3 pkg unflavoured gelatin
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c light corn syrup (regular corn syrup works too- has a faint molasses-y flavour)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1Tbsp Vanilla extract
1 cup water (or fruit juice if you want to flvaour these that way)
confectioners sugar for dusting
(A stand mixer is not essential for these-but there's a lot of mixing involved- so it's very very handy, I've never made them with a hand held mixer)
Combine Gelatin and 1/2 c of cold water in the bowl of mixer with a wire whip attachment. (I've used fruit juice in this step to replace the water and make a flavoured marshmallow- raspberry is especially good).
Meanwhile combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water in medium saucepan (mixture will bubble up quite a bit), cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, raise the heat to high and cook until it reaches 240 on a candy thermometer, remove from heat, on low speed mix syrup mixture into the gelatin, add the vanilla as it's mixing, put mixer on high speed for about 15 min. or till very thick- you should see strands of marshmallow slightly stick to the sides of the bowl as it spins. It should hold it's shape fairly well- like a meringue - but not be too solid. Dust and 8-12 pan with icing sugar and pour marshmallow mixture in- dust the top with sugar and allow to set.
Once set- you can cut into squares- or use cookie cutters- dust with icing sugar- or icing sugar and cinnamon and store covered- for a couple of weeks- they last a surprisingly ling time- and freeze well too.
I also make viva puff style cookies by piping the marshmallow mixture over sugar cookies dolloped with jam- then dipping the while thing in chocolate- or coconut flakes. In order to do that you have to work fast- and have all the cookies laid out with jam, and the piping bag- I use a giant zip lock bag with a corner cut off-ready. The marshmallow needs to be still workable but stiff enough to hold it's shape, this is easiest to gauge after a few runs- and if it's too runny you can simply pop it back in the mixer for a minute or two. It makes a lot of cookies- maybe 10 dozen 1.5 inch cookies. You can also pipe these into shapes, like the hearts I made for hot chocolate- I dream of using it to make snow on a gingerbread house- one day...