These Paleo Peppermint Marshmallows are exactly what your hot chocolate needs! They’re light, fluffy, and easier to make than you’d think. This recipe is Paleo + refined sugar free, with a beautiful swirl of homemade red food coloring!
If you’ve been enjoying hot drinks galore this winter, you’re going to want to listen up. These peppermint marshmallows are going to make that drink in your mug so much more festive and delicious. You’re going to be drinking cup after cup of hot cocoa or coffee once you’ve got these in your house!
If you’re giving me side eye that marshmallows are super hard to make, that’s where you’re mistaking! They’re actually pretty darn easy, as long as you’ve got a candy thermometer and a bit of patience.
If you follow my Instagram stories, you may have seen that these paleo peppermint marshmallows were giving me a bit of trouble. Not the marshmallow part, as you may suspect, but the swirl!!!
I wanted these paleo peppermint marshmallows to be just as beautiful as their less-healthy peppermint marshmallow counterparts, but I couldn’t claim these as paleo while using regular old red food coloring, which is not exactly known for it’s health benefits. A lot of times it’s made of stuff like crushed bugs or coal tar sludge – major cringe.
So I went on a mission to make a swirl-able homemade red food coloring, and the answer came in vegetable form. Specifically, beet juice! I reduced the juice down and though I reduced it a bit too much, I just whisked in a bit of extra juice until it was a thin gel-like consistency.
Once I got the food coloring right, I made the marshmallows and poured them into the pan…and that’s where it all went wrong. I thought I was being quick, but since I was sharing the whole thing on Stories, evidently not quickly enough. I dripped the food coloring on the marshmallows, and went at it with a toothpick. The marshmallow has already started to set, and the food coloring just sort of dripped into toothpick slashes. It created a slasher movie-esque effect that I was definitely not a fan of.
Round 2, I added drops of the food coloring with a dropper while the marshmallow fluff was still in the mixing bowl and just barely swirled it in – perfection! I dripped a bit more on the top and spread with a thin spatula, and that was key. Avoid toothpicks here, and make sure your marshmallow is still soft while you’re swirling.
Oh, and because I know you’re wondering, NO these don’t taste anything like beets. That was my fear, but I didn’t noticed any trace of beet flavor as I popped these in my mouth :) instead, they’re delightful pillows of peppermint-y goodness!
I sweetened these with a combination of maple syrup and honey, because I didn’t want either flavor dominate the peppermint. By combining them, they each mellow out a bit and allow the peppermint to shine.
Homemade marshmallows are one of my favorite treats to make for a few reasons: they’re incomparably better than store-bought, they’re delightfully fluffy + pillowy, and GUARANTEED everyone will be super impressed with your extraordinary confection-making skills. Enjoy!
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
Paleo Peppermint Marshmallows
For the red food coloring
- ½ cup beet juice
First, make the red food coloring (not necessary, but looks cute!). Put the beet juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Let it simmer until it’s reduced by about half - it should be slightly thickened and gel-like. Remove to a small bowl and let cool. If you over reduce it and it’s too thick, you can whisk in extra beet juice to thin it out.
Grease an 8x8” square pan (for thick marshmallows), 9x9" pan (for slightly thinner), or 9x13" pan (for thin marshmallows) very well with coconut oil, using a paper towel to rub it and make sure you fully coated the bottom, sides and edges of the pan. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the unflavored gelatin and ½ cup cold water, whisking gently to combine. Let stand to allow the gelatin to bloom while you make the syrup.
Place the honey, maple syrup and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan and stir gently. Clip a candy thermometer onto the pan, and place it over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil, checking it occasionally–you are looking for it to eventually hit a temperature of 235-240°F (soft ball stage).
Once the syrup reaches 240°F, pull it from the heat. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture. When all the syrup has been added, turn the speed to medium-high and let it go for about 8-10 minutes–the mixture should turn white and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and salt and mix for 30 more seconds.
Working quickly, use a dropper to drip the some food coloring onto the marshmallow. Swirl with a silicone spatula, adding more food coloring if desired. Don't mix - just gently run your spatula through the food coloring.
Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula spritzed with cooking spray to even it out. If desired, you can add a bit more food coloring across surface of marshmallow and swirl in with the spatula. Tap the pan on the counter a few time to get rid of air bubbles. Let sit for about 6 hours or until firm.
Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan and invert it onto a tapioca flour-dusted work surface. Dust the marshmallow slab with more tapioca flour and cut into whatever size pieces you wish (a pizza cutter works great here). Dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in more tapioca flour and shake in a sieve to remove excess. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.