We all know that our favorite winter holidays won’t last forever.
To begin, we take down our Christmas trees or menorahs, removing all remnants of the previous months of celebration.
Am I the only one who hates this? I mean, sure, it can’t be Christmas all the time.
But don’t things seem powerfully colder without twinkling lights and colorful displays? Isn’t it, I don’t know, depressing to see stores pull out Valentine’s candy, when that is over a month away, as if it’s all we have to look forward to now?
So we might as well enjoy the holiday spirit as much as we possibly can, starting with my wintry peppermint marshmallows.
Airy confections, homemade marshmallows feel light and fluffy on your tongue and dissolve in just a few moments. And when they are made with a sweet candy cane syrup, they will help you feel all the warmth and joy of the holidays.
Enjoy them melting slowly on top of a warm mug of creamy and rich hot chocolate, or try them in a winter-themed s’mores treat. You can use our recipe for cinnamon s’mores as a way to make them indoors. We just suggest leaving out the cinnamon. Let that peppermint shine!
You can also make fun marshmallow pops as party favors during the winter holidays! Cut them in even small squares, insert a stick on one end, cover them in melted chocolate, and decorate them with red, white, or green sprinkles.
Or eat them simply on their own! No matter how you eat one of these fluffy square clouds of sugar and mint, you will love the sweet and refreshing flavors.
The Best Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 24 pieces 1x
Savor each sweet holiday moment with homemade peppermint marshmallows. Enjoy them with hot chocolate by the fire on a cold winter night.
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup ground peppermint candies ((about 6 peppermint candy canes))
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- red food coloring ((optional))
- Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil. Lightly coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Sift 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar mixture into the pan and tilt to coat all sides.
- Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle evenly with gelatin on top. Let it bloom while preparing the next step.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat sugar, corn syrup, peppermint pieces, and salt over medium heat. Cook until completely dissolved, about 7 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour the hot mixture into the bowl with the gelatin mixture. Beat on high speed with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 10-15 minutes.
- Working quickly while the marshmallow is still soft, spread evenly into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula coated in cooking spray. If using, add scattered dots of food coloring on top of the mixture. Swirl a knife or toothpick through the drops to create a marbled pattern on top. Let the marshmallow set at room temperature for 2 hours, loosely covered with foil or plastic wrap.
- After the marshmallow has set completely, invert the pan onto a cutting board. Remove the foil and gently turn the marshmallow over face up. With a cookie cutter or knife lightly coated in cooking spray, cut to your desired shapes. Dip the cut sides in the remaining sugar/cornstarch mixture. Pat off any excess.
- Enjoy immediately, or store at room temperature in an airtight container.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Candy
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: Christmas, peppermint, marshmallows, candy cane, holidays
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Set out all ingredients and cooking equipment needed.
Crush the peppermint candies until very finely ground. When they are more finely ground, it will be much quicker and easier to melt them completely in the following steps. The best way to grind them is with a food processor or blender.
Sift together the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a separate bowl.
Prepare the pan by lining the bottom with aluminum foil and lightly coating the bottom and sides with cooking spray. Sift 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar mixture into the pan and tilt while you tap to coat all sides.
Step 2 – Bloom Gelatin
Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the powdered gelatin evenly on top. Let it bloom while preparing the syrup in the next step.
Step 3 – Make the Syrup
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the sugar, corn syrup, peppermint pieces, and salt over medium heat. Cook until completely dissolved, stirring constantly with a heatproof spoon. This will take about 7 minutes.
Step 4 – Combine Ingredients and Whip
Pour the hot mixture into the bowl with the gelatin mixture. Beat on high speed with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 5 – Set
Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula coated in cooking spray.
If using, scatter 8 to 10 drops of red food coloring on top. Working quickly, swirl a knife or toothpick through each dot to create a marbled effect.
Let the marshmallow set at room temperature, lightly covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, for at least 2 hours.
Step 6 – Cut
After the marshmallow has set completely, lift from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Remove the foil.
With a cookie cutter or sharp knife lightly coated in cooking spray, cut to your desired shapes. To prevent sticking, reapply cooking spray to the knife or cookie cutter after each cut.
Dip the sticky cut sides in the remaining sugar mixture, wiping off any excess.
Step 7 – Serve and Store
Enjoy them immediately, or store at room temperature in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer.
Savor Every Sweet Holiday Moment
Despite the popularity of buying a big bag of premade marshmallows, these cloud-like treats aren’t difficult to make. There’s little involved, actually: gelatin, corn syrup, cornstarch, and peppermints.
But the results of a few simple steps are extraordinary:
Downy clouds of sweetness with a refreshing, minty flavor. The perfect complement to an evening on the sofa, bundled under thick blankets and watching a favorite movie.
While you’ll be taking down the Christmas tree, stockings, and decorations in just a few short weeks, you’ll be savoring these minty treats, in addition to all your beautifully delicious holiday moments.
Enjoy them while they last!
Do you like making homemade holiday sweets like these fluffy confections? Maybe you would enjoy some of these:
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published January 2nd, 2009. Revised and updated November 8th, 2018, with additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.
8 thoughts on “Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows: Bright Cheer in the Cold of Winter”
it is quite depressing, the taking down of the xmas stuff. it’s just so anti-climatic! if it makes you feel any better, it’s not a national holiday but it’s a rather important one for quite alot of people in the world: the Lunar New Year (Tet) falls in January this year. it’s a week long celebration and the festivities is quite contagious. 🙂
cheer up, january does not last forever, altho i don’t envy your environment of Chicago.
your marshmellows look heavenly, i might make up a batch to send to my sister, i gotta use up the candy canes somehow, you know! do you know how long they stay fresh for?
You guys don’t get the inauguration day off?! I thought for sure with Obama being from Chi-town that a lot of companies would give that day off.
I would say after Jan 20th, we really start in on the long stretch without a holiday.
Marshmallows look stellar 🙂
i so want to make these! they’ve been on my to-do list for ever, but just never got around to it!!!
These were delicious! Open a bakery? Please? 🙂
I still think February’s worse, but I think that homemade marshmallows would cheer me up in either month. Have you ever tried mocha or coffee flavored? I like them in hot chocolate too.
I feel you on the seasonal depression. I haven’t taken down my Christmas decorations (even though it’s way past time for me to do so) because I don’t want everything to appear less colorful in my apartment.
I’m going to have to try this recipe out! I’ve never made marshmallows, but they sound delightful! Thanks for sharing!
Lan: Lunar New Year, huh? I’m looking into it. Maybe we could decorate my office, or, at least, have a cake or something. I think that would help. (Oh, and, PS, like I e-mailed you, it seems people say the marshmallows last about a week.)
Nick: I know! You’d think we’d get some kind of perk, right? Maybe some companies give the day off, but none where people I know work. Big bummer.
Amy: Do it. Seriously.
Molly: You know, you’re right. February’s not great, either, which makes things even more depressing. Mocha-flavored marshmallows sound wonderful. I’ll have to try that next. Thanks!
E.P.: Glad to know I’m not the only one! I hope you do try these–they are great. And I’d love to hear how you end up liking them!
I’m so impressed with how the photographs are coming along–very vintage!