I made peppermint marshmallows last night and they turned out better than I even imagined! Dense but light at the same time, squishy and chewy and so much better than those at the store! I read a lot of different recipes and blog posts about marshmallow making and I want to put all the good info I found right here in one place so that I can remember what I did and also so you can make them too, if you’d like. I highly recommend you do. They are fantastic. If you want to read all the marshmallow info that I did you can find the recipes and blog posts here, here, here, here and here.
This recipe filled a 9 x 13 inch pan and I cut it into approximately 75 marshmallows. They’re a little smaller than the jumbo store-bought cylinders but they’re still a decent size. Here’s the recipe I used- it’s the one from the last link above (though without the vanilla) but I’ve typed it out here to include my notes and the peppermint extract and coloring that I added.
- 2 1/2 packets of gelatin (this is about 2 1/2 Tablespoons)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- red food coloring (optional)
- peppermint extract (or vanilla if you want plain marshmallows)
- rice flour, corn starch and/or powdered sugar- for dusting the marshmallows (Marshmallows need to be dusted in something so that the edges aren’t sticky. I didn’t want to use plain corn starch because I didn’t want it to come off in my hot cocoa, making it too thick. I was afraid that plain powdered sugar might make them too sweet and plain rice flour might be too, well, plain. I chose to mix rice flour with powdered sugar and really like the effect but use what you want- or what you have on hand.
- oil- so marshmallows don’t stick to the pan
- parchment or wax paper to line the pan
- candy thermometer
- stand mixer with whisk attachment (I guess you could use a hand mixer but it’ll need to be on a high speed for quite a while so be sure your motor is up to the challenge and keep in mind that you, or your elves, will have to hold it for a long time. A whisk attachment is important because you need to whip air into the mixture)
- Put 1/2 cup water in stand mixer bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let sit while you do the next steps.
- In a saucepan, add 1/2 cup water, corn syrup, sugar and salt. Over low heat, stir until sugar dissolves.
- Turn heat to high and let boil until thermometer reaches about 250 degrees. Use a fairly large pan because the sugar mixture bubbles up a lot as it’s cooking. (Nearly every recipe I saw gave a different temperature and some said soft ball stage, while others said hard ball. I picked 250 because it was about average and my marshmallows turned out great. Also, you’re not supposed to stir it while it’s boiling but I did and they still turned out fine.)
- While that’s cooking, prepare your pan. I lined the bottom and sides with wax paper, then brushed on a generous amount of oil. Finally, I coated it with a mixture of rice flour and powdered sugar. ( Actually Mike did this part, not me. The marshmallows stuck a little on the sides that didn’t get oiled as much but they were still really easy to get out of the pan.)
- Let sugar mixture cool slightly, then pour into mixing bowl with gelatin and water in it while mixer is on medium speed. Whisk until sugar mixture is completely incorporated. (Recipes varied on how much to let the mixture cool, while 1 didn’t have you wait at all. I think the point is to not pour boiling hot sugar into the mixer while it’s on because that can be dangerous. I let it cool to about 225 but don’t recommend it. The sugar was already starting to harden a little and it made it hard to get it all out of the pan. Also, some hardened completely when it touched the cool mixing bowl and that chunk never mixed in with the gelatin. If you have a splash guard, use that and pour carefully while sugar mixture is still warm.)
- Turn mixer to high speed. Mixture will start to get light and fluffy and will expand a lot. It starts to look like marshmallow creme. It’ll get about 3 times more voluminous. Keep mixing until it doesn’t get any puffier. ( I didn’t time this part but it took somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes.) Right at the end, add a little peppermint extract- use your judgment on amount as a little goes a long way.
- Pour into prepared pan, smooth top with an oiled spatula and let sit overnight.
- Okay so somewhere in here you need to add food coloring. Well you don’t really need to but why not? If you want the whole thing to be delightfully pink, add coloring when it’s still in the mixer. I wanted the swirled effect so added some gel coloring while it was in the pan and swirled with a knife. It looked pretty but as it turned out, the color didn’t really make it past the top layer. After swirling, I smoothed out the top again and ended up spreading red color over the whole top. Liquid color may mix better but I can’t say for sure.
- The next day, take out of pan, peel paper off and put on a surface dusted with whatever you want to dust with. With a sharp knife cut it into squares, dredge cut edges in dusting powder and place in an airtight container, separating layers with wax paper.
I packaged some up for the neighbors in neat little wax paper bundles and labeled them with these great stickers thanks to my friend LauraLee who works here and is always bringing me stacks of reject/extra sheets of awesome (and sometimes hilarious) labels.