3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 T pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean (optional)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
For jumbo-sized marshmallows for roasting, spray an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the gelatin and cold water. Combine gently with a spoon and allow to sit while you make the syrup.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. At the same time, prepare the vanilla bean by splitting it down the middle with a paring knife and then scraping out the seeds. Set the seeds aside and discard the pod. Once the sugar has dissolved, raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean. Mix thoroughly.
With wet hands, pat this mixture into the prepared pan and let dry uncovered overnight at room temperature. Cut the marshmallows into large squares and roll the sides in confectioner’s sugar. Store on a plate loosely covered with parchment paper or wax paper. (Putting them in an airtight container will cause them to weep and become moist.) Enjoy as soon as possible.
To give your bonfire that extra special touch, set up a simple s’mores bare with creative toppings like these to go along with your homemade marshmallows and graham crackers:
Dark Chocolate & Strawberries
Mint Chocolate Candies
Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut Butter & Banana
White Chocolate & Raspberries