Time is surely quickly ticking away to the big C-day because there are only 12 more days left. Eeek!!!
Are you finished with your Christmas shopping yet? Halfway...or barely beginning like me? I'll have to say that online shopping has never been so easy, and is one of the most efficient ways to get things done when you have a loads of work to do, and have very little time to do any shopping. My husband and I finally upgraded to a comfortable King bed versus our lovely Queen bed, and we were missing the headboard to finish our bedroom set. We looked everywhere at a couple stores, and couldn't find exactly what we were looking for. We did a quick search on the Internet and quickly found our beloved headboard on Costco.com!! Plus, it got delivered within a week of ordering.
I have been enjoying the best nights sleep lately because I have been busy in the kitchen prepping away Christmas goodies and treats. One of my pregnancy cravings lately has been milk, like I'm thirsty for that darn cow juice. (I'm lactose intolerant, but it hasn't affected me during my pregnancy!) I'm happiest in the morning when I have my big bowl of Cheerios with milk, and sometimes I enjoy a nice glass of cold milk with freshly baked cookies. With the cold and wet weather that we have been having lately, I have been enjoying hot cocoa. Milk in all forms has been good for me and I think cookie is happily baking away enjoying all the benefits.
Homemade peppermint marshmallows has been on my list of things to make because they look gorgeous in cute Christmas goodie bags. It has been one of my favorite homemade Christmas goodie to pass out. I really love the combination of peppermint with hot cocoa because it's almost like the Peppermint Mochas at Starbucks without the caffeine. The little hint of peppermint goes a long way in these marshmallows and you only need to add two or three marshmallows to add to your steamy hot cup of cocoa. Homemade marshmallows are easier to prepare than you think, and only takes a couple of ingredients but you will need some patience to make these beautiful clouds. I'll have the best hot cocoa recipe that will pair beautifully with these homemade peppermint marshmallows tomorrow on the blog.
Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows
Adapted from Beantown Baker
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (12 ounces)
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar, plus extra
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick cooking spray
Red food gel or food coloring (a couple drops for desired color)
In the bowl of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment on, add the gelatin and 1/2 cup of water. Let sit until ready to use.
In a small dutch oven or saucepan, add the the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high head with a candy thermometer attached to the side and bring to a boil until the temperature reaches 240 degrees. Once the sugar mixture reaches this temperature, remove immediately from heat.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle the sugar syrup into the side of the bowl. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. (Be careful, the bowl will get hot from adding the sugar mixture). Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and cloudy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the peppermint extract during the last minute of whisking.
While the sugar and gelatin whisk away, coat a 9x13 baking pan with a good coat of cooking spray. Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and mix until combined. Coat the pan with a couple spoonfuls of the mixture and make sure the bottom and sides are coated. Save the remaining mixture of sugar for later use.
When sugar mixture is thick and fluffy like a cloud, immediately pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Spray a spatula with nonstick cooking spray and use it to spread out the mixture on the pan and out of the bowl. Add a couple drops of red food gel or food coloring into the mixture. Use a toothpick to swirl the coloring mixture into the marshmallows.
Using a small sifter, add a couple spoonfuls of the cornstarch/confectioners' sugar into it and carefully dust the top of the marshmallows. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to cut the marshmallows, flip the baking pan onto a large cutting board. Using a pizza wheel dusted with a light coat of the cornstarch/confectioners' sugar, cut into small 1-inch squares. Once cut, use the small sifter to add the remaining cornstarch/confectioners' sugar mixture to coat the cut up marshmallows - add more if needed.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Best served with hot cocoa or eaten by themselves.
Yield: 9 dozen marshmallow
Review: Sweet peppermint fluffy heaven, and these marshmallows taste so much better than store bought ones. Depending on the size that you cut the marshmallows, you can go big or small - you will have plenty to share. I used small clear cellophane bags to pair up with my hot cocoa mix to give away to some friends and family in my life.
Other Christmas Ideas:
Homemade Vanilla Extract from Pennies on a Platter
DIY Flavored Syrups "The Holiday Edition" from Annie's Eats
Homemade Christmas Cookies & Treats from Confections of a Foodie Bride