This is absolutely the most delicious thing I have ever made. I promise I am not just saying that to be gushy. My vanilla buttercream sprinkled cake stirred some intense feelings of euphoria, but these homemade peppermint marshmallows with Nutella hot chocolate are outshining all of the other desserts I have yet to make.
If we are speaking in second grade lingo, I love these marshmallows so much I would marry them if Matt hadn't come around first. Is that weird I have borderline romantic feelings for food? Perhaps there is an underlying psychological issue at hand here? Whatever, I am just going to inhale all of these and then open up my own marshmallow shop, because it may just be my calling in life.
Enough of me rambling about sugar and gelatin. Let's get down to business, so you can start your own love affair with this perfect holiday treat.
Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows
Yields 25 gigantic marshmallows
Total cook time: 8 hours
(Adapted from this recipe)
Butter to grease pan
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup gelatin (5 packets)
3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups light corn syrup (or 1 cup light colored honey for healthier option*)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
5-6 drops peppermint essential oil
6-8 drops red food coloring
1. Grease an 8x8 glass baking dish with the butter and then sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar so it is covering the dish. In a large mixing bowl, mix 1/3 cup of gelatin over 1 cup of cold water and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup (or honey), salt, and water. Stir this mixture on medium-low heat until all the sugar has dissolved, and then bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn it down to medium-high heat and don't stir until it reaches 240°F. Or if you don't have a candy thermometer, cook it until the mixture turns into a pliable, gel-like ball when placed in cold water. (That is how I always test it. You will know your mixture is getting to the correct temperature because the bubbles start getting viscous and are slow to pop.)
*If you decide to make your marshmallows with honey, be aware that honey tends to burn more quickly and will harden very easily, so make sure you are keeping a watchful eye! I made a batch with honey and one with corn syrup, and I do have to say the corn syrup is a little more forgiving, and gives fluffier, lighter marshmallows.
3. Pour the syrup gently into the gelatin and begin by mixing on low speed for about 5 minutes. Once it starts to thicken, add in your peppermint essential oil and food coloring. Turn the speed up to high until it has doubled in size and becomes thick. Pour into the baking dish and allow it to set for 8 hours or overnight.
4. Once the marshmallow has set, dust a cutting board or pan with powdered sugar and gently pull the marshmallow mold out. Cut five, 1 1/2 inch wide rows with a pizza cutter until you have 25 marshmallows. Dust all of the sticky sides in powdered sugar. And voilà! You have the most delicious treat in the world. Store in a cute jar or container and display them proudly on the counter because they are as beautiful as they are delicious.
Okay, so this next part is the crème de la crème. Literally. Putting one (or two) of these peppermint marshmallows in the Nutella hot chocolate turns it into a creamy, minty drink.
You know how Judy the elf makes hot chocolate for Tim Allen in The Santa Clause when he first gets to his room in the North Pole? This stuff is thick and amazing like that, and I have seriously been waiting my whole life to drink something on the same level. You're welcome.
Nutella Hot Chocolate
Yields 2 servings
Total cook time: 10 minutes
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup Nutella
1. In a small saucepan, heat your milk, heavy cream, vanilla and Nutella over medium heat. Stir with a whisk for about 5-10 minutes until the Nutella has completely melted.
2. Pour your piping hot chocolate into a mug, about 3/4 full. Put one or two peppermint marshmallows in, and drizzle with chocolate syrup and crushed peppermint candies for garnish if you so desire. This stuff is Christmas cheer in a cup, so savor every velvety sip and then go make a cup for someone you love!