Filed under: Brown butter / Candy
August 11, 2022

Brown Butter Marshmallows

Soft, bouncy homemade marshmallows with bits of brown butter. These brown butter marshmallows taste of sweet pure vanilla, brown butter and sea salt and make the perfect addition to cocoa, coffee and s’mores. 

Yield: 40
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Soft, bouncy homemade marshmallows with bits of brown butter. These brown butter marshmallows taste of sweet pure vanilla, brown butter and sea salt and make the perfect addition to cocoa, coffee and s’mores. 

brown butter marshmallows

So… I was in the middle of browning butter for some oatmeal cookies and thinking I should make some of my brown sugar marshmallows on video. Then, an idea popped into my head: …. what if I did a brown butter marshmallow? Doesn’t that sound so good??? 

So yeah, I did it. And they were…. so good! The notes of brown butter really come through and it makes the whole ‘sweet marshmallow’ experience much more tasty. 

We don’t want to weigh down the marshmallows with lots of additional fat, so to get that deliciously nutty brown butter flavor we are just going to use those yummy brown bits, much like we do in this brown butter cheesecake. Otherwise, it’s straight up yummy marshmallow!

Ingredients to make Brown Butter Marshmallows 

Butter: Unsalted butter. Cold is fine. 

Gelatin: In the US these come in small packets, you’ll need for packets. 

Water: filtered water, cool (but not cold) is best for the gelatin. 

Sugar: I use light brown sugar but you can use dark brown. If you don’t care for the caramel taste of brown sugar, feel free to use granulated. 

Honey: Choose a honey that isn’t too strong tasting. If you prefer, you can use corn syrup instead. 

Vanilla: A good quality vanilla, I use a full tablespoon for the recipe and the scrapings of a vanilla bean. Don’t use artificial (sometimes clear) vanilla, it will give more of a birthday cake flavor to the marshmallows (which is great for certain things, but maybe not best compatible with brown butter). 

Salt: Fine sea salt. If using table salt, reduce by half. 

brown butter marshmallows

How to make Brown Butter Marshmallows in

  1. Brown the butter, separate the bits from the yellow liquid (reserve the latterfor another use) 
  2. Bloom the gelatin with the water and vanilla. 
  3. Boil the sugar and honey until it reaches the ‘candy’ stage (firm ball). 
  4. Whip the sugar and gelatin together until thick and very light, adding the brown butter bits toward the end. 
  5. Transfer to an oiled pan, cover with foil and leave to firm up. 
  6. Slice and dust with powdered sugar. 

What do I do with the remaining brown butter liquid? 

You can use this to spread on toast or to cook stuff in. It’s still butter but since we’ve taken out the bits, it will lack that brown butter flavor. Don’t sub for regular butter 1 to 1 in a cake or cookie recipe as this will have lost its moisture. 

Can I make these without gelatin? 

I’ve had people make my chocolate marshmallows with agar agar so it could work but I think you’d need to learn about how to prep the agar first, this might help. 

How can I halve this recipe? 

Simply halve all the ingredients and instead of a 13×9” cake pan use a 8 or 9” square pan. 

How best to torch the marshmallows for s’mores? 

Homemade marshmallows tend to fall apart over a fire flame (lack of preservatives or something? In my head this is what makes homemade mallows more delicious) but will melt and char beautifully under the oven broiler or using a kitchen torch. 

Do I have to use organic powdered sugar made with tapioca starch? 

Please do! Most powdered sugars are made with cornstarch which melts at a higher heat. Tapioca starch dissolves on the tongue so you won’t be left with that chalky after-taste. 

What special tools do I need to make homemade marshmallows? 

These two are non-negotiable: 

  • A thermometer, to ensure the sugar gets to the right firm ball stage. 
  • A stand mixer & a whisk attachment: to whip the fluff. If you were making a tiny batch (like ¼ of this)  you could perhaps do it with a hand mixer.

brown butter marshmallows

Brown Butter Marshmallows

Soft, bouncy homemade marshmallows with bits of brown butter.
brown butter marshmallows
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Chill Time: 4 hrs
Yields: 40

Ingredients

  • 228 g unsalted or salted butter
  • 150 g cool water to bloom the gelatin
  • 450 g brown sugar
  • 180 g honey
  • 28 g powdered gelatin
  • 150 g water to boil the sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp fine sea salt less if using salted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped (optional, enhances the vanilla flavor)
  • Organic powdered sugar made with tapioca starch for dusting

Method

  • Brown the butter: In a large frying pan, add the butter and cook until it melts, then sputters and spits, then goes quiet. When it starts to go quiet you’ll see brown bits at the bottom. Stir it to ensure it evenly browns and remove from heat, transferring to a heatproof bowl, before those bits turn black.
  • Separate the bits from the yellow liquid: hold a spoon to the brown butter and let the liquid pass to another bowl. It’s okay if there’s a bit of liquid leftover with the brown bits.
  • Bloom the gelatin: Pour the 150g water into a small bowl, add the vanilla and stir. Add the gelatin and beat it with a fork (like you would eggs) until it has all dissolved. Set aside to thicken.
  • Boil the sugar: In a deep pot add the other 150g of water, the brown sugar, the salt and the honey. Cook on low with a thermometer either clipped to the side of the pot, or one nearby so you can check the temperature often. The mix will bubble and boil up, stir it to encourage it back down (I’ve found a wooden spoon placed above the pot will keep it from boiling over). After about 10 minutes, the mix should be coming up to 250 F. Shut off the heat when it does and transfer to the bowl of your stand mixer. Let cool for a few minutes.
  • Prep a 13x9” cake pan by covering it with oil (you can use the wrappers from the butter to do this, just make sure to get an even layer).
  • Whip the fluff: Add the gelatin to the hot sugar and begin whipping with the whisk attachment. It will start out a dark brown liquid and gradually get thicker and lighter in color. Towards the end, add the brown butter bits and the seeds of a vanilla bean, if using. Whip until thick and fluff looks like it’s pulling back from the bowl. Pour into prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Cover with foil.
  • Slice the mallows: dust your countertop with the powdered sugar and transfer the mallow block onto it. Oil a chef’s knife and slice the marshmallows, dusting all sides of each mallow with more powdered sugar.
  • Storing the marshmallows: keep them in an airtight container, they’ll stay good for about 3 weeks.

Notes

Makes 40 large marshmallows.

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