If you thought that marshmallows and marshmallow fluff were only good for making s’mores at the campfire (and yes, they are good for that!), you’re about to get schooled. But in a good way! Both marshmallows themselves and marshmallow fluff are incredibly easy to make at home, and only call for a few, very basic pantry ingredients (sugar, water, egg whites for the fluff, gelatin for the marshmallows) and a candy thermometer. In both cases, you cook the sugar to 240°F, which is “softball” stage, and then combine it with either whipped egg whites (fluff) or gelatin (marshmallows). Whip and voilà! Then, you can do all sorts of amazing things in minutes. Like make ice cream without a machine (really!), no-bake cheesecake, fantasy fudge, crispy rice treats that are just the best you’ve ever had, and plenty more. Move over, s’mores. We’ve got something new and exciting going on!
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Easy Rocky Road Ice Cream: Everybody knows that sugar and gelatin don’t freeze solid, right? Well, now you know! When you make easy homemade marshmallows and fold them into whipped coconut creme before they set, then pop the whole thing in the freezer, you have a super-easy dairy-free ice cream that is smooth, creamy and (almost) good for you! Some chocolate and homemade marshmallow fluff make it rocky road.
Gluten-Free S’mores Brownies: Once you realize how easy it is to make your own homemade marshmallows, you start thinking about moving waaaaaaay beyond the ho-hum basic s’mores. A gluten-free brownie base is baked then topped with homemade marshmallows that set up in no time with crumbled gluten-free graham crackers on top. Delicious!
Gluten-Free S’mores Parfaits: A layer of less-sweet homemade chocolate pudding + a layer of homemade marshmallow fluff (so easy!) + gluten-free graham cracker on top = the easiest dessert you could possibly make that will still impress the heck out of your summertime guests. Fact.
No Bake Gluten-Free Marshmallow Cheesecake: Y’know how usually eggs baked into cream cheese and sugar make a cheesecake that has just that right creamy, delightful feel in your mouth? Well, this no-bake cheesecake made from a homemade marshmallow base needs no eggs, is stable at room temperature (and even outside for a while on a warm day!), and can be whipped up in no time. Score one more for amazing marshmallows!
Gluten-Free S’mores Cookies: The problem? S’mores that crumble the minute you try to bite into them. The solution you didn’t even know you needed? A soft, graham-like cookie topped with a piece of chocolate and half a marshmallow. Done!
Gluten-Free Fluffernutter Sugar Cookies: If you’re worried that it might be socially unacceptable to eat a whole bowl of homemade marshmallow fluff mixed up with smooth peanut butter, try stuffing some soft gluten-free sugar cookies with it instead. We’ll all feel better—and it’s ridiculously delicious.
Homemade Marshmallow Crispy Rice Treats: They’re the classic any-weather treat, but I never used to like making them since they’re just so… sticky and messy to make. Try making them with homemade marshmallows and tell me they’re not easier and way, way tastier. Go on, try it! Just make sure you let the marshmallow mixture cool a bit before you mix in the cereal or the cereal will taste stale. You heard it here first!
Fantasy Fudge with Homemade Marshmallow Fluff: My favorite fudge is the kind that really tastes like candy, not like a brownie. It’s super-chocolatey and melts in your mouth. This is that kind of fudge, and it’s made with homemade marshmallow fluff. You just know it’s going to be better.
Nicole Hunn is a gluten-free blogger and cookbook author. She blogs at Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, and her most recent book is Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More. If they can make it with gluten, we can make it without!
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