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!
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.