Food Gift Idea: Peppermint Marshmallows

As I was walking the dog this morning in a balmy 55 degree morning, I realized the Christmas is a week away already! What the heck happened to December! I’ve been working so hard that I haven’t really gotten into a holiday spirit yet. I’m sure the 12 hour road trip to see relatives will get me there, right? Well, one way to get in the mood for the holidays is to drink a holiday drink, right? And what says Christmas more than candy canes? Peppermint flavored booze, of course!

Now, before you get all excited, I’m not talking about peppermint schnapps here. While you can make a peppermint martini using schnapps, I’m guessing you probably won’t like it. But I recently came across Dr. McGillicuddy’s Mentholmint Liqueur which is surprisingly good. It’s got a very strong peppermint flavor, with enough of that menthol feel to clear your sinuses. Remember those commercials for York Peppermint Patty’s with the people being blow away by the mint flavor? It’s like that, only boozey. Awesome.

Now, what better way to make a peppermint martini even better? Make yourself some peppermint marshmallows to garnish your drink with. Marshmallows make great gifts too! They are surprisingly easy to make – they just take a little time. Considering how infrequently I eat marshmallows in the first place I’ll probably never buy them again.

Peppermint Martini

Peppermint Marshmallows Recipe

Ingredients
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
4 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons red food coloring

Directions

Spray an 8×8″ jelly roll pan with vegetable-oil cooking spray, then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and spray that as well. Add 3/4 cup of water, the sugar and corn syrup to a medium-sized saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a boil over medium high heat. Adjust heat so that it doesn’t boil over, and then boil until it reaches 260 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin over 3/4 cups of warm water in a large bowl to soften for five minutes. Then, place the bowl over a saucepan full of simmering water (for heat) and whisk until the gelatin is dissolved. Then mix in the extract and set aside.

In an electric mixer, whisk egg whites on high speed until you have stiff peaks (but not dry). Once sugar mixture reaches 260 degrees, mix the sugar with the gelatin mixture, and stir until blended. With the mixer running, pour the mixture into the egg whites. Whisk at high speed until very thick, about ten minutes. Pour mixture into jelly roll pan. Working very quickly (as the marshmallows will set very fast) dot the top of the mixture with red food coloring, then swirl the color around using a toothpick to achieve the marbled effect. Allow to dry and set, uncovered overnight. Cut marshmallows with an oiled knife.

How to Make a Peppermint Martini

Ingredients
2.5oz vanilla vodka
1oz Dr. McGillicuddy’s Mentholmint Liqueur
1 peppermint marshmallow

Directions
Add vodka and peppermint liqueur to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigourusly until all of the alcohol is very cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a peppermint marshmallow.

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