Engagement Excitement + Guest Post: Mae from OhhMay

by Jenn (eating bender) on February 27, 2010

Hello and happy weekend!!

Another fabulous Guest Bender today. We are winding down to the last few posters in the next week and I could not be more thrilled with how this call for guests turned out! I’m excited to return to the blog full-time, but glad that you all have been enjoying these ladies and gents in the meantime :mrgreen:

Before we get to this sticky sweet post from Mae, I have some exciting news:


There was a snippet on my photographer’s blog last week, but now I’d love to share the entire “best of” slideshow with you. Bobby and I both are so happy with how they turned out.

Click here to watch the slideshow!

I hope you like them :)

And now…a fluffy post. No really — it’s a post about marshmallows! This is an absolutely fantastic recipe and Mae’s step-by-step instructions are so helpful. I can’t wait to try it!


Fluffy Delight

Hey all, this is Mae from OhhMay! First, I want to thank Jenn so much for having me on her blog! I’m so honored. :)

I’m currently a senior in high school and plan on studying Food Science at college: either at Clemson, Cornell, Penn State, Cal Poly, or NC State. I began blogging when I was a junior because I wanted an archives of my crazy recipes and experiments. I fell in love with the blog community, and the rest is history! Eating Bender was one of the first blogs I started reading, and I’m so happy to be a guest poster today.

Some of my most popular recipes are Cacao Euphoria, vegan Humnut Cheese Pizzas, and Cheesecake Ice Cream.

My favorite things to cook and bake are foods that others would never thinking of making from scratch. I’ve made homemade bagels, smoked salmon, and of course: nut butter!

Have I mentioned I work for Saratoga Peanut Butter Company, a local gourmet peanut butter producer? I love my job, it’s the perfect outlet for my creativity.

Today’s step by step recipe is for homemade Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. These are so much fun to make with a friend or with kids, because they transform from a syrup into a big pillow of fluff in minutes! They’re actually quite simple, too.


It really helps to use a stand mixer because the marshmallows need to whip for 10-15 minutes. It can be done with a hand mixer, but it’s quite exhausting (these get really thick- I’m speaking from experience!).


They start with three packets of gelatin, which provide structure and fluffiness.


To that add 3 oz water and 1 large ice cube, and let the gelatin bloom.


In a small sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup water (4 oz), 1 cup corn syrup, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar.

Using a mix of corn syrup and sugar prevents crystallization.


Lid the mixture and cook on high heat for 4 minutes.


Cook, stirring occasionally (with a wooden spoon! Plastic melts.) over medium-high heat for 8-15 minutes, until a candy thermometer reaches 240* F.

You may want to use a larger pan than I did. The sugar syrup has a tendency to super-heat and boil over onto the stove. This isn’t safe with little ones around, but can be prevented if you use a 2-3 qt sauce pan.


Meanwhile, mix a 4:1 ratio of powdered sugar to corn starch in a medium bowl. (I usually make about 1 1/4 cups and use leftovers to make icing for cookies.)IMG_1137

Lightly spray a 13×9×2 pan with baking spray and then add the some sugar+starch.



Put plastic wrap on top of the baking dish and shake the sugar up. Knock out the excess in the sink and set aside.


Once your sugar syrup reaches 240*, slowly drizzle it into the mixer and beat on low with the whisk attachment.


Once the syrup is fully incorporated, turn the mixer to high and place some sort of guard on the mixer so it doesn’t splatter. (mine never has, but this is an extra precaution!)


Meanwhile, split one vanilla bean and scrape the seeds.


Hold it with the flat side down and place the tip of your knife in the end. Pull the knife away from you, splitting the pod. Open with your fingers and using the back of your knife, scrape out the inside. Get as much of the seeds as possible, these things aren’t cheap!

Tip: buy you vanilla beans in bulk from a health-food store or co-op. They’re typically 1/2-1/3 the price. If you don’t see any, just ask!


Add the vanilla in the last minute of beating.


This is the fun part! Getting the marshmallow into the baking pan. It’s a messy but tasty job.


