Alexander’s Marshmallows

Alexander’s Marshmallows

Dairy-free and migraine-friendly dessert alert! Sweet, soft marshmallows are the perfect end to a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (Judith Viorst). Low-FODMAP in small quantities.

By, variation of Ina Garten’s homemade marshmallows

If you know me, then you know I need a little something sweet once a day, especially on a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, check out Story Time Book Club’s awesome reading a la "Reading Rainbow").

These past few weeks have been wretched for me…my migraines are back. Why they love to make an appearance in early summer is beyond me. What’s a girl going to do? Eat dessert. But wait, every dessert that I love has nuts, chocolate, citrus, and raspberry! All are migraine-triggers! I repeat, what’s a girl going to do? Make marshmallows!

Ms. Garten has a lovely recipe that I did not alter other than to provide a method which makes more sense to my brain and brands of certain key ingredients. Do yourself a favor and do not use the health food store powdered sugar; it clumps like a snowball! No one wants clumpy marshmallows. No one!


For Gelatin
  • ½ cup cold, filtered water
  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin (I use Knox)
For Syrup
  • 1 ½ cups granulated, raw sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (do not get the fake stuff)
For Dusting


    For Gelatin
  1. Fit standing mixer with whisk attachment. In bowl of mixer, add ½ cup cold water and gelatin. Allow the gelatin to set for several minutes while moving onto the next steps.
  2. For Syrup
  3. Affix candy thermometer onto small saucepan. Add saucepan on top of stove at medium heat.
  4. To saucepan, add sugar, syrup, salt, and ½ cup of water. Stirring with a wooden spoon, combine and cook until sugar has dissolved.
  5. With stove on high heat, continue to cook syrup until it reaches 240 degrees on thermometer. Be careful, the syrup will be very hot. As soon as it reaches the correct temperature, remove saucepan from heat and turn off stove.
  6. For Marshmallows
  7. Turn on standing mixer to low speed. Add the hot syrup to the gelatin.
  8. Turn the standing mixer to high speed. Whip the mixture for about 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens and becomes white.
  9. Now is the time to flavor these bad boys with vanilla (or your favorite flavoring). Mix until well combined. Turn off mixer.
  10. For Dusting
  11. Set aside a glass, 8 X 12 or 9 X 12 casserole dish.
  12. Take a small wire strainer, and place a few tablespoons of powered sugar into it. Position the strainer a few inches above the glass dish, and using side of hand, gently tap side of strainer in order to force out a snowfall of powdered sugar across the surface of dish. Slowly move strainer while tapping in order to coat entire surface with a generous dusting of sugar. No, seriously, add more. Oh, you think that’s enough? You’re wrong. Add more. Add a pinch more. OK, that’s perfect.
  13. Into prepared dish, add white marshmallow mix. Using silicon spatula, smooth the top surface of marshmallow.
  14. Dust top surface of marshmallow with a healthy smattering of powdered sugar.
  15. Allow marshmallows to set, overnight, uncovered for 8 hours. Do you have curious cats like we do at the City-Ranch? Then I would advise you to cover them loosely with a clean, thin, cotton, kitchen towel. There needs to be enough air exposure for these sweet, white clouds of sugar to dry out. Avoid plastic wrap and other impenetrable coverings. Yet, avoid pet fur at all costs!
  16. The Next Day
  17. The next morning, gently touch a corner of the marshmallows. If dry, then they are ready to cut.
  18. Onto a cutting board, turn out marshmallows. Cut into squares of your preferred size. I like to cut some into 2 X 2 squares for toasting over a camp fire, others into 3 X 4 rectangles for eating plain jane, and the remainder into tiny mini-marshmallow-sized bits for friends and family who love marshmallows in their hot cocoa (if you suffer from migraines, then sorry, no cocoa for you…but I like the idea of marshmallows in warm, lactose-free milk).
  19. After cutting, guess what? Dust in more powdered sugar!


  • Store in air-tight storage container on counter or pantry for up to a few weeks, if they last that long. Keep away from strongly-scented food products, as marshmallows tend to absorb the scent of anything nearby, and I doubt you would like to eat onion-flavored marshmallows (unless you are Dumbledore in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter).
  • If you are vegan, please use a vegan gel as a gelatin substitute. Unfortunately, the only vegan gels that I could find all use vegetable gums which I am sensitive to and therefore did not try for this recipe.
  • These take eight whole hours to set. Do you anticipate a no good day? Better make these in advance. You're welcome.