I first saw marshmallow ropes a few years ago at a local specialty market and loved them instantly. They looked so colorful and fun sitting there on the shelf, I felt compelled to try making a homemade version, but back then the task was too daunting. I was ill-equipped. My previous marshmallow attempts seemed promising at first but I always ended up with a pan of weepy mallows. I blamed the humidity. I blamed the egg whites. I never really figured out what I was doing wrong.
These days my confidence in marshmallow-making has grown (largely due to this book) and I felt sure that I could make homemade marshmallow ropes happen. And boy, did they happen. Miles of them!
This recipe uses no egg whites, and I've never had a problem with the mallows weeping. The marshmallow coating keeps everything powder fresh and non-sticky, so be sure to dust your work surface liberally before you begin piping ropes.
I've been making more how-to videos lately -maybe you've noticed? I do my best to articulate the instructions in my recipes, but sometimes it's easier to show you a technique - and, I'll admit - I can get overly wordy in text. I feel this video will be especially helpful alongside the recipe provided.
When you first make the ropes they will be very soft, so they need to stand at least 24 hours after twisting so they'll hold their shape. After that you can cut them into pieces, tie them in knots and make them into lollipops -which is so much fun! Their texture will be slightly chewy, but they'll still have that homemade freshness that chalky grocery store mallows lack.
(You can find those cute wooden lollipop sticks here!)
Now admittedly, this is a project. Be prepared to spend an entire day smelling sweet vanilla candy and twisting up tactile marshmallow. Even though it's time consuming, I promise it's not a bad way to spend the day!
Homemade Marshmallow Ropes
Source - recipe adapted from Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever
Prep - 4-5 hours plus 24 hours drying time
Yield - A ton. Kidding! Approximately twenty-five 18-24-inch ropes.
To make the marshmallow ropes, this recipe will need to be made three consecutive times using three different colors of food coloring. Gel food coloring is recommended and will not affect the consistency of the marshmallow batter.
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
- Whisk confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch together in a large bowl. Place several large sheets of parchment paper over a large work surface (I used the entire surface of my dining room table – you’ll need lots of space!); dust parchment paper generously with the marshmallow coating. Reserve the remaining coating for later use.
4 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup, divided
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. clear vanilla extract
Your choice of gel food coloring
- Whisk together the gelatin and cold water in a small bowl. Let set for 5 minutes until gelatin absorbs liquid.
- In a saucepan with a candy thermometer inserted, combine sugar, 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup water and salt. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Heat the gelatin in the microwave or on the stove-top until melted completely and pour into the mixing bowl with the corn syrup. Turn mixer on low and keep it stirring until the sugar syrup is ready.
- When the syrup reaches 240°F, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes, then increase to medium-high and beat 5 more minutes. Finally, increase to highest speed and beat 1-2 more minutes, add vanilla then beat again for 1-2 minutes. Mixture should be opaque and tripled in volume. Add food coloring and beat until incorporated. Immediately scoop marshmallow into the large piping bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip. You can also use a disposable piping bag with the end snipped to size.
- Pipe long lengths of marshmallow batter onto the prepared sheets until all the batter is used. The marshmallow will set quickly, so be sure to pipe as quickly as possible. Repeat recipe twice more with different colors of gel food coloring. Dust all of the piped marshmallows with some of the remaining marshmallow coating. Allow to dry about 1 hour or until marshmallow is set.
- When the marshmallows are set, dust your hands with the remaining marshmallow coating and roll one of each color of rope back and forth in the mixture so they are completely coated. Lay the three colors of ropes side by side and skewer all three with a toothpick. Twist the ropes together and skewer the other end with another toothpick. Repeat process with remaining ropes. The ropes can be enjoyed immediately, but they will be soft and won’t hold their shape. Leave ropes uncovered at room temperature for 24 hours to dry. The next day, remove toothpicks and cut into pieces, tie into ropes or coil them up and skewer them through the center to make a marshmallow lollipop.
- Keep leftovers in an air-tight container.