Make Your Own DIY Marshmallow Vending Machine
Whether they’re Peeps, Mallomars, Rice Krispie Treats or Sno Balls, marshmallows have become an integral part of many desserts. But did you know they’re actually made from sugar syrup cooked to the soft-ball stage? Here’s how. Make your own DIY Marshmallow Vending Machine with this simple project! This would be a fun gift for anyone on your list.
How to Make
Marshmallow fluff is a fun kitchen project for the whole family. It’s easy to make, but it does require specific timing and extremely hot sugar, so it’s best to get everything ready before you start cooking.
First, bloom the gelatin in 1/2 cup of water and let it soften while you prepare the sugar syrup. Place the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then attach a candy thermometer and allow it to reach the soft ball stage (240 degrees F).
When the marshmallow batter has reached peak fluffiness in the mixer, beat it for 6-10 minutes to DIY Marshmallow Vending Machine eject all moisture from the mixture and create fluffy marshmallows. If your marshmallows seem to be soggy after storing or have a dense or spongey texture, they probably weren’t sufficiently whipped.
Once the marshmallows are whipped, fold in the vanilla and the ground herb powder of your choice (we use marshmallow root powder for both classic flavor and herbal benefits). Then, spread the marshmallow mixture into a prepared pan and dust with half of the arrowroot powder to prevent sticking.
For a fun touch, cut your marshmallows into holiday shapes before they set: hearts for Valentine’s Day, eggs for Easter, or ghosts for Halloween are all great choices. Once the marshmallows are set, brush any excess powdered sugar off and dip them in chocolate.
If you’ve made marshmallows in the past that end up soggy after storing or that have a dense or spongey texture, chances are you were underwhipping your batter. Getting enough air into the sugar syrup and gelatin during whipping causes two things to occur: moisture is evaporated and the batter starts to cool and set all while still soft. This is why it’s so important to keep an eye on your timer when you are whipping.
Creating this DIY Marshmallow Vending Machine is great for encouraging fine motor skills, scissor skills and resourcefulness with materials found in your home. It also makes a fun family project that can be geared towards a holiday. Try making heart shaped marshmallows for Valentine’s Day, egg shaped ones for Easter or even ghost shaped ones for Halloween.
Gather a cardboard box, four oversized popsicle sticks and some duct tape to start your build. Hot glue the sticks together to form a square and then make three more sticks that are the same length as the first sticks and hot glue them in a row in the center of the square.
The first step is to heat a little shortening or butter in a small pan. Use it to brush the inside of an 8 x 8 inch pan and any utensils you will be using, such as a spatula or spoon.
Next, pour the hot sugar syrup over the gelatin in the mixer bowl and whisk on high speed for a couple minutes until the marshmallow mixture holds its shape and is thick enough to hold its own against the beaters. Then, add vanilla and whisk to combine. If you are adding egg whites (optional), whisk them in now too – they will help the marshmallows to keep their shape, while also adding more fluffiness and loft.
At this point, it’s a good idea to give your marshmallows some flavoring by sprinkling in some of the cornstarch and sugar mixture you prepared DIY Marshmallow Vending Machine factory earlier. Or you could try swapping in different extracts, such as peppermint or raspberry for the vanilla called for in this recipe.
When the marshmallows are set, dust a pizza wheel or oiled scissors with more of the sugar and cornstarch mixture and cut them into squares. Then, store in an airtight container at room temperature. If you want to dip them in chocolate, melt bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or in a clean metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water.
There are a few variations you can try on this marshmallow vending machine. For example, instead of marshmallows place potato chips into the plastic storage container and vacuum the air out of the bag. Watch the potato chips shrink as molecules of air from the atmosphere are no longer pushing on them.
Another fun variation involves the age-old debate of whether or not whipped cream or marshmallows are better toppings for hot chocolate. A vending machine is a perfect way to test out both options and see which one you like best.