I don’t think there’s anything as pillowy, fluffy and tender as a homemade marshmallow. To be honest, I had never even had one until a few years ago. The thought of making them from scratch always seemed too complicated (I blame the candy thermometer) and I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so I just flat out ignored homemade marshmallows for an embarrassing amount of time.
It’s a shame, because they’re the fluffiest, lightest, best thing to make from scratch. There is a sea of difference between homemade and store-bought here, and it really is worth doing yourself (unlike, say, homemade phyllo dough, which should just never be tackled from scratch). Once you rip the band aid off and make your own mallows, you’ll realize they’re surprisingly simple to make. They’re so much fun to experiment with-- flavors, colors, shapes-- there’s no limit.
When I heard about the Ghirardelli and The Feed Feed s’mores contest, I knew I had to enter and I had to go all out with the marshmallow layer. I went for a double decker mocha and almond marshmallow. I stacked it on a buttery shortbread cookie and topped it off with the extra dark 72% Ghirardelli chocolate square. No, this post is not sponsored. I just love Ghirardelli chocolate and I was inspired to make these for their contest, after all.
If you've never made a homemade marshmallow, read through the recipe and tips below, prep your tools, and get after it. You have nothing to fear! Go make a batch of the most delicious summer s’mores ever!
how long will homemade marshmallows keep?
Homemade marshmallows actually last quite a while-- up to 3 weeks in a dry, airtight container. Humid conditions can make them sticky, so keep them well sealed and toss in extra powdered sugar-cornstarch (in a 1:1 ratio) if they do start to stick.
They also freeze incredibly well and can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When warmed up to room temperature, they taste just as soft and fluffy as before!
how to make these homemade marshmallow s’mores, in a nutshell:
- make the mocha marshmallow layer
- make the almond marshmallow layer (identical process, minus the flavorings)
- let the marshmallow sit at least 6 hours
- make the shortbread cookies
- cut the shortbread and marshmallows into 2 inch squares
- assemble the s’mores:
- place a marshmallow on top of the shortbread
- roast the marshmallow with a blow torch, or pop the shortbread stack under the broiler until golden brown (watch closely!)
- top with a square of chocolate, smoosh it down into the gooey toasty marshmallow and dig in!
tips for homemade marshmallow success:
- Prepare everything in advance! The sugar syrup reaches 240°F surprisingly quickly, so I find it easiest to have the cocoa measured (for the mocha layer), the pan prepared, the spatula greased, the gelatin softening and the vanilla/ almond extracts nearby before I even start to heat the sugar syrup. It’s smooth sailing if you have everything organized.
- Any 2 quart baking dish will work for this recipe-- an 8 inch x 11 inch is perfect, but use smaller dimensions if you prefer deeper marshmallows.
- It’s best to not stir the gelatin in the water, which can cause clumps of undissolved gelatin to form (and end up in the final marshmallow). The best technique is to carefully sprinkle it over the surface of the water and let it evenly hydrate on its own.
- Set a timer and beat the marshmallows for a full 10 minutes.
- Marshmallows are super sticky and nonstick spray is your best friend. Use it to grease anything that comes into contact with the finished marshmallows, like your hands, spoons and spatulas.
- Work quickly to pour the marshmallow into the pan and spread it out. Once the mixture cools, the gelatin begins to set and it becomes much more difficult to work with.
- Clean everything right away (or at least let it soak in hot water), before it begins to cool. Once the sugar syrup hardens, cleaning is so much more of a pain.
homemade mocha almond marshmallow and shortbread s'mores
Make the most decadent homemade s’more this summer with a buttery shortbread cookie, a layered mocha almond marshmallow, and a square of super dark chocolate. Toast the mallow with a torch or the broiler and you have yourself a gooey, buttery, chocolatey dessert heaven.
- Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 8 hours
- Yield: 20
- Category: Desserts
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
mocha almond marshmallow
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 4 (¼-ounce) envelopes powdered unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup cold espresso or coffee, divided
- ½ cup cold water, divided
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup corn syrup, divided
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 20 dark chocolate squares (such as Ghirardelli)
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a 9” x 13” pan. Make a parchment paper sling by ripping off a 20 inch long piece of parchment paper and cutting the width down to 13 inches. Lay it in the pan, allowing for a 3 inches of paper to hang over both long edges.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts until light and fluffy. Add flour and slowly mix until the dough just starts to come together.
