As the mixer fiercely whipped the hot sugar syrup, a plume of mist roared out of the bowl.  The transformation from clear and gooey to white and pillowy was simply incredible.  It took 12 minutes.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Then there was sticky marshmallow everywhere.  It stayed glued to the walls of the bowl after I poured it in a pan greased and dusted with confectioners’ sugar.  It stubbornly clung onto the wire whip and the rubber spatula.  It stuck to my fingers, too, which left me with no other choice but to lick them clean. The intoxicating scent of peppermint filled my kitchen and didn’t help one bit.  It made me want to lick off the sticky strings of marshmallow all the more.

But the fun in this marshmallow experiment had only just begun.  I dotted the top of the soft, thick bed of marshmallow in the pan with drops of the natural red food color I conjured from red beet powder.  Using a small fork, I swirled these drops of bright red color into long streaks and twirls.  No definite pattern in mind.  Like a young kid with a paint brush and water color, I drew circles and curls — big ones and tiny ones.  I drew waves.  I drew paisley-like patterns.  I drew dizzying spirals that coiled in and coiled out.  I didn’t follow any rules, which made it even more fun.  My masterpiece was not at all refined but it was everything I thought it would be –  messy-clean fun.  It was like being a kid again in the kitchen

My very first homemade marshmallow started out as a desperate tweet to find a store in the city that sells multicolored mini-marshmallows for my church window candies.  All the stores I visited, six or seven in all, didn’t carry the elusive colored marshmallows I wanted and everyone kept raving about how easy it is to make them from scratch.    Making marshmallows wasn’t only easy, it was loads of fun.  I’m just not certain which I enjoyed more — making or eating them.

 

Peppermint Marshmallows Recipe,
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s Good Eats, makes around 60 marshmallows

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
nonstick spray
12 drops of red food coloring from red beet powder

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the  peppermint extract during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

 

Peppermint Marshmallow Swirls

 

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dot the marshmallow across the pan with red food coloring made from red beet powder and using a fork or toothpick, swirl the food coloring to create a marbleized effect.

Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a knife dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

 

Peppermint Marshmallows

 

Cooking Notes:

1. To make regular marshmallows, add vanilla extract instead of peppermint extract.

2.  Red beet powder can be used to make a natural organic red food color.  Click here to read more about red beet powder.

3. To make miniature marshmallows, combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners’ sugar mixture.

Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.

Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

Peppermint Marshmallows

  • http://www.dishcrawl.com tracy @ladyleet

    omg @lil_puffs just made some peppermint marshmallows! i just had some yesterday! i need to try and do this at home. if you leave the mallows to dry out (till hard), about 4 days, and then put them on graham/chocolate and bake, they turn out delightfully. Like this! http://twitpic.com/3atzl7

  • http://www.junbelen.com Jun Belen

    Thanks, Tracy! I have to try Lil Puffs soon! They’re in San Jose, right? And of course, I love s’mores! My next experiment would have to be making graham crackers from scratch now that I have marshmallows nailed!

  • http://thislittlepiggywenttothemarket.blogspot.com Lala

    so cool that u used beet powder for the colour!!! i’ve gotten into one too many mishaps trying to dye things naturally, so when u posted about natural food colouring, i was instantly attached.

    i’ve never even dared attempt marshmallows for the sticky reasons. i just can’t be found licking my entire kitchen clean, you know? LOL

    this post made me laugh on this sunny Wednesday afternoon :) thx.

  • http://www.eatthelove.com jackhonky

    GAH! Get out of my brain! I’m making peppermint marshmallows for something this Sunday. I just need to run out and get some supplies. I hope they turn out as nice as yours!

  • http://www.junbelen.com Jun Belen

    Thanks, Irvin! Looking forward to Sunday!

    Thanks, Lala. Making marshmallows weren’t all that bad. They were sticky but that’s part of the fun!

