If you’ve never made your own marshmallows before, prepare yourself to be amazed at how easy they are. And once you’ve tried one of these pillowy soft, flavorful treats you’ll be making them all the time. The flavor possibilities are endless; peppermint, vanilla, strawberry, earl gray, pineapple, etc. These cute little artisnal delights make great gifts and kids and adults alike love them. I’m sharing an easy peppermint marshmallows recipe with you here that you can whip up this holiday season and enjoy with friends and family.
The recipe I used for these peppermint marshmallow is from King Arthur. If you’ve never made marshmallows before it will be hard to spot bogus instructions, like the one I found suggesting it would take 30 minutes to get your sugar/corn syrup mixture to 240 degrees F. Um, nope, under 10 minutes is typical, 30 minutes and you could end up with a burned disaster.
I altered a few things about this recipe, I omitted the crushed candy canes and used peppermint extract instead of peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is much more concentrated than extract, and so if you’re using extract (which is what is commonly found at a grocery store) you will want to add a little more to get a good peppermint flavor.
- 3 packets (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup cool water, divided
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint oil, or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies (I omitted these because I like my teeth)
- 2-3 drops red gel food coloring (I went for a more barely-there pastel color, if you want a deep red you’ll need to add more)
- confectioner’s sugar for dusting and dipping
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of the cool water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Set the bowl aside. The mixture will become kind of goopy, this is totally fine.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup cool water in a small, deep saucepan.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 238°F to 240°F on a candy or digital thermometer. This should take around 10 minutes, but keep a close eye on it. If you have a candy thermometer that clips to the size of your pan use that. Many digital thermometers let you set an alarm to go off when the mixture reaches a certain temp.
Remove from the heat. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the softened gelatin. Be very careful here. If you start your mixer too high the syrup could splash out and burn you. It’s extremely hot so use caution.
Very slowly increase the speed to high (if you ramp it up too quickly you could get hot sugar syrup flying out of your bowl. Whip until the mixture is very thick and fluffy, and has cooled to lukewarm, 3 to 10 minutes (depending on the mixer and attachment you use; a stand mixer using the whisk attachment will work more quickly than a hand mixer equipped with beaters). The mixture should be cool enough that you can spread it into the pan without burning your fingers, about 95°F. Don’t let the marshmallow get so thick that it forms a stiff ball inside the wire whisk; it shouldn’t be as stiff as meringue icing.
Add the peppermint oil towards the end of the mixing time. When the marshmallow is fully whipped, add the peppermint crunch (if using) and red gel paste, and mix just until you can see swirls of red and white. Spread the marshmallow into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan using a greased silicone spatula. Use your wet fingers to smooth and flatten the marshmallow into the pan. Sprinkle glazing or confectioners’ sugar over the top, and let sit for several hours (or overnight) before cutting.
If you want to cut your marshmallows out into square, the best tool is a bench scraper. These tools are super handy for cutting anything sticky, just spray with a bit of cooking oil.
Make sure you have lots of confectioner’s sugar on hand as well, this helps to keep the marshmallows from sticking. You can use oil as well but you don’t want your marshmallows to get covered in oil.
Once you have the marshmallows cut into squares, dip each into a bowl of confectioner’s sugar, cover all sides, and tap off the excess. This will help keep your marshmallows from sticking together.
I made these peppermint marshmallows for my hot chocolate bar, but you can just eat these on their own they’re so good. I also dipped some into melted dark chocolate which made for a yummy treat.
Homemade marshmallows make great gifts and can be enjoyed in hot chocolate or just on their own. In the New Year I’ll be sharing the details of a gourmet s’mores party and I’ll show you some other delicious marshmallow recipes as well.
I hope you enjoyed my peppermint marshmallow tutorial, if you have any questions please leave them below!