Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows (and hot chocolate mix, too!)
With the passing of Thanksgiving, I view this time as when we ease up (though not give up!) on squash so that we can focus more on the peppermint and chocolate. As it’s also gift-giving time (and since I’ll use any excuse to try out a new recipe) I’ve just made these fantastic, refreshingly minty peppermint marshmallows as a holiday gift. Marshmallows alone don’t do anyone much good, so I also whipped up some homemade hot chocolate mix and ka-pow! We’ve got ourselves a thoughtful, easy, and tasty holiday gift.
Please note: making your own marshmallows is pretty fun, even if a little sticky. They taste better than the store-bought variety, plus gives you the added advantage making something that looks fancy without spending the billions of dollars that store-bought artisanal marshmallows usually cost. Adding in flavors – such a peppermint – is a great way to personalize the treats for the season.
Also, I don’t mean to gloss over the hot chocolate mix: it’s a brilliant combination of unsweetened chocolate bar with cocoa powder and sugar (and a few other easy ingredients). It’s a snap to make, and is a wonderful, decadent, chocolaty treat that’s perfect for the season.
Generously grease bottom and sides of 11×7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with butter; dust with 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar, ensuring that there are no ungreased spots. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the crushed candy cane on the bottom of the pan.
In bowl of stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water to soften; set aside.
In 2-quart saucepan, heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Heat to boiling, then lower heat and cook without stirring about 20 minutes, until the syrup reaches 240°F on candy thermometer; remove from heat.
With the whisk attachment, begin beating the softened gelatin on low speed. Slowly pour in hot syrup. Once all the syrup is added, increase speed to high and beat 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is white and has almost tripled in volume. Add peppermint extract and all but one tablespoon of the candy cane. Beat on high speed 1 minute. Pour into baking dish, patting lightly with wet hands. Drop food color and final tablespoon of the candy cane randomly onto top of marshmallow mixture. Pull table knife through food color to create swirl pattern over top. Let stand uncovered at least 8 hours or overnight.
When it’s time to cut up the marshmallows, dust cutting board with about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Place remaining powdered sugar in small bowl. To remove marshmallows, loosen sides from dish and gently lift in one piece onto cutting board. Using sharp knife greased with butter. Dust bottom and sides of each marshmallow by dipping into bowl of powdered sugar. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.
To give these as gifts, I’ll be packaging them up in some cellophane gift bags, like these one
Process all ingredients in food processor until ground to powder, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer to airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 months.
For one serving of hot chocolate, heat 1 cup of whole, 2 percent low-fat, or 1 percent low-fat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it starts to steam and bubbles appear around the edge of the saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of hot chocolate mix and continue to heat, whisking constantly, until simmering, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Pour the hot chocolate into a mug and serve.
To make enough mix for the number of marshmallows, I suggest doubling this recipe.
Strudel and Streusel are two friends living in different cities, sharing a love of baking (and butter) through this blog. With Streusel in Denver, and Strudel in Seattle, we've found our little site to be a great way to stay in touch, share recipes we love, and talk about experiences in our respective cities.