Updated Thursday, December 22nd, 2005
Total Time: 50
Yield: about 30 marshmallows
Place 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over water; allow it to sit 5 minutes to “bloom” and soften. Meanwhile, place the remaining 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar, and corn syrup in a small saucepan, then stir to combine.
Bring the sugar mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Next, place egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl and beat until frothy with an electric mixer. Add cream of tartar, then continue beating until soft peaks form. Using a candy thermometer, check sugar syrup; it should be nearing 240°. Beat 2 tablespoons sugar into egg whites, then continue beating until stiff peaks form.
When the syrup reaches 240°, remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until it dissolves.
With the mixer running, slowly add the syrup to the egg whites in a thin stream; keep the syrup from hitting the beaters or the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat until the mixture is thick, glossy, and cool, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract.
Scrape the mixture onto the prepared pan, quickly spreading to a 1/2-inch thickness with a spatula. Sift remaining sugar-cornstarch mixture over the top. Allow it to dry out at room temperature overnight. Dip a small star-shaped cookie cutter in confectioners’ sugar and cut out marshmallow stars. (They may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container up to 1 month.)
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