Sunday, December 18, 2011

peppermint marshmallows

For the craft sale, Marlo had made some peppermint marshmallows and sold them with packages of hot chocolate.  
Now who doesn't want homemade peppermint marshmallows?  So good.
One lady asked me a few days later if she could order just some marshmallows.  Sure, why not... anything (almost) to make a little more cash.  So, I whipped up a batch.
I had not made marshmallows in years.  Like, lots of years - many, many.  
When I think of homemade marshmallows, I always think of the ones my Grandma made at Christmas time - absolutely perfect cubes of marshmallow goodness rolled in I'm not sure what - light brown something*.  I talk about them like they were my favorite but in reality, I much preferred her chocolates.
Well, I must say that I love making marshmallows.  It had been so long that I forgot how easy it was.  
 I used my own recipe but followed Marlo's in terms of dropping red food coloring on top and swirling it in.
 They were very pepperminty - I apparently used more peppermint extract than Marlo did (and it was her extract that I used - sorry Marlo!).  But in spite of the strong peppermint they were very good.  The lady who ordered them said that she will forever be a marshmallow snob (not her words, but the general meaning) - not wanting to buy store bought again.
Cade was begging for some for his class, so I made another batch for that, and for us.  Since I didn't have any peppermint extract, I experimented.  I crushed up a few leftover candy canes and added those.  While they are a little stickier, they are sooooo good.  And since the candy canes were red, green and white, I added green to the swirl.

I feel the urgency to share the recipe as they are so happy and luscious (usually I only use those two words together when describing myself):

Peppermint Marshmallows

1 cup water
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of light corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed candy canes

1/4 cup of corn starch and 1/4 cup icing sugar - mixed together

Put the gelatin in your mixing bowl and add 1/2 cup of the water.  Let sit.
In a small to medium sized pot, combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Cook over medium high heat without stirring until the mixture reaches 220 degrees (240 for those of you at sea levelish areas).  
Turn on the mixer with the gelatin in it - on low.  Slowly pour in the boiled mixture while the machine is running.  Once it is all in the bowl, turn the mixer on to high and beat for 10 or 11 minutes.  While the stuff is mixing, grease a 9 x 13 pan and then coat it with your cornstarch/icing sugar mixture.
While the mixer still running, add the extract and crushed candy canes.  Beat one minute more.
Pour the mixture (that term is used lightly - it is more like "plop") into the pan and spread it out evenly (I grease a rubber spatula to make this easier).  Put a few drops of food coloring on top of the marshmallow goo and swirl it in with a toothpick.  Sift some of the cornstarch and icing sugar on top.
Let it sit for at least 5 hours.
Grease a sharp knife and then dip it in the cornstarch stuff.  Cut the marshmallows into the size you want (you could use cookie cutters too if you want to get fancy) - dipping the knife into the cornsugar (new word) as necessary.  Then roll each marshmallow into the cornsugar and store in an airtight container.  They should last about 3 weeks or so.
Then heat yourself up some yummy hot chocolate, add one or two of these babies and enjoy the goodness.

*Grandma Marshmallow Update:  Mom to the rescue - she just informed me that it was crushed corn flakes and sometimes toasted coconut.   Thanks momma!

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