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Holiday cookies: Cinnamon marshmallow stars

December 21, 2011 |  8:00 am


Marshmallows have gotten a bad reputation -- they’re the sticky sweet things you float on top of hot chocolate, stick in a s’more, or layer on top of sweet potato puree at the holiday table. But a well-made Cookiecovermarshmallow is really something special. It’s hard to think of something much better than these cinnamon-scented ones that were developed by former Times staff writer Amy Scattergood.

They're among the 50 favorite holiday cookie recipes we've collected in our "Holiday Cookies" e-book, which is on sale now.

All of them have been vetted by The Times' Test Kitchen, so you know they work. Download it on the Amazon Kindle, the Nook or via the iBookstore. Or go straight to the source.

Photo: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Cinnamon marshmallow stars

Total time: 40 minutes, plus at least 4 hours drying time

Servings: Makes about 100 (1½-inch) stars

Note: For basic marshmallows, omit the cinnamon; or substitute a flavoring of choice (lemon, almond or coconut in place of vanilla). The marshmallows can be cut into any shape desired.

1 cup water, divided

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1½ cups sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Powdered sugar for dusting and coating

1. Place one-half cup of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or, if using a hand mixer, in a large bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and set aside.

2. In a medium, heavy-bottom pan, add the remaining one-half cup water and stir in the sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook the mixture, swirling the pan occasionally, until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (the mixture will be frothy and bubbling vigorously). Meanwhile, butter a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Line with parchment and butter the parchment too.

3. Whisk the gelatin mixture on low speed and add the 240-degree syrup down the side of the bowl in a steady, slow stream. Gradually raise the speed to high and whisk until the mixture is fluffy and glossy and has tripled in volume, about 12 minutes. Add the salt, vanilla and cinnamon and whisk until thoroughly combined.

4. Using a lightly greased spatula, immediately spread the mixture out onto the baking sheet, smoothing it so an even layer completely covers the pan. Let stand, uncovered, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight to set.

5. When the marshmallows have set, dust the top with a light coat of powdered sugar. Coat small cookie cutters with powdered sugar and cut out as many as you can from the sheet. Dust the marshmallows with a little more sugar so they don't stick together. Store in a sealed container for up to one week.

Each marshmallow: 17 calories; 0 protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 5 mg. sodium.