Because we needed candy for the holidays, we decided to experiment with the marshmallow recipe we’d already posted, to add peppermint flavoring and cover them in chocolate. These would also be a great Valentine’s Day treat. Normally I’d list out the ingredients in the order that you’re going to use them, but since you’re going to have to make some ingredients ahead of time, I’ve listed those first. These marshmallows are a bit sturdy because they needed to hold up to being dipped in chocolate, but if you want them to be lighter with a little less structure, knock back the amount of gelatin by a tablespoon.
- 1 1/4 cup of cane sugar syrup (You will need to make it ahead of time – there are two good recipes and I’ve used both before. The one from thekitchn.com makes about a quart, and the one from justapinch.com makes about two cups.)
- 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (You will need to make it ahead of time – here’s a recipe from glutenfreegigi.com on how to do it. I used tapioca starch, or Trader Joe’s has a powdered sugar that uses tapioca starch instead of corn starch, but check the labels every time.)
- 1-2 Tablespoons of homemade peppermint extract or 4-5 drops of peppermint essential oil (To make my extract, I used dried peppermint and spearmint leaves in place of fresh, as described here. I use either Vikingfjord or Luksusowa Vodka because they are made only from potatoes, where some vodkas may also use grain or corn.)
- 4 Tablespoons of unflavored gelatin powder (Knox or Great Lakes are generally regarded as being okay if you’re not super sensitive to corn, again no affiliation with Amazon, just linking for reference)
- 1 1/4 cups of cold water, divided
- 1 1/2 cups of cane sugar (make sure you use a safe-for-you brand)
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch (You could also use potato or arrowroot starch, whatever’s safe for you)
- safe-for-you-oil for greasing the pan or you can use the oil in an oil mister as well
- safe for you chocolate for melting – We used Dancing Lion’s Dark Chocolate for Baking, a product that is no longer available
Kitchen Stuff you will need:
- Stand mixer with the whisk beater attached
- candy thermometer that will clip on the side a saucepan
- 3 or 4 quart saucepan
- 9 x 13 baking pan or another flat container to spread out your marshmallows
- a pizza cutter or a sharp knife
- the normal assortment of bowls, measuring cups, spatulas, forks or whisks and so on
Grease or spray your baking pan with the oil. Use a paper towel to wipe the pan and make sure that every surface is coated in a thin layer of oil. Put the baking pan and a spatula next to your stand mixer, which should already have the whisk beater on it and your splatter guard ready to go.
Mix a 1/2 cup of cold water in a measuring cup along with the peppermint extract or peppermint oil. Put the gelatin into the bowl of the stand mixer, and pour the water and vanilla mixture over it while whisking it with a fork or a small whisk. Mix until there are no lumps. Put the bowl back into your stand mixer and attach it.
Place your saucepan on the burner and clip your candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Add the rest of the water (3/4 of a cup), and add the cane sugar, cane sugar syrup and salt. Don’t stir it up.
Place the saucepan over high head and bring it to a rapid boil. Boil until the sugar mixture measures some where between 245ºF and 250ºF. Don’t let it go any higher than 250ºF. Take the saucepan off the burner and remove the candy thermometer.
Turn on the stand mixer to medium and CAREFULLY pour the sugar mixture down the side of the stand mixer bowl. There will be some bubbling, so go slowly. Also it will freaking burn and hurt if you spill it on yourself, so please don’t.
When all the sugar mixture is in the mixing bowl and is mixed to together, make sure your splatter guard is down and increase the mixing speed to high. Continue to mix on high for 10 minutes. Make sure you do the full 10 minutes.
Once the ten minutes is up, do not dally, get the marshmallow mixture into the baking pan as fast as you can as it will start to cool really fast, and you want to be able to spread it out in the pan. Use a spatula to scrap out the bowl, but it’s really think and sticky, so you won’t get every bit out. Once it’s in the pan, spray or coat your hands with your oil and spread out the marshmallow evenly.
Let the marshmallows sit uncovered and at room temperature for 6 or more hours. Don’t let it go any longer than 24 hours though. Once they have cooled, mix your powdered sugar and tapioca starch in a bowl.
Take a large cutting board or cookie sheet and sprinkle some of the powdered sugar mix on it. Then sprinkle the top of the marshmallow in the pan with the mixture and smooth it out over the surface. Flip the pan over onto your cutting board. Once you’ve got them out of the pan, sprinkle more of the mixture over the top of the marshmallow layer that was previously on the bottom of the pan.
Cut your marshmallows using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter into small squares.
Put each square in the bowl with the powdered sugar and tapioca and toss it until coated thoroughly. (If you have extra marshmallow coating afterwards, put it in a jar and use it the next time.)
Once you’re done with your marshmallows, it’s time to dip them in chocolate. You can melt in a double boiler, but our resident Master Chocolatier, Rich Tango-Lowy, at the Dancing Lion in Manchester, New Hampshire, recommends the use of the microwave because you don’t want to get any water in the chocolate which would ruin the crystalline structure. There’s all kinds of science on chocolate tempering that Rich explained at a lecture Mary Kate and I attended, but for our purposes, being lowly food bloggers, putting the chocolate in a microwave safe Pyrex or Corning ware container, and nuking it for ten seconds, checking it and repeating that until it’s melted (make sure you don’t burn it) works for us.
We used a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper to place our dipped marshmallows while they cooled. Dip your marshmallows in the chocolate, or simply drizzle the chocolate over the top. We ended up mostly drizzling because we were making too big a mess with the dipping process.
Bonus picture because Mary Kate and Jack decided to play with my stuffed sheep collection when I left Mary Kate and Jack unattended in my apartment for a short period of time: