MUSIC PAIRING: Tony Bennett, Snowfall
Ok, seriously. I just had the most fun I’ve probably ever had in the kitchen. I don’t know if it’s the magic of Christmas or what but I’m just one big ball of cheer about everything.
I am literally the most festive person I know. If I could buy out all of Crate and Barrel for every event throughout the year, I would. I’d have heart bowls for Valentines Day, shamrock glasses for St. Patrick’s Day, flag adorned platters for 4th of July, turkey cookie cutters for Thanksgiving…I mean, my house would be a ridiculous display of festiveness for everything. I would make Clark Griswold proud.
We’re getting close to Christmas and because I usually head home to GA for it, I wanted to do something Christmas’y for my work gals before I left. I decided on a little homemade hot chocolate bar but then…THEN…I read this recipe for peppermint marshmallows. The hot chocolate immediately got overshadowed. However, since I’m a peppermint mocha fan during the holidays, I thought the only thing better than hot chocolate would be if you plopped a fat homemade peppermint marshmallow in it.
When you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, sometimes things start feeling monotonous. You gravitate toward the same flavors or you use the same techniques and suddenly, you forget how much fun cooking can really be. I had never made anything close to marshmallows before. I was really excited about it because, as soon as the sugar and corn syrup starting whipping into this beautiful white cloud, I knew this was something special.
These marshmallows were perfect. The amount of peppermint was just right and the fluffy, springy texture was soft and supple without being too fragile. They sit overnight so I actually didn’t cut into them until I was at work. It made for quite the show! I think all of us gals were giddy and excited which lends itself wonderfully to enjoying our hot chocolate, just like when we were kids.
Truth be told, the hot chocolate was delicious too so I’d be remiss if I didn’t send you over to Joy for that recipe. The star for today though is definitely the marshmallows so I hope you’ll get yourself nice and covered in powdered sugar like I did.
Why Tony Bennett? I had gone over to Allison’s to make these because I don’t have a stand mixer. We had also planned to do a wine panel that evening and I’m usually the one focused on picking out the music when I’m present for them. Naturally, between the marshmallows and wine, my festive self requested that Christmas music be played endlessly. That’s awesome as is but with Tony Bennett singing, it’s just way better.
Recipe by: Brown Eyed Baker
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, enough so that excess foil hangs over the sides of the pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cornstarch; set aside.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand until the gelatin becomes very firm, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining water and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Pour the sugar into the center of the saucepan and add the salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, gently swirling the pan, until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture reaches 240 degrees, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Turn the mixer on low speed and carefully pour the hot syrup mixture into the gelatin mixture, avoiding the side of the bowl as much as possible. Gradually increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is very thick and stiff, 10 to 12 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and peppermint extract and mix until incorporated, about 15 seconds.
- Working quickly, scrape the mixture into the prepared pan using a spatula that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Smooth the top into an even layer. Sift 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar mixture over the pan. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature.
- The next day, turn the marshmallow slab out onto a cutting board and peel off the foil. Sift 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar mixture over the slab. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, cut into 1-inch strips one way, and then across the other way for square marshmallows. You could also use round cutters to cut them out as well.
- Place the remaining powdered sugar mixture in a large ziploc bag. Working with 3 or 4 marshmallows at a time, toss the marshmallows in the bag with the powdered sugar mixture, then toss in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any excess powder. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container or bag for up to 2 weeks.