All Natural Homemade Marshmallow Chicks (honey sweetened)
by KimiHarris on April 3, 2012
We have recently been talking about raising children in our current food culture of junk food (part one and part two). One of the things that I have really enjoyed doing is making my daughter special treats homemade. It helps bridge the gap between her diet and her playmates. I first made marshmallows for a campout when I knew all of her friends were going to have roasted marshmallows. Hers were much tastier, and while there was still that element of having “different” food, in the end, people kept trying to take her marshmallows!
With that in mind, I share how to make homemade marshmallow chicks with you today. They are quite sweet, so still a special treat. We had a fun time making these (and eating them!)
When I was growing up, one annual Easter treat was the marshmallow chick, or Peeps. My mother would buy a package or two and they looked so inviting sitting pretty in their package. Somehow, however, they were always the last Easter treats to be eaten. Most of the time, they had a kind of stale taste and they just weren’t all that inviting after the first bite.
These homemade marshmallow chicks may not be quite as factory perfect, but they are quite delicious! Plus, they use very natural ingredients. Sweetened entirely with honey, there is no sugar or corn syrup in the recipe! (It will be completely sugar-free if you don’t use any sprinkles on the outside.)
While making homemade marshmallow may seem scary, this recipe is quite easy to make! My only caution is to be very careful with the hot honey syrup, especially if you have children around. Whenever I make a syrup like this, I make sure the kids aren’t in the kitchen as it could cause severe burns. But with proper caution (now that I’ve scared you!), this really is an easy recipe to literally “whip” together.
There are a few ways that you can make shapes with this recipe. The one that I like is cutting out the cooled marshmallows with cookie cutters. However, Martha Stewart, the source of all kitchen wisdom, has directions here explaining how to pipe chicks that look a lot like Peeps. I haven’t tried it yet, though I understand from other bloggers that it is not easy to do. You have to work quickly so that the mixture doesn’t set up. Another idea is to scoop the marshmallow fluff into molds (chocolate molds, or specialty muffin pans). You could even chocolate cover the marshmallows for an extra special treat.
I’ve been making homemade marshmallows for a while, and I’ve found that when using a hand-held electric mixer, you don’t get the same amount of fluff in your marshmallows. This means that you will need a smaller pan to scoop it into. However, when you use something like a Kitchenaid mixer, you end up with super fluffy marshmallows, which will require a larger pan. Just something to keep in mind. Both turn out quite well in taste and texture.
If you want to have colored chicks (or whatever other animal/shape you want to use), you have a couple of options. You can sprinkle the outside with colored decorating sugar. I used India Tree’s Sunflower Yellow which is tinted with curcumin for color. You could also buy (the very expensive) India Tree natural food dyes and tint the actual marshmallows which would be very pretty. Or, you could just leave them plain white. It’s especially cute to have a white bunny marshmallow.
Homemade Marshmallow Chicks
1 cup of water, split into 2 half cups
3 tablespoons of gelatin
1 cup of honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1. Cover with parchment paper a 9 by 13 inch pan, or jelly roll pan (if not using a stand mixer, you will probably only need a 9 by 9 inch pan). Then grease the parchment paper.
2. Put 1/2 cup of water in a medium bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer with attached whisk), and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Set aside to soften.
3. In a small pot, place the honey, salt and the other 1/2 cup of water. Heat on medium heat. Using a candy thermometer, bring the mixture to 240 degrees. (You can also test it by carefully dribbling a little of the liquid into a bowl of ice cold water. It should be in the soft candy stage — which will form little soft balls when cooled in the water and taken out. It takes about 7-8 minutes to reach this temperature.) Remove from the heat as soon as it reaches the right temperature.
4. With the mixer on low, very carefully mix in the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture by pouring the hot syrup in a drizzle down the side of the bowl. Once it’s all combined, add the vanilla and increase speed slowly to high. Beat for 7-15 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and fluffy and holds its shape when you lift the beaters out of the mixture. (It will look like marshmallow fluff.) Scrape into the prepared pan. I think it works best if the mixture is about 1/2 inch thick. How much the mixture fluffs up will make a difference in how thick the mixture is and how big of a pan you need to use. Adjust pan size at will. To help in getting a somewhat flat surface, I like to take another piece of parchment paper and grease. Put greased side down on marshmallows, and then press down to even out with your hands or use a small rolling pin. If you use your hands at all, make sure they are well oiled/greased otherwise they will instantly stick to the mixture (believe me, I know!).
5. Leave uncovered for 4-12 hours to dry. I found that after a few hours, it was dry enough to cut, but still sticky enough to roll in decorating sugar. Use greased cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes. Roll in sugar immediately. If desired, make a mixture of cocoa powder and water to make eyes. Dab on with toothpick or chopstick. Keep covered in an airtight container for up to one week.
I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!
Welcome to The Nourishing Gourmet! I am a mother of three and a cookbook author who loves nourishing and beautiful foods. Stick around to get recipes and tips on creating a successful real food lifestyle. To make sure you never miss a post, subscribe below!
The information you find here at The Nourishing Gourmet is meant to help you become a better cook! This site is primarily for sharing family friendly recipes. It's not meant to give medical advice or to make any health claims on the prevention or curing of diseases.This site is only for informational and educational purposes. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding in supplements or making any changes in your diet. Also, any links to sponsors or affiliates (including Amazon) may give me a percentage of the sale or a pay per click. Thank you for supporting this site.