Holiday Treat: Peppermint Swirl Marshmallows
This is one of those classic combinations that may seem a little boring, but you know what? It works. For these marshmallows, I went the extra step of adding a dark chocolate marble on top, with chunks of candy canes. It makes them super pretty and stocking-stuffer ready. Enjoy with your favorite hot cocoa.
NOTE: Makes one 9-by-13-inch baking pan of marshmallows
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup hot water, divided
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tbsp. plus 2 1/2 tsp.) unflavored gelatin
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. melted chocolate
2 tbsp. crushed candy canes
Oil bottom and sides of a 13-by-9-inch rectangular metal baking pan, line with parchment paper, and heavily dust the bottom and sides with some powdered sugar.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, pour in a 1/2 cup hot water and sprinkle with the gelatin and the vanilla bean scrapings. Let it stand for about 10 minutes.
In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the white sugar, corn syrup, and remaining hot water over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, after about 12 minutes. A word to the wise: This happens very, very quickly. While I turned around to tidy up, the entire batch jumped to 275 and burned, so once the thermometer reads 200°F, keep a close watch, and take it off the heat when it reaches 238°F. The thermometer should still creep up to 240°F after that. Remove the pan from heat, and pour the sugar mixture over the gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.
With the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on high speed until pale white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer. In a large bowl, separately beat the egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Add the whites, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan, and drizzle with chocolate. Swirl the chocolate with a toothpick (this needs to be done while the marshmallow is still a little warm and not set) and finish with a sprinkle of candy cane pieces. Let the marshmallow set uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto large cutting board, it should pop right out. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallows into roughly one-inch cubes. Sift remaining powdered sugar into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches. I'd typically toss them, but since I don't want to mar the cute tops, I just dust the sides fully. Marshmallow keep in an airtight container for up to one week. Pop into some cocoa and enjoy!
The perfect classic candy cane has to belong to Hammond’s, a Colorado confectioner who has been making sweet treats since 1920. The color and texture are perfect, and the flavor isn’t aggressively mouthwashy, but actually has a true peppermint flavor.
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Do you ever give edible gifts for the holidays? What do you like to make?