Grandma's favorite homemade marshmallow recipe makes it easy to make old fashioned marshmallows in any flavor or shapes you desire.
The Canadian Farm Cookbook (c. 1912)
2 rounded tablespoons gelatin powder
2 cups granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Flavoring to taste
Powdered sugar as required
Soak the gelatin in 8 tablespoons cold water. Heat the sugar with 1/2 cup water until dissolved. Add gelatin to syrup and just bring it to a boil, take off the stove and let stand in a bowl until partially cool.
Add salt and flavoring, beat with a whip until soft, then with a large spoon until only soft enough to settle into a sheet.
Dust pans thickly with finely powdered sugar, pour in the candy mixture about 1/2 inch deep, and set to cool until it will not come off the finger. Turn out on powdered paper, cut in cubes or shapes and roll in powdered sugar.
Nuts, chocolate, or candied fruit may be beaten in, or the marshmallows may be rolled in grated coconut before being powdered with sugar.
Marshmallows as a confection originated in ancient Egypt. Marsh-mallow plants were harvested from marshes along the Nile, and sap from their roots was used for thickening and flavoring honey sweetened candies enjoyed by the pharaohs.
Later, French confectioners combined sap from the mallow root with sugar and egg whites which they whipped to create a marshmallow-like candy. Eventually, the mallow sap was replaced by gelatin that is commonly used in today's kitchens for making marshmallows.