We love marshmallows as much as the next person, especially homemade marshmallows. But let's face it. A whole batch can be rather a lot of marshmallows for one person to consume within a reasonable period of time, even when that person is foisting the extras on friends at every opportunity. Why not make a quick half-batch?
A half-batch of marshmallows makes so much sense that we can't believe it didn't occur to us before. It takes about half the time of a full batch. The overall amount ends up feeling much more manageable and less messy. Plus we feel more freedom to play with flavors since we know we won't be stuck with dozens of the little buggers if the experiment goes wrong.
We literally cut all the ingredients in our recipe for Fluffly Vanilla Marshmallows right down the middle. We've tinkered a little with the amount of gelatin in some recipes, and have found that recipes with additional liquids, like chocolate marshmallows or marshmallows flavored with fruit puree, do better with an extra half-tablespoon of gelatin (a scant two tablespoons total for a half-batch).
The process for making the marshmallows remains the same, though the times are decreased. It only takes about five minutes for the sugar syrup to boil and come to temperature. Whipping the batter is another 8-10 minutes at most. A quick treat, indeed!
As for the container used to mold the marshmallows, we usually use an 8x8 baking dish. This makes marshmallows that are slightly flatter than usual, but we're not picky. The square plastic containers used for sandwiches are great for making higher, more cube-shaped marshmallows.
Depending on the container, a half-batch makes about 50-60 marshmallows. That's enough for our daily nibbling pleasure with plenty leftover if we still want to share.
• Full-Batch Recipe: Fluffy Vanilla Marshmallows
(Images: Peppermint Marshmallows (top) and Vanilla Marshmallows (below) - Emma Christensen)