Once upon a time, there was a candy made out of mallow plants that grew in marshes. (Yes, really!) Today, marshmallows are made out of sugar and gelatin that has been whipped into a foam. When you make your own, you can customize them any way you like. But probably the best way to enjoy them is in the form of mini peeps!
This recipe is suitable for anyone, whether or not you've made candy before (or even iced a cupcake!). The only specialized equipment you need is an electric mixer.
- Spray oil
- Powdered sugar (sift out any lumps by shaking or pushing it through a wire strainer)
- 1 packet or 1 tablespoon (15 mL) unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups (500 mL) granulated table sugar
- 3 ounces (90 mL) water
- food coloring
- 2 baking pans, trays, or dishes
- Wax paper
- Rubber spatula
- 2 plastic bags
You can find this recipe and more ideas for enjoying homemade marshmallows, plus other kinds of DIY treats, in my book Edible Inventions from Nomad Press.
Step 1: Mix Up the Marshmallow
Combining the ingredients is a little like a science experiment! It's fun to see liquid and powder turn into rubbery marshmallow goo. Here's what you do:
- Combine the water and gelatin in a bowl, and let it sit.
- Combine one cup of the granulated sugar and the rest of the water in a saucepan. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar is all dissolved.
- Pour in the gelatin mixture and bring the pot to a boil. Turn off the heat, take the pan off the stove, and let the pan sit to cool for a few minutes.
- While you're waiting, mix the remaining cup of granulated sugar with several drops of food coloring in a small bag. Squeeze to combine the coloring and the sugar, breaking up any lumps as you go. Continue until the color is evenly distributed. Pour the colored sugar into a baking pan lined with waxed paper and spread the sugar around.
- When the mixture has cooled, pour it into a large mixing bowl. Beat it with an electric mixer until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. You should see the mixture get thicker and increase in size. It’s done when it looks shiny and white and it’s thick enough for soft peaks to form.
Step 2: Pipe the Peeps
To shape the mini-peeps, you will "pipe" the marshmallow like icing on a cupcake, then coat them with colored sugar to keep the peeps from sticking together.
Take the other plastic bag and fill it with the marshmallow mixture. Squish it all down into one corner. Then snip off the corner. The opening should be about 1/2 inch (1 cm) across.
Making the marshmallow chick shape take a little practice. (Don't worry, the mutant ones taste just as good.) Watch the video at the top of the Instructable to see how it's done. Here are the steps involved:
Over the tray of colored sugar, squeeze a line of marshmallow out of the bag. Go back and forth in the shape of an upright "S." Try to do it in one fluid motion.
Stop squeezing and pull the bag away to make the pointy beak.
Spoon colored sugar over the peep until it is completely covered.
When it's finished, pick the chick up with the spoon and set it on another wax-paper-covered pan. Keep making peeps until you run out of marshmallow. Try to work quickly as the marshmallow mixture will stiffen up with time.