I made these to go along with some homemade hot chocolate (I will share that recipe with you soon) for neighbor gifts this year for Christmas. They were so yummy mixed into hot chocolate. I was surprised by how easy it is to make homemade marshmallows. I have seen recipes for them a lot, but never tried. I am really glad I finally did. My kids LOVED them so much. If you aren't a peppermint fan, just switch the peppermint for vanilla extract.
Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows
from Alton Brown - makes about 9 dozen
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp peppermint extract (or vanilla to make regular ones)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
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 10 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.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. It will be a taffy-like consistency at this point. 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 pizza wheel 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. If they last that long.