I think the moral to this story is that piping marshmallow peeps is not for sissies. Clearly I didn’t have the right tip, and I have a lot of tips, but I have to admit I never was that good at piping icing either. I just have a bag and tips from back in the day when I used to make birthday cakes for my kids and they were too young to complain.
The recipe I used for this was really for making chicks and bunnies, but I thought, why not hearts? I guess you’ll see:
I used this recipe, Marshmallow for Piping, with a few changes. You will need:
- pkg of unflavored gelatin
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- red food coloring
- 1 cup red colored sugar (you can make your own –I’ll tell you how in a minute)
Sprinkle the gelatin over the 1/3 cup of water in your mixer bowl and set aside. Meanwhile combine the 1/4 cup of water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium high heat until it’s dissolved. Stop stirring and cook until it reaches the soft ball stage (238 degrees F). Use a candy thermometer for best results.
As soon as it reaches that temperature remove from heat and add it to the gelatin/water mixture and stir on low for a few minutes to cool a little. Then mix on high for 8 to 10 minutes. When I make marshmallows I put it on a lower setting for the first minute or so until it’s cooled just a little so I don’t splatter myself with hot syrup. Be careful, it really IS hot.
After it starts to thicken a bit you can add 2 to 4 drops of red food coloring. Start with 2 and see if you want it a little darker, but I wouldn’t add too much as it might keep it from setting up. I added 4 drops.
Here is where things got “interesting”. You are supposed to pipe the stuff, using your frosting (pastry) bags into the shapes, into a “well” into the colored sugar. This makes great sense, because the sticky marshmallow will stick to and be covered with the sugar. Great!
Hahaha! I couldn’t make it look like a heart to save my life. So, I thought, I’m smarter than a marshmallow, I won’t let it beat me! I got out my cookie cutters and found a heart shaped one, sprayed the inside with cooking spray, set it into the sugar and tried piping into that. No go, it looked like some sort of heart shaped worm, well, it didn’t look very good, I can tell you.
At this point I was getting frustrated. My husband came in and tried to help. We tried scooping the stuff into the cookie cutter, but it was just too sticky and difficult to work with.
Finally, I made some little balls and just dipped them in the sugar. They tasted wonderful but the looked like… Well, I won’t tell you what they looked like, but it wasn’t something you wanted to eat with your eyes open.
Then, I had an idea. I poured some of the sugar on a sheet of wax paper, took a big scoop of the marshmallow stuff, oiled my hands and flattened the marshmallow out. Then, I oiled the heart shaped cookie cutter again, dipped it into the red sugar and used it to cut out a marshmallow heart, like cutting out a cookie. It worked! It slipped fairly easily out of the cookie cutter, and altho not quite gorgeous, mostly I think because the marshmallow had by now been sitting for awhile while I tried to come up with a method to make hearts, it worked. I made hearts with the rest of the marshmallow that was left, and then we ate up all the ugly ones.
They got a little better as I went along, as you can see in the photo below. I think with a little practice they could be downright pretty. I won’t say it’s easy, but my heart was in the right place. :)
Oh, and to make colored sugar, very easy. One cup sugar in a bowl. Add a few drops of whatever color of food coloring (red in this case) you desire. Mix well with a large spoon. Let it dry for awhile before you use it. Can be stored.
I used 6 drops to one cup to get a color that was a bit more red than pink. It’s hard to see in the photos as I think my light meter is going out on me.
I think you can also add flavorings to the sugar, although I didn’t.