This recipe is a wee bit overdue, but I hope you won’t mind. It’s been over a year since the first time I whipped up a batch of these lovely confections. They were invented for last year’s Austin Smoke Experiment. I toasted them up to top my smoked chocolate and smoked cherry ice cream sundaes. Since then, I’ve made several more batches.
I’ve discovered that homemade marshmallows make wonderful gifts. They are incredibly light and fluffy, and surprisingly easy to customize. Just swap out the cold water with any other chilled liquid to create an endless variety of flavored treats. This recipe uses tart cherry juice and a splash of bourbon, making them sort of like marshmallow manhattans.
Plus? They are pink! Hello cuteness.
Of course, marshmallows aren’t exactly a health food, but neither are manhattans. I promise that sooner or later I’ll get back to posting food that is good for you. For now, I’m going to live vicariously through you via alcohol and sugar-filled recipes.
Bourbon Cherry Marshmallows
Makes about 24 2-inch(ish) marshmallows (or 100 1-inch marshmallows)
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup bourbon and 3/4 cup cherry juice, ice cold, divided in half
- 12 ounces sugar (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- non-stick spray
- Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of the chilled liquid in the bowl of your stand mixer, with the whip attachment on. Let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a small saucepan, combine the other half of the cherry juice and bourbon mixture with the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Put the pan onto medium heat and cover it.
- After cooking the mixture for 4 minutes, take the top off and stick a candy thermometer into it. Make sure the thermometer’s sensor stays in the liquid. Don’t let it hit the pan itself.
- Keep an eye on the bubbling liquid until it reaches 240 degrees. At that point, take the liquid off the heat immediately.
- Turn the mixer on low, and slowly pour the hot liquid into the mixer bowl, sliding it down the side so that it doesn’t splash or gush.
- As soon as the liquid is all in the bowl, turn the speed up to high and whip for about 12 minutes.
- (This would be a good time to spray down a 6 x 9 baking pan and set it aside.)
- Continue mixing, then add the vanilla.
- Mix for one more minute then turn the mixer off.
- Using a lightly greased spatula, scrape off the whip as best you can.
- Pour the marshmallow into the pan, using the spatula to nudge it toward the edges.
- Combine the cornstarch and powdered sugar in a small bowl, then sift the mixture over the top of the marshmallow. You only need enough to cover the surface. Save the extra for later.
- Let the marshmallow sit for at least four hours, as long as overnight.
- Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board. Dust the naked side of the marshmallow with the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Slice them with a pizza cutter into the desired size, then immediately dust the sides of each marshmallow with more sugar and cornstarch.
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