- Whisk together cornstarch and confectioners' sugar.
- Lightly oil a 13"x9"x2" pan and dust with some of the cornstarch mixture, reserving the remainder.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water and leave it to soften while you make the syrup.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup of cold water, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat without stirring and continue cooking undisturbed until syrup registers 240F (115C) on a candy thermometer, about 7-10 minutes.
- Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment and turn the machine on to low speed. Slowly add hot syrup to the gelatin mixture, pouring syrup in a thin stream. Beat mixture on medium-high until it is marshmallowy and cool to the touch and has nearly tripled in volume. Add the salt and vanilla, mixing on low speed until fully incorporated.
- Use a rubber spatula lightly coated with vegetabl oil or cooking spray to spread the marshmallow evenly in the prepared pan. Dust the top with cornstarch mixture and make sure it's completely coated and doesn't have any sticky spots. (Reserve remaining cornstarch mixture.) Let the marshmallow set overnight before cutting.
- Invert pan onto large cutting board. Lift up one corner of the inverted pan and use fingers to ease marshmallow out of pan onto cutting board. Use a large knife to trim marshmallow edges straight and cut into roughly 1" cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter can work too.)
- Sift remaining cornstarch mixture into now-empty baking pan and roll marshmallows through it, coating all sides and shaking off excess. Transfer to airtight container and keep at room temperature up to 1 week or freeze for 1 month.
Homemade marshmallows! What more needs to be said?! Except that they seem to keep VERY well - longer than the recipe's recommended time. They are beautifully silky and soft and toast up fabulously.
While all my memories of this candy are very fond - drawn as they are from a childhood of mahjong parties, when the adults would lay out trays of snacks and candies for easy munching while they played and the kids would gleefully filch more from the stashes than the adults did - I hadn't thought of them in literally decades. But a couple weeks ago while I was escorting my mother at 99 Ranch Market, I happened to glimpse some very pretty packaging for black sesame candy and had a sudden craving for them. Except, of course, why not make my own?
I tried this recipe and it was not only an amazingly fast and easy assembly, earning the easy-peasy rating, but the candy was honestly more delicious than any store-bought one from my memories and each batch disappeared literally within an hour or two of making. I ended up making double-batches three times in one week!
Bonus points - my boyfriend had a truly inspired suggestion and the crumbled bits of semi-smoky slightly-sweet sesame seed turned out to be an amazing topping for vanilla bean ice cream. ^_^ Yum!
I'm actually not a fan of mint myself (not because of the taste, but because they can give me headaches), so I've never taste-tested these myself. But I had some friends request some over the holidays, and all reports I received from them were that it was AMAZING, so this recipe appears to be a raging success!
Chocolate candies are a messy, messy business. Remember when it comes time to clean up, that it will never come off with cold water - best to run the faucet warm or hot.
Part of the reason I started baking was because I like my goodies to be less obviously sweet - I want to taste the flavor, not just the sugar. So most of these recipes will have the sugar dialed down.