A standard 10.5-ounce bag contains approximately 35 large marshmallows. In recipes, each large marshmallow can be replaced with 1 tablespoon of marshmallow cream or 10 miniature marshmallows.
Marshmallows are light, puffed treats that consist primarily of gelatin, corn syrup, egg whites, sugar and vanilla flavoring. In the United States, they are often used in dessert recipes or roasted on sticks over an open fire. The standard white, bite-sized treats are widely available, while other variations include jumbo marshmallows, mini marshmallows and special shapes. Vanilla is the most common flavor, but strawberry, chocolate, peppermint and other flavorings are often used for themed marshmallow products. Marshmallows are also used to create the popular candy Peeps, which are made into seasonal shapes and coated in colored sugar.
Although marshmallows were originally made using the juice of the mallow plant, which was thought to have medicinal properties, gelatin later became the thickening agent of choice when it was made commercially available. The British and the French were the first to make marshmallows in the mid-1800s. The treats gained their standard cylindrical shape in 1948 when Illinois resident Alex Doumakes began using a process whereby liquid marshmallow was pushed through a tube, dusted with starch and cut into bite-sized pieces.