- Press dough into the prepared pan and use your fingers or a flat bottomed measuring cup to smooth out the surface. Use a fork to dock the shortbread evenly across the surface. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, run a knife around the edges to loosen, and let cool 5 minutes. Use the parchment paper sling to carefully remove the warm shortbread from the pan, then transfer to a cutting board. Use a pizza wheel or sharp knife to cut shortbread into two inch squares. Let cool completely.
mocha marshmallow layer
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine cornstarch and powdered sugar. Grease an 8 inch x 11 inch pan with butter or cooking spray then thoroughly coat sides and bottom with powdered sugar mixture. Tap out excess and return it to the bowl. Grease a rubber spatula and set aside.
- Pour ¼ cup cold espresso in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, then sprinkle 2 envelopes of gelatin over the surface in an even layer. Let it sit, undisturbed, to absorb the water and soften.
- In a small saucepan, combine remaining ¼ cup espresso, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup corn syrup, espresso powder and ½ tsp salt. Cook over medium low heat until sugar dissolves, then attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and increase heat to high. Cook until mixture reaches 240°F (soft ball stage), 3- 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and carefully but quickly whisk in the cocoa powder. Turn on mixer to low speed and slowly pour hot sugar syrup into softened gelatin to melt it. Increase speed to high and whip for 10 minutes. Mixture will be very thick and resemble fluffy soft serve. Add vanilla extract and whip one more minute (don’t be alarmed when the mixture seizes, it will quickly come back together). With mixer running, slowly lift head up to spin extra marshmallow off the whisk attachment, then turn machine off.
- Pour marshmallow into prepared pan and use the greased spatula to spread it out as evenly as you can. Let the chocolate layer set while you make the almond marshmallow layer.
- Wash the mixer bowl, whisk attachment and saucepan, and re-grease the rubber spatula.
almond marshmallow layer
- Pour ¼ cup cold water in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, then sprinkle 2 envelopes of gelatin over the surface in an even layer. Let it sit, undisturbed, to absorb the water and soften.
- In a small saucepan, combine remaining ¼ cup water, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup corn syrup and ½ tsp salt. Cook over medium low heat until sugar dissolves, then attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and increase heat to high. Cook until mixture reaches 240°F (soft ball stage), 3- 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, turn on mixer to low speed and slowly pour hot sugar syrup into softened gelatin to melt it. Increase speed to high and whip for 10 minutes. Mixture will be very thick and resemble fluffy soft serve. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and ½ teaspoon almond extracts and whip one more minute (don’t be alarmed when the mixture seizes, it will quickly come back together). With mixer running, slowly lift head up to spin extra marshmallow off the whisk attachment, then turn machine off.
- Pour mixture over the chocolate layer and use the greased spatula to spread it into a smooth, even layer. Dust the surface with a light layer of powdered sugar mixture (you can use your hands to flatten the marshmallow now, if desired) and save the rest for later. Let stand uncovered for at least 6 hours, and up to overnight, to dry out. If desired, loosely cover with aluminum foil (avoid plastic wraps which can really stick to the marshmallow).
- Turn the marshmallow out onto a large cutting board and cut into squares, washing the knife every few cuts if needed. Dust all cut edges with the powdered sugar mix to prevent them from sticking.
- To assemble the s’more, stack a marshmallow on top of a shortbread. Roast marshmallow with a blow torch, or under the broiler until golden brown (watch closely!), and top with a chocolate square.
makes about 20 s’mores
- The shortbread cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week.
Store marshmallows in a dry, airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Marshmallows can also be frozen for up to a month. They don’t need to be stored in the refrigerator, and the higher humidity can make them sticky if the bag isn’t well sealed.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 372
- Sugar: 46g
- Sodium: 203mg
- Fat: 15g
- Saturated Fat: 8.9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4.7g
- Trans Fat: 0.4g
- Carbohydrates: 61g
- Fiber: 1.6g
- Protein: 2.9g
- Cholesterol: 24mg
Keywords: homemade marshmallow, homemade s’mores, how to make marshmallows, mocha marshmallow, summer dessert
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