How to Make Heart Shaped Marshmallows Without Making Homemade Marshmallows

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I made homemade marshmallows once.  Just once.  Years ago.  They were good, but I made a pretty spectacular mess, and I don't like marshmallows enough to justify making them again, especially when I have Fluff It Marshmallows, and incredible gourmet marshmallow bakery right up the street.

But I also wanted to make cute heart shaped marshmallows for Valentine's day, so I wondered if I could find a shortcut method to making custom marshmallow shapes and colors, without having to make actual marshmallows.

The answer?  Yes!  And no.  Let me explain.

Marshmallows melt, right?  So I figured I could just melt some pre-made marshmallows and add a little food coloring, and then when they cooled back down, I could use a cookie cutter to punch out my own custom marshmallow shapes.

Looks good so far, right?  Marshmallows sucessfully melted!  Colored!  Put in a gloriously non-stick silicone pan that has never failed to release ANYTHING, even homemade caramels!  Yeah, that was my first mistake.  It stuck.  A lot.

So I scraped it out of the pan as best I could, and found that the melted and cooled marshmallows were incredibly soft and sticky.  Too soft and sticky.  So I started kneading in powdered sugar, remembering that's how people make marshmallow fondant.  (For the record, I think that making marshmallow fondant, often abbreviated as MMF, is just plain silly.  Making homemade marshmallows has pretty much the same ingredients as making homemade fondant, except with slightly different technique and different proportions, so you're essentially just making regular fondant, but spending way more money to do it, and doing it in a more labor intensive way.  Ok, ending my MMF rant now.  Back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

I rolled the now-thicker and more workable marshmallow ball out using a rolling pin, and cut my heart shapes out with cookie cutters.

I thought it would be just perfect packaged up with my white hot chocolate drink mix for a little Valentine's day treat!

I mixed up a cup, thinking I'd get a pretty picture of it for you guys... and the marshmallow hearts sank like rocks.  They did turn the white cocoa a lovely shade of pink when they melted, but they did not float, not even for a second.  I suppose I could have guessed that, when I melted all of the air out of the original marshmallows, but some things you just have to learn the hard way.  They still made really delicious and adorable treats to eat, as my daughters and their friends will attest.  So I'm still calling this recipe/tutorial a win, even though they really didn't work out for my original intended use.  

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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