Friday, February 22, 2013

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows - Take 2!

Needless to say, it's very easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new project and forget all common sense. For instance, when you're trying your hand at homemade marshmallows for the first time, if your instinct is telling you the mixture is finished when it starts to clump inside the whisk, even if the recommended whipping time isn't up, you should probably turn the mixer off.

Case in point:

Lesson learned? Marshmallow mixture is incredibly temperamental.  Marshmallows: 1, Melissa: 0.

But since these were to be part of a (albeit late) Christmas gift, I wasn't going to let the them win the war.

Take two. We're even.

Soft, chewy, fluffy, minty marshmallows!

Peppermint Marshmallows. Adapted from Betty Crocker.

Butter for greasing
Powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons (3 packets) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (I suggest reducing to 1/2 tsp)
8 to10 drops red food color

 Gather ye ingredients

Combine gelatin with 1/2c of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer and set aside.

Combine corn syrup, granulated sugar, salt and 1/2cup water in a medium saucepan and set over low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Then clip a candy thermometer to the pan and set the heat to medium high. Make sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pan! Cook the mixture without stirring until the thermometer reads 240 degrees. Immediately remove pan from heat.

With the mixer speed set to low, SLOWLY, slowly, slowly (I cannot emphasize this enough) and carefully pour the hot syrup into the mixer with the softened gelatin.

Increase the mixer speed to high and beat 8-10 minutes, until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume. Follow your gut here! What you don't want to see is the mixture become too thick it starts to stick inside the whisk. Add 1/2tsp of peppermint extract when you have about a minute left to beat. (Side note: I used the recommended 1tsp and it was really strong. So I would cut back.)

While the mixer is running, grease a 9x13" baking dish and generously dust with powdered sugar. Now here's where you need to work SUPER DUPER fast and it would help to have a second set of hands. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had 4 hands? I was thinking that as I was driving tonight and trying to tie my hair in a ponytail at the same time. Sorry. I get sidetracked easily. Using a wet plastic spatula, coax the mixture out of the mixer and into the dish, and lightly pat the mixture down evenly with wet hands.

Drop red food coloring randomly on the surface of the marshmallows. Using a knife, swirl the food coloring though the mixture. Mine pretty much stayed on top because the marshmallows were already setting. But it didn't turn out too bad in the end! Dust the top generously with more powdered sugar. Let the marshmallows sit uncovered overnight to set completely. 


Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar (did I mention you need a lot of powdered sugar for these?) and add about 1/2cup powdered sugar to a small bowl. Turn the entire marshmallow block onto the cutting board. Dust the bottom with more powdered sugar. Using a pizza cutter, slice the block into long strips and then into small squares. Toss the squares into the powdered sugar to ensure they are coated on all sides. This will help prevent them from sticking together. 

And voila! You've got yummy marshmallows! Great with homemade hot cocoa!

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