If I could, I’d add peppermint extract to absolutely everything on the planet. I’d even add it to things that don’t even work with peppermint, like beef stew or scrambled eggs. But I can’t help it, it adds that extra pep in my step this time of year and automatically puts me in the hap happiest of moods.
This addiction isn’t helped with the venti peppermint mocha I have every morning, but I just can’t quit it. Not only does peppermint remind me of Santa Claus, Christmas cookies and jolly making, it makes my breath smell like a candy cane. Well, not exactly but you get my drift.
That’s why when I was tasked with the assignment to make my own marshmallows at home, I immediately thought to make them peppermint. My poor husband is probably going to have peppermint scented nightmares until the holidays are over.
Now, before we continue, I have to make one confession. I was always so scared that making my own marshmallows would be the hardest thing in the history of the world. Luckily to my amusement and dismay, they ended up being one of the easiest!
The thought is daunting and the ingredient list isn’t exactly healthy foods, but I’ve wanted to make them for MONTHS, and I couldn’t have found a better time to attempt them.
Because who can have hot cocoa without a marshmallow? My favorite thing about these little puffs of pure peppermint heaven is that when they melt into your hot cocoa they MAKE IT TASTE LIKE A PEPPERMINT PATTY. That’s my goal in life, you know, to have everything taste just like my favorite candy.
Serves about 60. Slightly adapted from Betty Crocker.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30+ minutes
Chill time: 8 hours
- 1 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup homemade cane sugar syrup (see recipe below)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/2 tablespoons powered sugar
- Red food dye
- About 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 – 3 tablespoons crushed candy canes for garnish
- Line a standard size baking dish with parchment paper and dust with a bit of powdered sugar. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the gelatin and cold water together. Let the mixture sit until it softens, about 10 minutes.
- In a medium size saucepan, heat the sugar, cane sugar syrup and remaining water. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the candy registers at precisely 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. This is KEY, otherwise the marshmallows will not set.
- Gradually pour the syrup into the gelatin mixture and beat on slow/medium speed until all incorporated. Keep beating until the mixture is thick and fluffy, much like a marshmallow fluff or cream. Don’t worry if this takes about 10 minutes, it’s supposed to. Add the peppermint extract and keep beating another minute or so.
- One fluffy and thick, pour into the prepared baking dish. Add a few drops of red food coloring and swirl with a sharp knife.
- Add remaining powdered sugar to the top and chill overnight (at least 8 – 10 hours). Garnish with crushed candy canes.
- Once chilled, remove, carefully, from the pan and slice into small cubes (or any shape you’d like). Add to your hot cocoa and enjoy!
Cane sugar syrup.
Yields about 1 cup. Adapted from The Kitchn.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: About 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups + 2 1/2 tablespoons white cane sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Very small dash of salt
- In a 4 quart saucepan, mix the water, sugar, cream of tartar and salt together. Bring the mixture to a roiling boil and stir slightly. After boiling, do not stir and add your candy thermometer to the pan.
- Let mixture boil and then brush the sugar down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush. This will allow all of the crystals in the sugar to recrystallize. (Sounds weird, but it’ll make the whole syrup come together).
- Continue to boil the syrup until it reaches 240 degrees F. Once it does, immediately remove from heat and cool down. (This will cause it to thicken substantially).
- Once cooled, pour into a jar (that’s been sterilized) and keep in a warm place.
Nutritional information per serving (about 1/4 cup of marshmallows (or 5 marshmallows):
Fat: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 20.5 grams
Fiber: >1 gram
Protein: 1.2 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 2