Monday, December 30, 2013

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Oh whoa. Flavor bomb y'all.


Homemade marshmallows. Who would've thought that was a thing? But ask the blogiverse--it's a thing. They're light, airy, softer than storebought, and the blankest canvas for all of your flavor inspirations.

I just imagined lavender marshmallows! That would be incredible. Gotta get on that one soon!
(in other news, I have the attention span of a squirrel).


But these--these are peppermint marshmallows. The refreshing answer to holiday cookies and richness, a light airy sugar cloud scented with mint.

before...
Marshmallows are not that difficult to make: gelatin gets a bit of water to swell up while sugar, corn syrup, and a bit of water boil away on the stove. Whip together (with a mixer unless you want your arm to fall off) for ten minutes, pour in a pan, shake some confectioners sugar over the whole shebang, and cool your jets for several hours. Flip out the slab of fluffy goodness, cut into squares, and shake it like a polaroid picture with the confectioners sugar.

in progress...
Plop in a mug of not too sweet hot chocolate, and die of bliss. It's so dang good! They melt and make a lovely insulation for the hot chocolate, flavoring every sip along the way until you give up and dig in with a spoon.

and...DONE! 

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows
Yield: 9x13 inches of marshmallow, cut as you like (that's about 100 square inches)

Ingredients:
  • ⅔ cup (2 2/3 ounces) powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup (1 1/3 ounces) cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water, divided in halves
  • 2½ tablespoons (2 1/2 packets) unflavored gelatin
  • ⅔ cup (7 1/3 ounces) light corn syrup
  • 2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
Method:
  1. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, enough so that excess foil hangs over the sides of the pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Put in a ziplock bag and set aside.
  3. Pour ½ cup of the cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand until the gelatin becomes very firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the remaining water and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Pour the sugar into the center of the saucepan and add the salt. Place the pan over medium-high (full high on my stove) heat and bring to a boil, gently swirling the pan, until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, about 10-12 minutes.
  5. Turn the mixer on low speed and carefully pour the hot syrup mixture into the gelatin mixture, avoiding the side of the bowl as much as possible. Gradually increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is very thick and stiff, 10 to 12 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and peppermint extract and mix until incorporated, about 15 seconds.
  6. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan with a spatula (non-stick spray may temporarily help, but I found I didn't want to have to keep spraying it and it wasn't that bad without the spray). Smooth the top into an even layer. Sift 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar mixture over the pan. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature.
  7. The next day, turn the marshmallow slab out onto a cutting board and peel off the foil. Sift 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar mixture over the slab. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (see note above, I gave up on that), cut into 1-inch strips one way, and then across the other way for square marshmallows. You could use cookie cutters to cut them out, too, if you like.
  8. Place the remaining powdered sugar mixture in a large ziploc bag. Working with 3 or 4 marshmallows at a time, toss the marshmallows in the bag with the powdered sugar mixture, then toss in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any excess powder. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container or bag for up to 2 weeks.

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