I can't even. I've wanted to make homemade marshmallows for eons now but was just too scared I would ruin them, they would make my kitchen sticky, or/and I would end up sitting on the floor throwing a fit from frustration.
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But then, I tried making marshmallows.
Not just ordinary marshmallows, no sirree, I went cr-a-zy and made marshmallow peeps! Little bits of marshmallow cut into egg shapes and covered in sugar. Sugar covered in sugar? Heck yes! But hey - at least these aren't processed. I am giving my kids REAL sugar to get a sugar-high on. Good parenting skills, y'all.
Let me tell you! Homemade marshmallows (and therefore, marshmallow peeps) are SO much easier than I thought. I didn't make a giant mess, I didn't ruin them, AND I never once threw myself to the floor in a tantrum. In fact, I will absolutely be making marshmallows again!
Making the sugar syrup was the part that unnerved me. Anytime I'm asked to pull out a candy thermometer I get a little buggy. It scares me!
But seriously, it wasn't a thing. Getting the syrup up to temperature took longer than I expected but that was the only surprise. It was all very clean and boring. You can totally do this! And candy thermometers are cheap. So try it!
Look at all that lovely marshmallow fluff! Gorgeous.
You need to whip the sugar and gelatin together for a LONG time. Ten minutes. So just turn it on and leave it. Go have some coffee and come back later.
Note: I started "blooming" my gelatin far earlier than I probably should have, so when the time came to add my sugar syrup to it, it had hardened. I thought that I had ruined it! I still added my hot syrup to the hardened gelatin and didn't have a single problem. So don't worry if that happens to you!
Do NOT forget to line and generously spray your cookie sheet or you'll have a sticky mess on your hands when you try to take out your PEEPS! With the cookie sheet generously sprayed, cover the bottom of your greased baking sheet with colored sugar. Cover it well! I used three containers of colored sugar for one cookie sheet. So, about 1 and a half container you should pour onto the bottom of your cookie sheet.
If you want to make plain marshmallows (you cut this giant slab into squares) and not peeps simply omit the sugar and decorations in this post. Instead of cutting the marshmallow with an egg cutter, cut into squares!
I found it was absolutely easiest to simply use well-buttered fingers to press the marshmallows down because you have to move quickly to get them flat... they cool fast!
Once you get the marshmallow fluff pressed in well, cover the top of the marshmallow with the rest of your colored sugar and press it in. Then leave the whole thing to cool for about an hour.
Egg shaped cookie cutters are easy to find this time of year at almost any store. Mine is actually an avocado cutter (looks like an egg though, doesn't it?) that I picked up from Posh Little Designs. I totally intend to make sugar cookies with avocado frosting!
For the eyes of your marshmallow peep eggs I recommend grabbing candy eyes from a craft store or the cake decorating section of most Targets and Walmarts. You will also need orange icing for the nose. The nose is a simple little triangle. Nothing fancy.
Tip: to make the eyes stick, put a small dot of icing on the peep BEFORE putting on the eye.
I mean seriously. You can make these, isn't that just the coolest!
I boxed these up in some cute take-out boxes (new ones!) with some Easter grass and sent Levi out to deliver them to the neighbors. I guarantee that when the neighbors opened those boxes there was a smile on their faces. I mean, really, who can say no to marshmallows AND chicks? Right?!?
Take an afternoon with your kids and teach them how to make homemade marshmallows. If you like, take it one step further and add the sugar and turn them into marshmallow peeps! You'll love the memories you create as well as giving them the knowledge about where their food comes. Bonus...you learn how to use a candy thermometer!
- 1 cup water
- 3 packages gelatin plain, unflavored!
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- yellow sugar about 10 oz total
- candy eyes 1 pkg of 56
- orange cookie icing 1 -3 1/2 ounce tube
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and generously spray with cooking spray.
- Cover the bottom of the cookie sheet with 1/2 of the yellow sugar.
- In a large bowl for your mixer put your gelatin in and pour 1/2 cup of the water over the top. Stir. Leave the gelatin and water to "bloom" while you make the syrup.
- Pour remaining 1/2 cup of water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt into a heavy saucepan. Turn heat on medium, cover, and heat for three minutes. Remove the cover and attach your candy thermometer. Do NOT stir. Allow the syrup to boil gently until it reaches the temperature of 240F degrees.
- Beat the gelatin on water on low and slowly pour the heated syrup into the bowl of gelatin and water.
- Turn the mixer up to high and beat for 10 minutes or until white and fluffy.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture into the sugar lined cookie sheet.
- Press the marshmallow mixture down with buttered fingers or a spoon.
- Cover the top with the remaining yellow sugar. Let cool for 1 hour.
- Cut the marshmallows with an egg shaped cookie cutter.
- Decorate with candy eyes and orange icing for the nose.