  • http://omgyummy.net Beth (OMG! Yummy)

    Have you dropped one in a steamy mug of rich hot chocolate yet? OMG! they look so yummy. And it’s good to know that while I was cleaning up (and eating) the remains of my rugelach-baking bonanza this week, you were cleaning up sticky-gooey sweet stuff. Misery loves company.

    These look fabulous! Glad your painful search for colored marshmallows spurred you on to make these.

  • http://www.riceandwheat.com angi

    These marshmallows make me smile. They look so festive! It seems I’m running into blog posts about homemade marshmallow all over the place lately, so maybe it’s a sign to actually roll up my sleeves and have a go at them? Happy holidays to you, Dennis, and Stanford, Jun! (a bit early, I know)

  • http://dadaflavors.blogspot.com dadá flavors

    ¡Ohh, it´s looks delicious!

  • http://www.moonglowgardens.wordpress.com Annapet

    Oh, wow! What gorgeous treats! I am such a lazy cook and way too scared to try this.

    Stanford is such a happy puppy. I love, love the twinkle in his eyes.

    Thanks for sharing this, Jun!

  • http://www.junbelen.com Jun Belen

    Thank you, Annapet! We miss your tweets!!

  • http://gourmandeinthekitchen.com Sylvie – Gourmande in the Kitchen

    So happy to see that you used beet powder to color your marshmallows. I hate using artificial coloring in my baking. Now I have an alternative. Are there other natural colorings that you use?

  • http://www.junbelen.com Jun Belen

    Thank you, Sylvie! Check out this link from Eye Candy which has ideas for natural food coloring for white chocolate: http://eyecandy.nanakaze.net/?p=385
    Jun

  • http://www.thelittlefoodie.com Mariko

    So pretty. I love the food coloring you made. I can imagine how messy this would be. Amaya would go crazy over the bowl of marshmallow stickyness.

  • http://www.dishfolio.com Dustin Baier

    What a great idea. Neat pictures also. You should definitely share these over at http://www.dishfolio.com. You would be a great addition.

  • http://www.junbelen.com Jun Belen

    Thank you, Dustin for stopping by and for the heads up about dishfolio.com!
    Jun

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  • http://www.forkspoonnknife.com Asha@fsk

    Beautiful photos!!! Love the colors.. the dark pink against the pure white is simply gorgeous!!

  • http://lemonsandanchovies.wordpress.com/ Jean

    Jun, these marshmallows are so pretty. I don’t know how else to describe them. I like the delicate layer of color, not too much, just right. And I bet the peppermint notes hits the spot, too. I know it would for me!

    Merry Christmas to you!

  • http://www.junbelen.com Jun Belen

    Thank you, Jean. Merry Christmas to you and your family, too!

  • http://iamafeeder.net Jackie

    Great job, Jun! How funny that we both did marshmallow experiments the same few days ;) These are infinitely prettier than mine, though!

    Jax x

  • http://indonesia-eats.blogspot.com Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    Very lovely one, Jun! I like the fact that you use a natural colour from beets.

  • http://torontogirlwest.com Toronto Girl West

    I actually did a double take when I saw this!!! Maybe I’ll make some and have them ready for hot chocolate on Christmas day! :)

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  • http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com mardi@eatlivetravelwrite.com

    I just made these (halved the recipe because I don’t need 60 marshmallows) and I over beat the mallow – only beat it for about 7 minutes but it was already too thick to pour and I ended up with a heck of a mess ;) I managed to spread it somewhat but It’s definitely not as neat as yours. I hope they turn out. 

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  • Crochetgottaloveit (Lee Ann)

    This recipe sounds very intriguing!  Thank you!   :)
    Lee Ann
    http://crochetgottaloveit.blogspot.com
    http://cgli.us

  • Saffy

    Hi, what brand of gelatin did you use? I tried this recipe using Alsa gelatin but it did not bloom so my marshmallow mixture was too thin. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    I used Knox unflavored gelatin Good luck and let me know how it goes.