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Test Kitchen tips: Homemade marshmallow daisies

April 6, 2012 | 10:30 am

Marshmallowdaisiesjaylclendenin

Have you ever made your own marshmallows? They may be a little tricky (yes, a thermometer is involved), but they can be a lot of fun, and make great gifts. And there's nothing that beats the flavor, and texture, of homemade.

A couple years ago, writer Liz Pearson shared a story on making your own Easter-themed candies, such as pastel mints and chocolate-dipped almond eggs. But check out her marshmallow daisies. The delicate marshmallow mixture is piped onto powdered-sugar lined baking sheets to form simple flowers, then sprinkled with a dusting of granulated sugar. The finished marshmallows make great gifts, and are a perfect weekend project.

Continue reading below for the recipe and a quick step-by-step on making the marshmallow daisies.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

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-- Noelle Carter
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Photo credits: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Marshmallow daisies

Total time: 30 minutes, plus setting time

Servings: About 2 dozen

Note: Layer the daisies between sheets of wax or parchment paper for easy storage or traveling. If the daisies have dried and set but still seem a bit sticky underneath, simply sprinkle the bottoms with a bit more granulated sugar. This recipe requires the use of a candy thermometer.

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 ( 1/4 -ounce) envelope unflavored powdered gelatin

6 tablespoons cold water, divided

2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 to 5 drops yellow food coloring

1. Generously dust a large, wax-paper-lined baking sheet with the powdered sugar and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl, gently sprinkle the gelatin over 3 tablespoons of the water and set aside.

3. In a large saucepan, stir together two-thirds cup of the granulated sugar with the corn syrup, salt and remaining water until you have a wet, sandy consistency. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside edge of the pot and cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the thermometer registers 245 degrees Fahrenheit. Immediately remove the pan from heat.

4. Using the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, begin whisking the moistened gelatin on medium speed. Carefully add the sugar mixture in a slow, steady stream. Once incorporated, add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high. Continue whisking until the marshmallow mixture is at least doubled in volume, very white and sticky, and when the beater is lifted the mixture remains in soft peaks, 4 to 6 minutes.

5. Fold down the tops of two large resealable plastic bags. Spoon about three-fourths of the marshmallow mixture into the corner of one bag. Twist the bag to seal (as with a piping bag), then set aside. Add a few drops of food coloring to the remaining mixture and quickly stir until you have the desired shade of yellow. Spoon this mixture into the corner of the remaining bag and twist the bag to seal.

6. Snip the tips off each bag to form an opening roughly one-fourth inch wide. Using the white marshmallow mixture, gently pipe 2- to 3-inch daisies onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Keep a small bowl of water nearby and moisten your fingertips to pinch the marshmallow to release them it the piping bag (the water will keep your fingers from sticking to the mixture). Pipe a dot of the yellow mixture into the center of each daisy.

7. Generously sprinkle the daisies with the remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar to coat, then set them aside in a cool, dry place until set and easy to handle, several hours.

Each marshmallow: 43 calories; 0 protein; 11 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 29 mg. sodium.

1.marshmallowdaisies
1. ADD THE SUGAR: With the mixer running, drizzle the sugar syrup into the moist gelatin

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2. FORM SOFT PEAKS: Beat the marshmallow until very white, sticky and doubled in volume.

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3. PIPE THE DAISIES: Use plastic bags to pipe the marshmallows into daisies.

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