high heat and cooking until it reaches 240°F. Be very careful with this step so you do not get burned. Once you reach the desired temperature, remove from the heat.
In an electric mixer, whisk the gelatine to loosen, then very slowly add the sugar syrup at low speed. Slowly increase the speed to high and whisk until the mixture is fluffy and the outside of the bowl has cooled, about 10 minutes. Flavor with vanilla. I like to have two-toned marshmallows, so pour half of the marshmallow into the dish. Add powdered strawberry into the remaining marshmallow, combined, and spread on top of the white layer.
Sprinkle the pink powdered sugar dusting powder on top then let it cool at room temperature in a dry area for at least 6 hours, or ideally, overnight. Cut, dust with more dusting powder (I like to use white for the bottom and pink for the top so you can see the layers), and enjoy!
More Sweet Recipes
Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Safeway. Thank you for supporting brands that matter to me; sponsored posts such as this help behind the scenes at Kitchen Confidante. All opinions in this post are, as always, my own.
Strawberry Vanilla Marshmallows
- 1 1.2-oz package freeze-dried strawberries to be crushed and divided
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
For the marshmallows
- 3 packages gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup or agave syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Using a food processor or mortar and pestle, crush the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl. You may find a pestle will be helpful to crush the remaining bits, and a pastry brush also makes it easier to transfer the finest powder. Set aside 2 tablespoons of powdered strawberries for some of the dusting powder, and set aside the remainder for the marshmallows.
- Spray an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch square ceramic or glass baking dish with oil.
Make the dusting powder
- Combine the powdered sugar and corn starch until well combined. Divide into two bowls. Keep one bowl plain white, and to the other, mix in 2 tablespoons powdered strawberries.
- Generously dust the bottom and sides of the baking dish with the white dusting powder.
Make the marshmallows
- Sprinkle the gelatin in a bowl of 1/2 cup cold water. Gently mix to moisten the gelatin, and let it sit for about 5 minutes to allow it to bloom.
- Combine the sugar, corn/agave syrup, salt, and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Increase to high heat and cook until a candy thermometer reads 240°F. Immediately remove from the heat.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the gelatin and mix at low speed to break up the gelatin. VERY slowly pour in the sugar syrup, keeping the mixer on low speed to prevent the hot syrup from splashing you.
- Slowly increase the speed to high, and continue to whisk for about 10 minutes, or until very fluffy. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla.
- Transfer half of the marshmallow mixture to the prepared dish, and spread to an even layer.
- Add remaining powdered strawberries to the marshmallow, whisk to combine, and spread into the baking dish. Sprinkle some of the pink strawberry dusting powder on top.
- Let the marshmallows sit uncovered at room temperature for at least 6 hours, or ideally, overnight.
- Cut into squares. Dust cut marshmallows with more dusting powder on all sides -- I like to use white for the bottom and pink for the top so you can more easily see the layers.
- This makes 16 generously sized marshmallows, but can be cut into more smaller pieces if you like! Store the marshmallows in a dry, airtight container at room temperature.
Homemade Marshmallow Tips
- Invest in a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer. I use the Thermapen® Mk4 from Thermoworks.
- Use an electric stand mixer or handheld blender -- you will be whisking for a while, and as the marshmallow gains volume, it will require a lot of arm strength!
- Be very careful handling the sugar syrup. I like to transfer the syrup into a heat safe measuring cup with a spout to make it easier and safer to pour into the mixer. Be careful with splashes!
- Lightly brush an offset spatula with cooking oil to make it easier to spread the marshmallow in the baking dish.