Homemade peppermint marshmallows are the perfect winter treat for hot chocolate!

Stack of Peppermint Marshmallows topped with crushed candy canes.

“It’s a marshmallow world in the winter…when the snow comes to cover the ground…”

Oh! Sorry! I just got lost in the midst of Brenda Lee and the perfect snowy pre-Christmas days we’re having here in New England. 

Today is the third snowy day in the past week and I just can’t get enough of the white stuff, especially before Christmas. And let me tell you, these homemade peppermint marshmallows definitely kick the season into high gear.

Ingredients

A few drops of peppermint oil and some red food gel are all you need to take an easy homemade marshmallow from traditional to spectacular. This is the shopping list for my marshmallow recipe. Be sure to check out the recipe card below for the full ingredient list and set of instructions.

  • Powdered unflavored gelatin
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light corn syrup
  • Table salt
  • Peppermint oil
  • Red food gel (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar

How to Make Homemade Marshmallows

Making this marshmallow recipe is actually quite easy and if you’ve never made marshmallows before, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You’ll need the ingredients listed above, which are pretty standard in most well-stocked kitchens. Here’s what you’ll do:

STEP 1: Grease a 13×9-inch glass baking dish and a rubber spatula.

STEP 2: Dissolve the gelatin in some cool water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

STEP 3: Bring the water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt to a boil, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Clip a candy thermometer to the pot and boil until the mixture reaches 238° F and 240° F. No more, no less!

STEP 4: Drizzle the boiling mixture into the gelatin and whip until the mixture turns white and is thick and glossy.

STEP 5: Stir in the peppermint oil and food gel.

STEP 6: Pour the marshmallow mixture into your prepared dish and smooth it out with the greased spatula. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the top of the marshmallow and let it rest for at least 6 hours to firm up.

STEP 7: Flip the marshmallows out of the pan onto a cutting board and dust the top with more sugar. Cut the slab into squares with a pizza cutter or use cookie cutters to make marshmallow shapes. Roll the cut marshmallows in some extra sifted sugar.

Stack of Peppermint Marshmallows topped with crushed candy canes.

Tips and Tricks

  • Grease your tools. Homemade marshmallows are sticky! Be sure to spray your pan, spatula, and cutting tools with cooking or baking spray before you touch the marshmallow to them.
  • Don’t overwhip. I had some trouble getting my last batch of marshmallows to turn out fluffy but there were no issues here – these guys were just perfect. I’m pretty sure I overwhipped those Bailey’s marshmallows and ended up deflating the mixture in the process, which made flat-ish marshmallows.
  • Sift your sugar. You’ll need to sift your confectioners’ sugar over the marshmallows. If you don’t sift the sugar, you’ll end up with lumps of sugar all over your marshmallows. No fun there!
  • Storage. These marshmallows will keep well at room temperature for about 1 week. Be sure to keep them in a tightly sealed container.

What to Make with These Marshmallows

Obviously, floating these marshmallows in some hot chocolate or white hot chocolate would be just perfect. 

But you can also top some hot cocoa cookies or sparkling peppermint cookies with these Christmas marshmallows too.

This peppermint marshmallow pretzel fudge would also be a perfect way to use up leftover marshmallows. Simply cut extras into minis (about ½-inch cubes) and add them to the recipe in place of packaged marshmallows.

S’mores with homemade marshmallows and homemade graham crackers are a fantastic treat to make, even in the middle of winter! You can toast your marshmallows in the oven on a baking sheet just like I did for this s’mores ice cream.

And if you’re making a big Christmas dessert board, these marshmallows would be fantastic nestled in next to your favorite cookies.

Any of these winter treats would be perfect for your next snow day!

 

Stack of Peppermint Marshmallows topped with crushed candy canes.

Peppermint Marshmallows

Yield: about 8 dozen 1-inch marshmallows
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

Homemade peppermint marshmallows are the perfect winter treat for hot chocolate, cookie toppers, or s'mores!

Ingredients

  • 3 packets (¼ oz each) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cool water, divided
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon table salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon peppermint oil
  • 5 to 10 drops red food gel, optional; for pink color or swirling
  • Confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch glass baking dish and a rubber spatula; set aside.
  2. Pour ½ cup of the cool water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, mixing just slightly, and allow it to thicken.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining ½ cup of water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt to a boil, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. One the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and allow the mixture to boil to between 238° F and 240° F on a candy thermometer.
  4. With the mixer on low, pour the hot sugar mixture slowly and steadily down the side of the bowl into the softened gelatin. Once the pan is empty, gradually increase the speed of the mixture to high (stand back in case of any hot sugar splatters from the bowl!) and let the mixture whip into a thick and white fluffy mixture, about 5 to 8 minutes. Be careful not to allow the mixture to form a thick ball inside the whisk by whisking too long. With a couple of minutes left, pour in the peppermint oil. With just a few seconds left, drop the food gel into the spinning mixer to allow the color to swirl throughout the marshmallow mixture.
  5. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared dish and scrape out as much as you can from the bowl with the greased spatula. With wet fingers, gently even out the marshmallow in the dish. Dust the top with a light coating of confectioners' sugar and set the dish aside to allow the marshmallows to set up - at least 6 hours but overnight is fine too.
  6. When you're ready to cut the marshmallows, run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the edges. Flip the marshmallow slab onto a large cutting board and dust the top (which was the bottom) with more confectioners' sugar. Using a pizza cutter or shaped cookie cutter, quickly cut the marshmallows, taking care to dust all of the cut edges with sugar to prevent them from sticking to each other.
  7. The marshmallows should keep well for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

adapted from King Arthur Flour

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Disclaimer: King Arthur Flour provided some of the ingredients used in this recipe and seen in these photos.  All opinions about this recipe are my own.

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  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    December 17, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    these marshmallows are gorgeous and look like the perfect thing to put in my hot chocolate on this cold, snowy day 🙂

  • Jennifer O'Connor
    December 21, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    I made candy cane marshmallows last weekend too. They were a big hit at my household.

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