The gift of homemade peppermint marshmallows

For me to state that it is the “season” would be kind of stupid because we all know that the holiday season is upon us.  I must admit that I am not the most “cheery” or “warm” in regards to the holidays.  Don’t get me wrong, I love having time to spend with the family and an excuse to make a lot of food that I normally would not be making.  But… I find the entire show of consumerism kind of sickening.  Especially since a lot of people are hurting economically this year and we should be focusing on the more important things in life… instead of that sweater that you MUST have.

… sorry… I am kind of a Grinch…

What do I enjoy about this blessed season?  I love peppermint flavored everything, decorating the christmas tree, cooking with my mom, drinking snugglers, staying cozy in bed when it’s cold outside, Meet Me in St. Louis and spending very missed time with my friends and family.

Misletoe does not hurt either :)

We survived the week of craziness at work and managed to end the work day on Saturday relatively early.  Not too shabby!  Since I only had Sunday off, I spent it by sleeping in, studying for finals and finally making homemade peppermint marshmallows for my co-workers.

Tell you the truth, I don’t even like marshmallows that much but thought they would be a good addition to a snuggler and I had never made them before.  I now have to say that I LOVE homemade marshmallows!!!!! They are 100x better than store-bought ones and you can make them any flavor that you are craving.  My next batch may just have to be toasted coconut… or french vanilla… who knows?

I adapted the recipe from this one and doubled the recipe so that I could have enough for everyone at work.  Warning: This barely fits in your KitchenAid as a double batch… but it does, just be warned that it’s close.

“Grinchy” Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows:

3 packages unflavored gelatin

1 cups cold water, divided

12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups

1 cup light corn syrup (or glucose)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 1/2 tsp. peppermints extract

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

6-8 smashed candy canes

Nonstick spray

In your Kitchen aid stand mixer, empty the gelatin packets into the bowl and add in half of the cold water.  Make sure it is completely mixed together and let it sit, have your whisk attachment on the Kitchenaid.  In a sauce pan, heat the other half of the water, salt, corn syrup and sugar on medium heat, covered for about 3-4 minutes.  When this mixture starts to simmer, add in your candy thermometer and continue to cook until it reaches 240 degrees.  This will take about 10 minutes.  While you are waiting for this to happen, prepare your pan.  Line a 9 x 13 sheet pan with aluminum foil and stray it with nonstick spray.  Make sure you spray the sides too.  In a bowl combine the corn starch and confectioners’ sugar.  Dust the pan with this mixture and set aside the remaining mixture.  Now, sprinkle in half of your crushed candy canes onto the prepared sheet tray.

Once you get to 240, turn the heat off and SLOWLY add it into the gelatin mixture with the Kitchenaid on low.  Let the mixture run down the side of the metal bowl and into the gelatin.  Once all of it is combined, turn the mixer on high and let it go for about 15 minutes.  The mixture will start to look like marshmallows and will be glossy and lukewarm.

When this happens, pour the mixture into your prepared sheet tray.  Using an oiled spatula to smooth the marshmallow mixture evenly.  Once this is done, top with more of the corn starch and sugar mixture and finally the rest of the crushed candy canes.  Finally, drop some red food color on top, using a long skewer, drag the red food dye throughout the marshmallow mixture.

Allow to sit out for at least 4 hours and up to over night.  One they have set up, cut them using a sharp knife dredged in confectioners’ sugar.  These will last up to 3 weeks in an air tight container.

ENJOY!!

Even my Grinchy little heart grew three sizes…. Yea, they are that good.

Top your favorite winter-time drink with these, or package them up, and give to people you know will love them.

Lauren Azevedo-Henderson is a climber and foodie with a degree in Art History. Lauren has been cooking all her life and has been seriously climbing for just over 2 years. While living in her ex-boyfriend’s van (only for long weekends or a week at a time) she started cooking what you would call “gourmet” food on a camp stone in the van. She now spends most of her time in Red Rock, NV and started writing her food/climbing blog “The Climbing Chef” just last year.

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