Need more homemade gift ideas? You’ve gotta try these peppermint marshmallows from Martha Stewart. Even if you’re not doing homemade gifts this year, this is a really fun weekend project to do with your kids. It can get sticky, it can get messy and you might end up with red fingers but the end result is so worth it. The flavor is way better than expected and they melt wonderfully into hot cocoa or even coffee.
I’m going to mark this recipe as advanced because it does take some tricky moves. Two things you WILL need to make this recipe: a candy thermometer and a mixer. Did I mention that my parents ready the Kitchen Gadgets post and sent me a mixer and food processor as an early graduation/Christmas present? Very cool!
Anyway, two things that will make this recipe A LOT easier: a helper/extra set of hands and a stand mixer. I used a hand held mixer and it worked but a stand mixer will take this recipe from tricky to easy-ish.
- 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (Knox) $1.49
- 1½ cups water, divided $0.00
- ¾ tsp peppermint extract $0.15
- 2 cups granulated sugar $0.36
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup $0.07
- 2 large egg whites $0.24
- variable food coloring $0.10
- ¼ cup corn starch $0.12
- ¼ cup powdered sugar $0.05
- Prepare a 9×11 inch glass dish by coating with non-stick spray. Place a rectangle of parchment paper in the bottom and spray again with non-stick spray.
- In a small glass bowl, combine the gelatin and ¾ cup of water. Place the bowl over a small pot of water to create a double boiler (see photos below). Turn the heat to low and let the water/gelatin mixture heat and dissolve. Once the gelatin is dissolved, stir in the peppermint extract.
- In a medium pot, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and ¾ cup of water. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Bring the mixture up to a boil and let it simmer until it reaches 250 degrees (about 5-7 minutes).
- While you are waiting for the sugar mixture to come up to temp, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks have formed. Here is a video tutorial from Epicurious.com on how to whip egg whites.
- When the sugar mixture reaches 250 degrees, turn off the heat. Stir in the gelatin mixture. Because the molten sugar is much hotter than the boiling point of water, the hydrated gelatin will foam up quite a bit as you stir it into the hot sugar (this is the water instantly boiling). Stir it as it deflates.
- With your mixer on high, slowly pour the sugar/gelatin mixture into the beaten egg whites. You want to pour the hot liquid in a thin stream as you beat it into the fluffy egg whites. This is where it is nice to have a helper. The pot will be heavy and you will have to hold it up for a long time as you pour slowly. You need a LARGE bowl for this. The mixture grows as you beat in the molten sugar!
- Once all of the sugar gelatin mixture is mixed into the egg whites, continue to beat until the mixture just begins to set (the beaters will begin to leave a “trail” in the top of the marshmallow mixture). Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Squirt red food coloring over the top and use a toothpick or chopstick to drag the color through, creating swirl marks.
- Let the marshmallows sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours to allow them to “set.” Once they have set, transfer them to a cutting board. Using a pizza cutter or kitchen shears, cut into squares. Coat the utensil with non-stick spray to keep it from sticking. Dust the marshmallows in a mixture of corn starch and powdered sugar to keep them from sticking to each other. Store in an air tight container.
Step By Step Photos
Some steps do not have photos as I was using both of my hands and had to work quickly before the candy set up.
Prepare a large glass dish with non-stick spray and parchment paper. Spray under and on top of the parchment paper.
Place the gelatin in 3/4 cup of water in a small heat proof bowl.
Place the bowl of gelatin over a small pot that is half full of water. Turn the heat on to low and allow the gelatin mixture to heat and dissolve (stir occasionally). Once the gelatin has dissolved, stir in the peppermint extract.
In a medium pot, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and another 3/4 cup of water. Attach a candy thermometer on the side.
Bring the sugar mixture up to a boil and let simmer until it reaches 250 degrees. This will take at least 5 minutes.
While you are waiting for the gelatin to dissolve and the sugar to come up to temp, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Video tutorial here.
The next few steps go really fast and you need all of your hands. Stir the dissolved gelatin and peppermint extract mixture into the molten sugar (once it has reached 255 degrees). Pouring in a slow stream, whip the molten sugar into the egg whites. Once everything is combined and the mixture begins to set (the beaters will leave a trail as they move around), pour it into the prepared pan. Drop food coloring all over the top and drag a toothpick or chopstick through to make swirl marks. Let the marshmallows sit for at least 3 hours to set up.
Transfer the cooled and set marshmallows to a cutting board. Cut them using an oil coated pizza cutter or kitchen shears. Toss them in a mixture of corn starch and powdered sugar. A less messy method is to combine the corn starch and sugar in a large zip lock bag, dump in the marshmallows and toss it around a bit. To remove excess powder, pour the marshmallows into a colander and shake it around until most of the excess has fallen off.
I had two packs of food coloring in my cabinet but was out of red from both packs! I went to buy more but it was insanely expensive ($5.49, Winn Dixie, really?!) Luckily, I had some hot pink so I used that… not too bad! It might be kinda cute to do red AND green (separately or else you’ll have brown spots).
Next time I might try adding a little vanilla extract along with the peppermint for a creamy mint flavor. YUM.