How to Make Heart-Shaped Marshmallows
Sweeten the deal with homemade marshmallows made with love.
Show your affection by topping off a mug of cozy cocoa with homemade marshmallows. Cutting them into the shape of hearts makes them the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day, but let’s face it, we’d devour these year-round.
- 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (2 envelopes of Knox brand gelatin)
- 1 cup water - divided into two 1/2 cup measurements
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- food coloring
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- stand mixer or hand mixer
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- canola oil spray
- heart-shaped cutters
Fill a cup with a 1/2 cup of water, and pour in the two tablespoons (two packets) of gelatin. This will need to set for 4-5 minutes.
Pour the other 1/2 cup of water and two cups of sugar into a saucepan. Monitor closely and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved to form a simple syrup.
By this point, the gelatin has absorbed the water in the cup. Scoop the gelatin into the simple syrup, and stir until the syrup boils. When it boils, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the contents to your stand mixer bowl.
Add vanilla and a few drops of food coloring to the bowl at this time, and then turn the mixer on high with a whisk attachment. Allow it to whip the solution for upwards of 15 minutes (until the beaters are creating foamy peaks).
Right in front of your eyes, the mixture will become voluminous – just like when you make your own whipped cream. The color of the dye will lighten as the liquid gains volume, so you may want to add a few more drops to achieve a deeper, richer color.
While you’re waiting for the mixing to be complete, cover a rimmed baking sheet with a large piece of parchment paper.
Lightly spray the parchment with the canola oil to prevent the marshmallow from sticking.
When the stand mixer has done its job, what you’ll see in the bowl is definitively marshmallowy. Most notably, it will retain its peaks while being scooped and stirred. Pour the mixture onto the parchment paper and use a spatula to spread it evenly. Note that the marshmallow mixture is not runny, nor will it have much tendency to self-level towards the edges of the tray. You can use this to your advantage and make thin marshmallows, but also thick marshmallows, too.
Allow the mixture to set in open air for 4-6 hours. They’re still going to be sticky to the touch, but if you lift the edges of parchment, you’ll see how the mixture has solidified into a dense pillow of marshmallow goodness.
Spritz your heart cut-outs with canola oil before attempting to cut the marshmallow sheet into shapes.
Remove the cut outs as you go, and drop them onto a plate covered with powdered sugar. Sprinkle additional powdered sugar on top of them to make them easier to handle.
Seal those sweet treats into an airtight container and top off every cup of hot cocoa generously.
Pro tip: Prefer stale marshmallows? Can’t blame you for that! If you leave these exposed to air, they’ll shrivel down into appetizing little bits reminiscent of everyone’s favorite Lucky cereal.