12 Days of Baking – Day 8: Peppermint Marshmallows

Marth Stewart ain’t got nothing on me (well maybe a few millions). I got in my kitchen and made my own marshmallows. I’m talking real marshmallows. Fancy ones! The kind you lust over  at William and Sonoma. These marshmallows were super easy to make and only took me 30mins (not including setting time). This will be my go to recipe for all things fancy for the holidays. I wonder if my fancy marshmallows inspired Iggy Azalea’s hit song “Fancy”.

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RECIPE: Peppermint Marshmallows

3 packs of unflavored gelatin  (.75-oz in each pack)
3/4 cup water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
red gel food coloring (unflavored red food coloring)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 T cornstarch

Lightly grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.  Line with parchment paper and grease that as well. Set to the side.

In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer if you have one), sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water and allow it to dissolve for about 5-10 minutes.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a very  hard boil and cook for one minute (no need for a candy thermometer).  Make sure you stir it frequently, and be careful – this mixture is very hot!

Pour the boiling syrup on top of the gelatin and begin whisking on high.  A stand mixer will make this job much easier, though I’ve used a hand mixer with no problem.  Just be aware it’s possible that you could burn up your mixer using it on high for this long!

Add the salt and whisk on high for about 10 minutes.  At about 8 minutes in, I begin dipping my finger into the mixture and dropping a small dollop on the counter to test how close it is to “done”.  If you drop a dollop on the counter and within 30-60 seconds, it starts to firm up like you would imagine a marshmallow would, you can probably stop whipping.  Ten minutes is usually enough; you can go as long as 12 if you’re unsure.

At the end of the mixing, add the vanilla and peppermint extract (if using).  Pour half of the marshmallow mixture into the pan, then swirl around a few drops of red food coloring (if making peppermint marshmallows).  Pour the rest of the mixture on top, then swirl in a little more food coloring.

Allow the marshmallows to set until firm – usually about 4-5 hours.

Once firm, combine 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 T cornstarch in a bowl.  Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the marshmallows into cubes.  It helps prevent sticking if you dip your scissors in the powdered sugar mixture between each cut.

Toss each marshmallow in the powdered sugar mixture and that’s it – you’re done!  Store in a semi-airtight container.  I’ve found that if they are in a completely airtight container, they tend to get a little soggy; so we usually leave the lid just barely cracked.