In summary: Yes, you can freeze marshmallows to extend their shelf life. While they may harden when frozen, they regain their fluffy texture and delicious flavor when thawed, as long as they are properly packaged to avoid moisture exposure.
Who doesn’t love marshmallows? Sweet and fluffy, they are a cloud of delight on your taste buds. Eaten as a plain candy, baked into cookies, grilled over a barbecue, used as a hot chocolate accompaniment, cake garnish, or even baked as a pie topping, marshmallows are a favorite treat for kids and grown-ups.
If marshmallows are left open in the pantry for too long, they can turn into a sticky mess or lose their flavor and become stale. To avoid this, maintain optimum freshness, and preserve their spongy texture, you can actually freeze them.
You do have to take caution in packaging them to ensure they retain their flavor and texture in the freezer. Here is everything you need to know about freezing marshmallows.
Can Marshmallows Be Frozen?
When referring to marshmallows, we generally refer to the mass-produced candy type, which can also be homemade.
Regular marshmallows freeze well, and keeping them in the deep freeze is one of the best ways to preserve their shelf life. Pâte de guimauve, however, is best fresh and is not suitable for freezing.
Marshmallows keep their shape due to air pockets. Once exposed to moisture, these air pockets may collapse, causing the mallows to become gloopy, and stick together. To keep marshmallows in their original form, they need to be kept free of moisture, preferably in a cool, dry place.
Although marshmallows harden when frozen, once thawed, they return back to their fluffy texture and retain their sweet flavor if packaged correctly.
How To Freeze Marshmallows
Step 1: Divide into Portions
Separate the bag of marshmallows into smaller portions appropriate for the amount you would want to use at a given time.
Step 2: Foil Wrap
Wrap each portioned amount in aluminum foil making sure the edges are properly sealed and there are no gaps where air can enter. Avoid packing too many marshmallows together as you do not want them to squash and lose their shape.
Step 3: Package
Put the foil-wrapped marshmallows into an airtight ziploc bag or a freezer-friendly airtight container. Lightly press out any air before sealing the freezer bag.
Step 4: Label & Freeze
Label the bag with the date. Place the marshmallows in the freezer being careful that they don’t get squashed by other items.
How To Thaw Frozen Marshmallows
If you need to slice the marshmallows, you can do it from frozen as they slice easily while still frozen.
To defrost frozen marshmallows and revive their soft fluffy texture, the best way is by placing the unopened bag straight into the refrigerator to thaw slowly. Alternatively, place them on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature before using them.
If the marshmallows are a little sticky, sprinkle them with some powdered sugar or corn starch. Give the bag or container a good shake to cover them evenly.
Types of Marshmallows
Commercially, marshmallows are made from a mixture of sugar (or corn syrup), gelatin, and water. These simple ingredients are whipped together into a fluffy and firm texture. The outcome is essentially air bubbles wrapped in sugar and water.
There is, however, another type of marshmallow which is not mass-produced and has a much shorter shelf life due to the use of egg whites. Known as pâte de guimauve, this silky french style marshmallow is used mainly in high-end restaurants and bakeries.
These marshmallows are also made using gelatin, sugar, corn syrup, and water, but include egg whites as well. They are mainly made fresh to serve with desserts and don’t last longer than two to three days.
To prolong the fresh fluffy quality of marshmallows, freezing them is a great solution. The flavor and texture remain well-preserved as long as the marshmallows are kept in an airtight environment. Sprinkle marshmallows with cornflour or powdered sugar and toss well to prevent stickiness.
These pink and white clouds of fluffy sweetness are just way too good to go to waste. Now you can keep them for up to 4 months for enjoyment as a sweet treat, cookie filling, or baked as a pie topping.
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