Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pops
- Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Sift 1/4 cup powdered sugar onto parchment paper; set aside.
- Place 1/2 cup of ice water into mixing bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to stand to soften gelatin.
- Add remaining water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt to a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Place candy thermometer on side of pan. Boil until mixture reaches 240°F, stirring occasionally (about 8-10 minutes). Immediately remove from heat.
- Slowly pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture with mixer set at low speed. Gradually increase speed of mixer and beat at high speed until mixture has consistency of marshmallow cream and has tripled in bulk (about 10-12 minutes). Add vanilla; mix 30 seconds more.
- Spray spatula with cooking spray and spoon mixture using spatula into prepared pan. Sift remaining powdered sugar over marshmallows and let stand for 4 hours to overnight.
- Remove from pan and cut into 1-inch squares (using a pizza cutter dusted with powdered sugar or a wet knife). Place a skewer into each. Melt chocolate with shortening in microwave or in a double boiler.
- Dip half of marshmallow in chocolate and sprinkle with sprinkles, chopped nuts or toasted coconut.
- Place on parchment paper and allow to set. May be stored for up to a week in a tightly covered container.