Marshmallows likely strike most folks today as some complex food that must contain several dozen compounds with long and complex names able to be made only in complex factories. The reality is exactly the opposite – marshmallows are simple and easy to produce at home. Moreover, you can make some great flavoured marshmallows – such as these peppermint ones that are the perfect accompaniment for hot chocolate.
Hydrate the gelatin by sprinkling the 5 tbsp over 1 cup of water. Do this in the bowl that you'll be beating the ingredients together in - either your stand mixer bowl or a deep bowl you'll use with your hand mixer.
Mix the syrup ingredients together in a pot and put on medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and then monitor the temperature on your candy thermometer.
While waiting for the syrup to reach temperature coat some baking dishes or pie plates with butter and then dust with icing sugar - this will keep the marshmallow mix to keep from sticking to the dishes.
When the syrup reaches 240F take it off the heat and while beating the gelatin mix pour the syrup into the gelatin mix. Use a slower speed while you do the incorporation.
Increase the speed of your beating and continue for about 10 minutes by which time you should have a creamy white marshmallow fluff that is about three times the volume you started with.
Add the peppermint if desired and beat for another minute to incorporate the flavoring.
Pour and scrape the marshmallow mix into the icing sugar baking dishes you've previously prepared
If you want to streak color through the marshmallows drop food coloring on the top and use a knife to streak it down and through the mixture.
Allow the marshmallows to set overnight (or about 10 to 12 hours). Then cut the marshmallows and cover the cut marsmallows with a dusting of icing sugar to keep them from sticking together. Allow the cut marshmallows to sit for another half day to set up and then store them in sealed plastic bags.