11 Dec Minty Marshmallow Cloud Pops
As a baker and lover of all things dessert, it’s not often that I find something sweet that I don’t really enjoy. So I have a confession to make: up until recently, I wasn’t really a fan of marshmallows. I know. There is a story here and I’ll spare you all of the gritty details, but the short of it is that when I was a kid, I loved them and ate way too many on a camping trip and got really sick. For the last two decades, I couldn’t even look at a marshmallow without shuddering. When my bakery opened in 2014, we started making s’mores macarons and, because we all taste-tested everything before putting an item on the menu, I had a bite of one, expecting to cringe at the taste. And then I had another bite. And another – and I loved it, I could eat marshmallow again! It took 20 years and being “forced” to eat it, but my love for these sticky, sweet morsels was back. Since that day, I’ve made marshmallows many times and love them.
A few days ago, I was running errands and stumbled upon an adorable paper shop on Queen Street West. I’m a sucker for beautiful paper, gift wrap and stationary and this place was absolutely full of them. I left with some gorgeous paper, including one dotted with fluffy clouds that I’m using as a background in my photos here. Yesterday, while I was trying to decide what shape to cut my marshmallows into and how I was going to photograph them, I pulled out my fun paper purchases and decided that clouds were the perfect fit, not only as a background, but as a shape for my marshmallows, because of their light and fluffy texture!
These were really fun to make. I ended up making them abut 4″ x 3″, so they weren’t small by any means, but you can make them whatever size that you like! I ended up cutting the “scrap” marshmallow into little pieces and popping them into a cup of hot chocolate, which was delicious. How you serve these fluffy delights is really up to you!
Minty Marshmallow Cloud Pops
Adapted from Alton Brown
Makes about 6-7 large (4″ x 3″) clouds or about 32 small (1″ to 2″) clouds/other shapes
- cooking spray, for coating baking dish, spatula and cookie cutter/scissors
- 1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon silver star sprinkles (or other sprinkles of your choice)
- 3 packages unflavoured gelatin
- 1 cup ice cold water, divided
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or seeds from one vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- gel-paste food colouring
- small, clean, food-only paint brush
- clean tweezers
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2-3 sheets silver leaf
- sucker/lollipop sticks
- cloud cookie cutter
Place the icing sugar and the corn starch in a small bowl and and whisk together, Set aside. Spray a baking/casserole dish (13″ x 9″ for thinner marshmallows or smaller for thicker marshmallows) with cooking spray and pour in about half of the icing sugar/corn starch mixture and tap to coat the bottom and sides completely. Tap out excess into the sink. Sprinkle the star sprinkles (or other sprinkles of your choice) into the bottom of the dish. Set dish aside.
Place the gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Pour 1/2 of the cold water over the gelatin and set aside.
In a small pot, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place on the stove over medium-high heat, place the lid on the pot and allow to cook for about 4 minutes. After 4 minutes is up, remove the lid, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and cook until the temperature reaches 240°F, about 8 minutes. Once the mixture is cooked, turn off the stove.
Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour the hot mixture down the inside of the bowl and into the gelatin. Once you’ve added all of the hot mixture, turn the mixer speed up to high and whip until the marshmallow becomes very thick and is lukewarm, about 12-15 minutes. Add the vanilla bean paste and the peppermint extract and mix to blend. Add a few drops of your favourite gel-paste food colouring (I used AmeriColour in Soft Pink) and mix to blend. Turn off the mixer. Spray a spatula with cooking spray (this prevents your marshmallow from sticking to it) and use it to remove the clinging marshmallow from the whisk attachment. To create pink swirls throughout the marshmallow, add a few more drops of food colouring, mix it lightly with the spatula (you should be able to see the swirls of colour) and then pour and scrape the marshmallow into the prepared baking dish. You may find that you need to clean the spatula and re-spray it multiple times – marshmallow is sticky stuff! Dust the marshmallow with a light layer of the remaining icing sugar/corn starch mixture and allow to rest on the counter, uncovered, overnight.
Once the marshmallow has set, it’s ready to be cut! Turn the marshmallow out onto a countertop that has been lightly dusted with icing sugar. You may need to run a sharp, clean knife around the edges of the dish to help release the marshmallow. Spray the cookie cutter with a little cooking spray and cut out cloud shapes, The cutter will get sticky and will need to be wiped off and re-sprayed before cutting out each cloud. Also, the edges of the marshmallows may be a little sticky and can be lightly dusted with a little icing sugar to remove any stickiness. Repeat, cutting out each marshmallow and dusting the edges.
Cut up the scraps with clean scissors sprayed with a little cooking spray and tossed with a little icing sugar, place in a zip-top bag and eat as a snack or use as a little extra something sweet in a cup of hot chocolate.
To add the “silver lining” (silver leaf), brush a very thin layer of the corn syrup along the bottom edge of the marshmallows and, using the tweezers, tear off and apply small pieces of the silver leaf to the areas brushed with corn syrup. Add the popsicle sticks by gently wiggling them into the bottom of each cloud. Serve immediately, store in an air-tight container or wrap each in cellophane and tie with ribbon for favours or gifts. If you made small marshmallows instead of the larger ones, you can pop them into a cup of hot chocolate or place in small gift bags as favours or just keep in an airtight container for snacks.
Marshmallows will keep packaged air-tight for up to one week.