If you are a child of the 80s, you remember your parents buying those mini ice cream cups with half vanilla ice cream, half orange sherbet, by the bag-full. You know the ones—they came with little wooden, flat spoons. The best! And of course, the upgrade to these were the ones in popsicle form: an orange sherbet bar with a vanilla center.
So, this recipe is basically those ‘sicles, in marshmallow form. I did them double-decker-style to get the full layered effect, and added an extra dose of vanilla to give them that maltiness that goes so deliciously with a strong orange flavor. And don’t throw out those orange peels after you juice them! We’re going throw pieces of that zest right into the sugar-orange juice mixture on the stovetop to get that orange flavor to really burst through.
These are darn good—the flavor really is so, so close to the original, and they’re perfect for spring and summer.
Happy Marshmallow Monday!
Prep time: 1 hour, 10 min | Ready in: 4 hours, 10 min
- Cooking spray
- 5 packages unflavored gelatin (vegetarian substitutions)
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (about three oranges) + orange zest
- 3 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cup powdered sugar
- Orange food coloring
- A candy thermometer
- Tin foil
- 9×13-inch cake or jelly roll pan
- Line the inside of the pan with tin foil, then coat well with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine a 1/2 of a cup of orange juice with three packets of gelatin and allow to sit until gelatin forms, about 15 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan on medium heat, combine two cups of sugar and 1/2 of a cup of orange juice along with the zest of two or three oranges, then stir until sugar has dissolved—about 3 to 5 minutes. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the zest out of the mixture. Discard. Return the sugar mixture to the stovetop and increase heat to bring mixture to a low boil. Continue to boil until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer—another few minutes or so. Remove from heat.
- Slowly pour sugar mixture into the bowl with the gelatin, simultaneously using a mixer on low. Gradually increase speed to high and continue whipping until the mix is thick, about 10 to 15 minutes—imagine the consistency of pourable taffy. Add in two teaspoons of vanilla and mix to combine completely—30 to 60 seconds. Add in a few drops of orange food coloring and mix one more time for 30-60 seconds. (All food colorings are a little different, so just use as much as you need to get the color where you want it.)
- Pour the mixture into the pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula. (Spray spatula with cooking spray as needed to keep it from sticking.)
- Repeat the above process using just two packets of gelatin with 1/3 cup of cold water. And on the stovetop, use 1-1/3 cup of sugar with 1/3 cup of water. Once the marshmallow batter is whipped and you’ve added the remaining vanilla, pour evenly onto orange layer. Be sure not to over-beat the white batter or it will be harder to spread over the top of the orange layer. Let the marshmallow sit for 3 to 4 hours, uncovered, until completely set.
- Cover a surface larger than the marshmallow slab with powdered sugar and carefully remove the marshmallow slab from the pan and place on the covered surface.
- Cut marshmallows in whatever shapes you’d like. (It helps to continually coat the knife or cookie cutters with powdered sugar to keep them from sticking.)
- Dust all sides of marshmallow pieces with powdered sugar.