Your corn starch sugar mixture will be your best friend! Powder your hands with it while you’re trying to move it form the bowl to the dish.



Sprinkle the surface with the powder and flatten out with your hands. This is another fun part for kids, but if you’re an adult it will surely bring out your inner child!!


Let the marshmallows set for at least 3 hours. Turn out and then with a well powdered sharp knife, cut them into cubes.



In a ramekin , melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips with 1 tsp coconut oil for 20 seconds at a time until it’s a dip-able consistency.




Dip each marshmallow “booty” (the ugly side) into the chocolate and place on waxed paper.



Proceed to drizzle any extra chocolate and sprinkle toppings of choice.


I used chopped almonds, chopped cashews, poppy seeds, flaked coconut, sea salt,


Butter cookies, potato chips, espresso and even cayenne pepper! Be creative!


Depending on how large you make them, the recipe makes at least 3 dozen. They’re perfect for gifts! Mine were for my best friend, Jenna who has college auditions to become a music teacher todayWish her luck!

Gourmet Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

with a Dark Chocolate Dip

  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 3 oz cold water
  • 1 ice cube
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded (OR 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch

In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the whisk attachment, combine the gelatin, ice and cold water. Set aside.

In a 2 qt saucepan, combine the corn syrup, sugar, and water. Cover and place over high heat for 4 minutes. Remove the cover and clamp on a candy thermometer. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-15 minutes, until the syrup reaches 240* F.

Meanwhile, lightly spray and powder a 13×9×2 baking dish with the powdered sugar corn starch mixture.

Split and seed the vanilla bean.

Turn the mixer to low and slowly drizzle in the hot syrup. Place either a splash guard or plastic wrap around the mixer and raise the speed to high for 10-15 minutes. (Longer will produce a chewier marshmallow. You may want to beat longer if you plan on toasting them.)

Add the vanilla to the mixer in the last minute of beating. Turn the fluff out into the powdered baking dish and scrape the rest out with powdered hands. With your hands, even the surface and then let set for 3 or more hours.

  • 1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring every time. Continue until it has a loose, liquid consistency.

Dip the base of the marshmallows in the chocolate and place onto waxed paper. Drizzle excess chocolate over the top and sprinkle toppings of your choice.

My favorite?

  • Chopped almonds
  • Chopped cashews
  • Coconut chips or flakes
  • Potato chips
  • Sea salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ground espresso
  • Poppy seeds
  • Butter cookies
  • or Plain.

Let cool and enjoy!

Here’s a little label you can use if you give them as a gift (click to enlarge):

label1 copy

I hope you guys enjoy them, they’re really fun to make!!


This was such an impressive recipe! Have you ever tried making marshmallows before?

Hope you’re having a great Saturday so far. Can you believe the Olympics are almost over? :(


1 Nicole @ Making Good Choices February 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I haven’t even tried making my own marshmallows. Are they like most things and WAY better than their store bought counterparts? I think I would go with chocolate and peanuts on my marshmallows. yum! :) I can see making these with my nieces and I know they would love it!

2 Krista February 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Great recipe, Mae! I bet my kids would love trying their hands at that…and I would love to eat them…:)

3 Mae (OhhMay.Wordpress) February 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Jenn, thank you again. I really had a ton of fun doing this recipe. I’m so excited for you and your wedding.
The photos are so, so cute. Seriously. I think my favorite are the angles from the tracks and the jumping ones toward the end!!!

4 Mara @ What's For Dinner? February 27, 2010 at 4:10 pm

This is awesome!! I’ve never made marshmallows and have always been scared to try… I think this looks just easy enough for a novice like me :)

Jenn, i LOVE your pictures!! They’re all so adorable!

5 John February 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm

As easy as it looks for Mara to make these I’d have to pass trying them :-) Your pics look great.

6 Erica February 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm

They are FABULOUS! I love the one of him carrying you down the train tracks. What a cool location for the shoot.

And Mae! These marshmallows! I want on right now on top of some hot chocolate. Just gorgeous. A perfect gift

7 fitlizzio February 27, 2010 at 5:44 pm

beautiful engagement pictures!!!!!!

