There is something truly special about real, fresh, homemade marshmallows in your hot chocolate. Or hot cocoa. Did you know there is a difference beyond personal word choice? Me neither! But these marshmallows really do melt differently than the store bought kind. And the best part is, they’re not impossible to make at home!
I’ve only made marshmallows once before, and I didn’t remember them being too terribly difficult, just time consuming. Not a lot of active time, but a good 6-18 hours of wait time between putting the marshmallow goo in the pan and then cutting and enjoying them. This time around was no different. These are really not difficult to make in your own kitchen. The only special equipment you need is a candy thermometer.
It’s kind of fun (especially if you’re a food nerd likes me who still finds beating egg whites to stiff peaks amazing) to watch such simple ingredients go from nothing impressive to a fluffy, sticky mound of marshmallow in just a few minutes. And again, marshmallows aren’t difficult at all to make! But you do need to plan ahead. And you do need a candy thermometer. You will be sad and lost without your candy thermometer!
I found this tutorial from The Kitchn to be extremely helpful in making marshmallows and used their recipe as my base. I’ve seen yummy variations including pretty pink peppermint marshmallows, toasted coconut marshmallows and even salted caramel marshmallows. All of which I thought about making. But I decided to try something a little different. My undying love of York peppermint patties led me to make these. They’re delicious on their own, but something really wonderful happens when the peppermint patties start to melt into your hot chocolate. It’s heavenly.
One of the little bits of advice I’d give is to be patient in waiting for the sugar syrup to get to temperature. It heats quickly to 200°F, but took a while to get to 250°F. Keep a close eye on it after it gets to 230 or so, because it seemed to speed up then. Also remember, no stirring. It all comes out fine in the end. Resist the urge.
These are another great gift idea for Christmas! Wrap up a few in a glassine or poly bag and pair with some fancy hot chocolate mix and a cute mug. Done.
Chocolate Mint Marshmallows
Marshmallow recipe from The Kitchn
- 1 batch marshmallow base (ingredients and recipe below)
- 1 bag mini York peppermint patties (about 27) unwrapped and roughly chopped
For the gelatin bloom:
- 3 tablespoons (typically 3 packets) unflavored gelatin powder (See Recipe Notes)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
For the marshmallows:
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cup sugar cane syrup or corn syrup
- Pinch kosher salt
For the marshmallow coating:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- Grease a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray or shortening, making sure to cover every nook and cranny.
- Spread/sprinkle/place the peppermint patty pieces onto the bottom of the pan, covering as evenly as possible. This will be hard since the candy will want to stick to everything but the pan.
For the Marshmallows
- Put the gelatin into the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add 1/2 cup cold water and the vanilla to the gelatin and whisk with a fork. Continue stirring until the gelatin reaches the consistency of apple sauce and there are no lumps.
- Pour 3/4 cup water into a heavy bottomed 4-quart saucepan. Pour the sugar, corn syrup, and salt on top and leave it. Do not stir.
- Clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pot and place over medium-high heat. Bring it to a full boil. Do not stir. As the mixture comes to a boil, dip a pastry brush in water and brush down the sides of the pot to keep the sugar from crystallizing on the sides of the pot.
- Continue boiling until the sugar mixture reaches 247°F to 250°F, brushing down the sides of the pot occasionally. Take the pan off the heat and remove the thermometer once it reached temperature.
- Turn on your mixer to low speed. Slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the gelatin, being very careful not to let the syrup spill on anyone, it is extremely hot.
- After all the syrup has been added, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel (to keep you and your kitchen clean!) and increase the speed to high. The towel can be removed once the mixture begins to thicken.
- Whip for about 10 minutes. No excuses. Set a timer and don’t turn the mixer off until the timer says so. You will have a beautiful bowl of white fluffy goodness.
- Remove the whisk and scrape off as much of the marshmallow as you can. Use a spatula to scoop the marshmallow, which will be incredibly sticky, into the 9×13 pan lined with your peppermint patties. Try to spread it as smoothly as possible without moving the patties too much. Spray your hands with cooking oil and flatten and smooth the top of the marshmallow as much as possible.
- Leave it alone now for 6-24 hours, uncovered. Away from toddler hands.
- Whisk the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the top of the marshmallows with some of the powdered sugar mixture. Turn the pan over onto your work surface or large cutting board. This may require some coaxing from an offset spatula. The patties will stick somewhat, so be careful not to lose a chunk by being too rough in removing the marshmallow block. Once it is removed, sprinkle more powdered sugar onto the other side of the marshmallows, the peppermint patty side.
- Use a pizza wheel, knife or cookie cutters to cut the marshmallows. Wet your utensil of choice between cuts to keep the marshmallow from sticking. (If you use cookie cutters, make sure they’re large and not too intricate. I tried a small frilly snowflake cutter with less than stellar results. The heart cutter was easier. Squares are easiest!
- After cutting, toss the marshmallows in the powdered sugar and place on a platter, cookie sheet or in the container you plan to keep them. Repeat with the remaining marshmallows.
- Keep marshmallows in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.