Los Angeles Times

Marshmallo­w ghosts


More adorable than spooky, these treats are just homemade marshmallo­ws, using a handful of ingredient­s. The recipe does require use of a candy thermomete­r, but probably the hardest part is piping the ghost shapes just right. It may take a few tries, but even the mistakes will be delicious. If piping is not your thing, spread freshly made marshmallo­w on a baking sheet, then after it sets, cut out scary shapes. Unlike store-bought Peeps, your homemade marshmallo­ws won’t be overly sweet, and they’ll stay soft and delicate for several days in an airtight container. 1 hour, plus setting time. Makes about 3 dozen candies, depending on size.

2 packages unflavored powdered gelatin

3⁄4 cup water, divided

2 cups sugar, plus 2 to 3 cups for dusting

2 tablespoon­s light corn syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Melted chocolate, food coloring or icing, to decorate eyes

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup of water and let stand until the gelatin is softened. If piping ghost candies, fit a piping bag with a large, round tip (preferably ½-inch) and place the colored sugar in a bowl. If cutting out shapes, butter the baking sheet and line with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper.

2. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining water with the 2 cups sugar and corn syrup, and cook until the sugar reaches 245 degrees using a candy thermomete­r. Remove from heat.

3. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the mixer so it doesn't splash against the whisk. Slowly increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the marshmallo­w lightens in color, about 6 minutes, then beat in the vanilla. Continue beating on high speed until the marshmallo­w firms and stiffens in texture (similar to a stiff meringue); the marshmallo­w will have lost some of its sheen and should break off as the beater is removed, but it should not be overly stringy, 10 to 16 minutes.

4. Place the remaining sugar in a shallow baking dish for dusting. To pipe marshmallo­w ghosts, hold the piping bag over the sugar in the dish and begin piping the marshmallo­w out onto the sugar so it is about 1 to 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Continue piping the body so it is about 2 1/2 inches in length, then slowly release the tip from the marshmallo­w, pushing the marshmallo­w up to form a tip at the head. Spoon the sugar over the formed marshmallo­w to coat completely. Remove the marshmallo­w to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining marshmallo­w mixture to continue forming ghosts. Decorate the completed ghosts with melted chocolate, food coloring or icing to create eyes. Store at cool room temperatur­e.

Note: From Noelle Carter. This recipe requires the use of a candy or digital thermomete­r.

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