Peppermint Marshmallows

This post is written in partnership with If You Care.

There’s something joyful and magical about making your own marshmallows! Not only is the process fun to do, but you can customize the flavor to your liking.

These festive peppermint marshmallows are great for topping hot cocoa or just nibbling when you want a treat. Expect loud proclamations of “You made these?!” and “I didn’t even know that you can make homemade marshmallows!” when you serve them.

How do you make marshmallows?

Marshmallows aren’t difficult to make, but it’s helpful if you have a candy or deep frying thermometer. After all, you ARE making candy! 

First you’ll line your pan with If You Care parchment paper, spray it with cooking spray, and dust with a little confectioners sugar and cornstarch.

Then you’ll start making the marshmallows! Simply soften unflavored powdered gelatin in cold water. Cook a combination of sugar, corn syrup, water and a pinch of salt until it reaches 240°F. 

While the syrup is cooking, melt the gelatin in the microwave, add it to a stand mixer bowl, and whip it while you add the hot syrup. Add the peppermint extract, scrape into the prepared pan, drop a few drops of food coloring and swirl away. Let the whole things sit around overnight and then cut and serve!

What is the purpose of the parchment paper?

Non stick parchment paper makes fast work of a sticky task like marshmallows.

Once the marshmallows have “cured” overnight, you lift them out of the pan with the sides of the paper, then move directly to a cutting board. No worrying about the marshmallows sticking to the pan or damaging the red swirls of color on the top by flipping them upside down.

And If You Care is the right parchment paper for the job. It’s unbleached and 100% natural, so once you use it, it can go right into the compost bin. 

Do I really need a candy thermometer?

You don’t necessarily need a candy thermometer, but it does make your life a lot easier.

If you have a thermometer, you can turn the heat on medium high and cook the syrup much faster. 

But if you don’t have a thermometer, you can still make marshmallows. Just cook the syrup at a medium to medium low temperature. Test the syrup by placing a small glass of water next to the stove. Drop a little bit of syrup in the water. Once the syrup reaches the “soft ball” stage, where you can reach in and pick up the syrup, and it’s malleable in your fingers, you’re at the right temperature. 

How do I know when the marshmallow is done?

The marshmallow mixture will fluff up until it’s about triple in volume and be opaque white.

Don’t under beat the mixture: It needs a full 8 to 10 minutes to reach its full volume. Otherwise it will be dense and overly chewy. But don’t over beat it either! You want it still warm enough that you can pour it into the pan as a liquid and add the food coloring. If you beat it too long, the marshmallow will solidify in the bowl and it’ll be tough to scrape out into the pan.