8 Julie @SavvyEats February 27, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Love the pics! I think my faves might be the ones on the train tracks!

9 Jessie February 27, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Mae, your recipes are always FANTASTIC!! I’ve never been brave enough to make marshmallow, but you make them look so easy. And drizzled in chocolate – YUM!

Jenn, your pics are gorgeous! I love the one where Bobby is carrying you on the train tracks – so cute! And I love the skirt :)

10 theprocessofhealing February 27, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Holy YUM!!! Girl, you constantly amaze me. They look so darn good and fluffy!!!
I’ve never tried to make them before but you make it look so easy! I don’t have a stand mixer though… well I do but it’s kinda of.. not working at the moment ha
Vanilla beans are amazing!! they add SO much flavor!

11 Sara @ ActiveGal February 27, 2010 at 8:44 pm

What beautiful engagement pictures! Your photographer did a wonderful job!

12 eaternotarunner February 27, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Those look so beautiful! I wish I had a hand mixer :-)

And your pictures are sooo beautiful!

13 Jessica @ How Sweet February 27, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Jenn, I checked out your pics from the link on Twitter and they ARE fabulous! You guys make a gorgeous couple. :)

And Mae, my dear, I am always stunned at your incredible recipes! Please come make me some of these. :)

14 Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce February 27, 2010 at 10:05 pm

OH MY GOD JENN!! i just watched the slideshow and totally melted! you guys are the cutest freakin couple in the world. you can just see the chemistry oozing from every pic :) so sweet, you look gorgeous, bobby looks handsome, and you both look so happy! congrats and i can’t wait to see the wedding pics :)

mae: those marshmallows look amazing! i accidentally bought a candy thermometer one time when my mom needed a thermometer for the turkey, but have never used it. this looks like a fun use!

15 adrienmelaine February 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Cut and Paste: (I clicked on to Mae’s page and meant to post this here- my bad!…. I was wondering where the marshmallows had gone to!)

Jen- I feel like I’m your best friend and tears well up in my eyes when I look at that slide show- I have no idea what’s wrong with me, but thank you! hahah

Mae’s so cute- love her- great guest post– all I want to do is eat everything off her blog- so good!

I’m drooling over that marshmallow and chocolatey goodness right now!

16 Tina February 28, 2010 at 7:46 am

Great pictures! I love how creative they are. I wish we had gotten quality engagement shots done.

17 Alisa - Frugal Foodie February 28, 2010 at 11:38 am

Okay, those engagement photos – soooo awesome! You two are adorable Jenn!

And Mae, I have been wanting so badly to make homemade marshmallows (after trying the ones from Jake Bakes), but darn, I am afraid I would eat the whole pan in one day! Great recipe.

18 BroccoliHut February 28, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Jenn, I absolutely LOVE your pictures! Such unique locations for all the photos!

19 Marisa (Loser for Life) March 1, 2010 at 6:17 am

Jenn, I’m late to the party here, but OMG, I LOVE your photos! Wow, you and Bobby look like you are out of a magazine! Amazing!!! Love that song , too 😉

Those marshmallows look GREAT!

20 Natalie (The Sweets Life) March 1, 2010 at 10:32 am

such a great step-by-step description! totally want to try this sometime :) Great post!

21 Rose March 1, 2010 at 11:38 am

That slideshow made me cry!

And ps.. I just remembered we had a scheduled phone call, and I totally forgot! I’m sorry!

22 jenngirl March 2, 2010 at 8:15 am

LOVE the engagement photos! They are so unique to you and Bobby and so relaxed and fun!! I really like that Gavin Degraw song too :)

Never made marshmallows before, those look amazing though!

23 Paulina March 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm

heey this recipe is great, but is it supposed to b vegan? because it has gelatin in it which definitely isnt vegan…im just wondering

24 Jenn (eating bender) March 14, 2010 at 10:57 am

Hi Paulina! Thanks for your question — based on what I can gather from Mae’s post, I don’t think she is claiming that the recipe is vegan. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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